Hangar Bicocca hosts a permanent installation of Anselm Kiefer’s “Seven Heavenly Palaces” (2004-2015). In a warehouse-like space, exists seven towers that are more likely to fall down than reach heaven, as well as five huge paintings. The expansive space feels silent and hollow. After walking the distance, my son commented, “His work is messy, and I don’t like it.” This comes from a four year old who excels at “messy art” with rocks, dirt, and found materials. I imagine that my son might have felt the brokenness that is in Kiefer’s materials and his reflections.
It is true that there is something unsettling about Keifer’s work. To be in this installation, you have to breathe in, chew on, and potentially own this brokenness he explores. I say own because I think he reflects something true, even if unpleasant, about humanity …about striving …about war. So I’m happy to walk my son out of the exhibition and let him come back to process these ideas when he’s older.Hangar Bicocca has a couple huge spaces for exhibitions. It is both impressive and doable with children. We also visited Carsten Höller’s exhibition “Doubt” (which I posted about last week) and a group exhibition on Architecture as Art (which is almost ready to post).