Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Venice 2019 Notes: Christoph Buchel

Something like a conversation, Venice:

"Something like 75 migrants died."
"No, I think it was 300, maybe more."
A third person through sipped coffee conjectured a third much higher number, which everyone, my eavesdropping included, agreed was absurd.

The United Nation's number is a Google away for you and had been for us as well, group shaded in Free WiFi. But nobody wants to google a deathtoll. And we, having heard it before, carried with us some approximation we felt accurate-ish. Accurate enough. We carry vague feelings of distinction between 75, 300 deaths, 800 deaths labeled migrant. It is the indistinction that matters, matters more than the actual number. Scales of death blurring as equivalent-ish. Say, one-third of a September 11th.

Interesting that an artist generally dealing with installation and artifice is now trafficking this.