The Israeli pilot who refused to bomb a Lebanese school

imageWe spent Friday and Saturday ensconced in the 2013 Venice Biennale. As before, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

As usual, a whole host of countries had a pavilion each, showing off the best of their modern art.

If I had to choose a top two, the United Kingdom would be a number two. But, then, I’m biased and they did give us a very good cup of tea free. “English Magic” was the name of the British exhibition, which was by Jeremy Deller. It featured a lot of David Bowie and a vast painting (above) of a hen harrier clasping a Range Rover. All good fun.

My choice for number one is the Lebanese entry, “Letter to a refusing pilot” by Akram Zaatari. It features a mesmerising film, part of which is below. It tells the story of Hagai Tamir, who was an Israeli pilot in the Lebanese war who refused to drop bombs on a school.

No doubt some would ask “Is it art?”. During three days looking at the very best of modern art (we went round Peggy Guggenheim’s gaff as well as the Biennale) that question crossed my mind often.

There must be several million examples of “modern art”. Some of it is wonderful, some of it is baffling. For some reason, people always pick on Tracey Emin’s unmade bed or Damien Hirst’s rotting cow. But as well as the baffling, there are thousands of examples of vibrant, breathtakingingly beautiful pieces of modern art.

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