Vol 3 No 1 (2022)
Exhibiting Prints: The Role of Printed Matter in International, Large-Scale Exhibitions

Venice as the Archetypal Waterscape of the 21st Century: Aleksandra Mir’s Postcards for the 53rd Biennale

Camilla Pietrabissa



− Abstract

As an ephemeral, portable and disposable object, the postcard is a powerful medium for the global circulation of images and the creation of enduring collective imaginaries. This essay considers a project by artist Aleksandra Mir for the 53. Venice Biennale (2009), titled VENEZIA (all places contain all others), which entailed the design, printing and free distribution of one million postcards. A visitor could mail the postcards on the spot, ensuring the global circulation to the project. The participatory and ephemeral nature of this postcard project is discussed in relation to the curatorial concept of that year’s Biennale, the ability of the postcard format to activate a problematic memory of place, and the various iterations of the project from 2005 to 2018. Mir’s use of the postcard format in the Venetian context stresses the close link between the contemporary art world and the economy of tourism in late capitalism.

− Keywords
Aleksandra Mir, Postcards, Overtourism, Climate change, Waterscapes, Reproducibility