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TRAVEL DIARY: UNATHI MKONTO DOES THE VENICE BIENNALE, THEN HEADS OFF TO PARIS

Artist and dear friend of SKATTIE, Unathi Mkonto, went to Italy a couple of weeks ago to attend the Venice Biennale (as one does). After a week of checking out the art, partying it up at one of the world’s biggest art events, and working with Athi-Patra Ruga on his Venice performance, he flew off to Paris to do Parisian thangs. He had his film camera – we’ll overlook this bit of hipsterism- so we asked him to snap some pics for us, so we could pretend that we too have fabulous jetsetting lives, and that we know a little sumthin sumthin about the European spring. Enjoy.

VeniceBuildings

“Venice was gorgeous, beginning of spring, a bit overcast.”

VenicePeople

“Shortly after I took the pic above, the one of Okwui walking, this kid came up to him asking for a selfie, and he was just like ‘No’, and he just walked away. That was my best. In front of everyone. Of course everyone is always looking at him anyway, he was the star.”

VeniceArt

“One of the pics above, the one with the flags on the floor. It was probably my favourite work, it had the most impact on me. This white room, with flags on the floor, of all these countries that don’t exist anymore. It was crazy.”

Yachtlife

“Yachts everywhere. Like, loads of people partying it up in their yachts as we walked past. People were living!”

ParisBuildings

RoyalPalais

“I can’t tell you how, but I got a private tour of the Palais Royal, and this was the first time they had contemporary art in there. It was amazing.”

ParisShopping

“Of course I went to visit my favourite store, Margiela, naturally. I also went to check out Saint Laurent, I think Hedi Slimane has done an amazing job with the brand by the way. You can see it, like all over Paris. The style, the look, he’s captured it. He is on his own, he has no competition. Only problem is that it’s very expensive, like 2500 euros for a pair of jeans. But still, to die for.”

Pariscrunk

“I googled hip-hop festivals and I found this festival on a Sunday, at this amazing park. It was the international krump dance finals. I didn’t have a flash so it was impossible to photograph properly, they were just so fast. But it was the best thing I saw, and there were people from everywhere, just krumping. One guy just kept on going until he passed out and hit his head on something, fortunately there was a doctor around. The female winner was this skinny Asian girl, she was so amazing I almost cried. It was intense.”

ParisBoys@MrTyilo

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