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Going for Baroque: Catherine Lorent at the Luxembourg Pavilion

Artist Catherine Lorent might live in Berlin, but she’s doing a fine job representing her native Luxembourg in Ca’ del Duca, a palazzo near the Accademia bridge. Here she’s set up a multimedia exploration of the iconography of the Baroque—these days considered decorative or even absurd—that includes painting, drawing, sculpture, and most importantly, performance. Anyone walking past during the Biennale previews couldn’t miss her musical performances, an ongoing project she calls Gran Horno (“Horno” means “furnace”) in which she rocks out with Gibson electric guitars, piano, accordion (played by Natasa Gehl) and vocals. Anyone going into the exhibition at any other time still gets an acoustic experience: Paired with her paintings (hung from the ceiling) and drawings are 13 electric guitars that respond to viewers’ movements through sensors and sustain sound via a device called an Ebow. As she puts it, it’s a four-dimensional Baroque montage. One that rock fans will appreciate as well.

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