The mythological theme ‘Danaë’ is an in art constantly recurring theme, from antiquity on to modern times. At this year’s Venice Biennale, Vadim Zakharovan interprets the myth in a new way at the Russian pavilion. According to legend, Zeus visits Danaë who is imprisoned by her father, in the form of a shower of gold.

The falling golden rain in Vadim Zakharov installation, does not only refer to the seduction of Danae by Zeus, as an allegory for the human lust and greed, but also on the corrupting influence of money. Through his artistic production Zakharov places an ancient myth a contemporary dimension. Philosophical, sexual, psychological and cultural fragments are concentrated in a theater-like composition as a whole spread on two floors. The project has sculptural and painterly elements and calls for the active participation of visitors in order to guarantee the flow of material goods as a continuous process. ‘The lower hall can only be visited by women. This is not about sexism but merely follows the logic of the anatomical construction of the myth. What is masculine can only fall inside from above, in the form of golden rain. The lower level of the Pavilion is a “cave womb,” keeping tranquility, knowledge, and memory intact.’ Zakharov explains.

All images © Daniel Zakharov

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