Rialto Fish Market (video still: Cecilie Semec)

Ponte Dei Sospiri (video still: Cecilie Semec)

Giovanni singing Like A Virgin (video 02:00, camera: Cecilie Semec) 

The outcome:

Two gondolas with eight audience members were traveling from Piazza St. Marco passing three locations where Madonna´s video Like A Virgin (1984) was filmed; Punta Della Dogana, the fish market behind Rialto Bridge and Ponte Dei Sospiri. When the gondola arrived at each of these locations, I sent a series of images of myself posing like Madonna to the audience´s smartphones. The images were stills from a film shot at that specific location. While the audience scrolled through the images, the gondolier sang a verse of Like a Virgin.


In The night is young and full of STD´s the experience was that of traveling through Venice on a gondola, viewing live-streamed images while listening to Giovanni sing: "I made it through the wilderness. I made it through. I didn´t know how lonely I was until I met you.” The performance here is carried by the flow of affect between Giovanni, the eight Madonnas in the gondola and the audience observing on the banks of the Grand Canal. The performativity can be found in the flow between the images, leaving the audience to fill in the movements between each still. Through my physical absence and by sending the images to the smartphones from afar, I let the audience to become voyeurs, thus I handed the role of the performer over to Giovanni and the audience themselves. 


Thanks to Chrysa Parkinson, Frank Bock, Cecilie Semec, Bjørnar Habbestad, Antonija Livingstone, Kai Johnsen, David Zanutti, Frederic Gies, Mal Durore, Dawid Mizera, Aud Marie Danielsen and Charlotte Bik Bandlien,

The night is young and full of STDs

"I made it through the wilderness. I made it through. I didn´t know how lonely I was until I met you.” 


The proposal:

Much in the same way as Madonna, in her music video Like a Virgin (1984) the Venice Biennale uses Venice like a set.


Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHW5RVvg2v4 (music video directed by: Mary Lambert)


I want to re-enact the music video Like a Virgin in several different ways on location in Venice during one week. I want to glide in a gondola over the murky waters of the Grand Canal and over the cultural currency of the Biennale that blends with the gossip and the flirt that flows between the pavilions of the Giardini and the wet after parties. I want to work with the gondoliers and ask them to sing Like a Virgin so that the song once more echoes between the houses. I want to dance like Madonna and duck playfully under the bridges. I want to document it all by using a selfie stick. 

Ponta Della Dogana (video still: Brynjar Åbel Bandlien)