This years preview days of the 55th Venice Biennale were delightfully rainy with rays of sun momentarily breaking through the clouds treating us visitors to a spectacular light phenomenon so typical for Venice. Maybe it was the weather or maybe the economy or maybe it was simply just me, but this year seemed less crowded and more relaxed than in recent years. Naturally there was too much to see and experience, some of it not making an impression on site but rather lingering in my mind to be rediscovered weeks later. The work that made an impression both during the preview and still holds my interest was most of all artist Kaspars Podnieks and Krišs Salmanis; North by North-East at the Latvian Pavillion curated by Anne Barlow, Courtenay Finn, Alise T?fent?le. The slow sweeping tree offered a moment of calm and instantly transported me to a nordic leaf forrest. A welcoming break from the image overload of the rest of the arsenale.

The 55th Venice Biennale - Latvian Pavilion from Arterritory on Vimeo.

The tree theme continued with the Falling Trees at the Finnish Alvar Aalto Pavilion where Antti Laitinen performed a deconstructed trees performance on site.

At the Dutch Pavillion Mark Manders; Room with Broken Sentence provided a welcoming new take on the body in contemporary sculpture.

What struck me at the American Pavillion was, especially for Americans, the dead silence amongst the viewers who seemed in deep trance caught by the fascinating Triple Point installation by Sarah Sze.