The Italian gardener, who is rattling a piece of meadow on his super-loud bulldozer, immediately understands what Robert Lippok means with his two outstretched hands: no noise for ten minutes, per favore! All right.

It’s the last day before the rush to the oldest and most important art show in the world, which starts in a few hours over at the Giardini in Venice. But also here: on La Certosa, a 24.2 hectare lagoon island that was declared an outpost of the German pavilion this summer. There is no work of art to be seen anywhere, which is because these are works that have to be heard. Now that the machine is silent, the first thing can be heard clearly. Lippok has subwoofers, i.e. woofer speakers, buried in the ground of the island, which deliver truly deep bass. The sound of the underground seems irritating and threatening. Also for curator Çağla Ilk, who comes running across the jetty with her coat flowing. The woman, who has been Germany’s official ambassador to the country of the arts for a few months, has experienced severe earthquakes in her first home, Turkey. Shortly before the shock, she says, it sounds similar: booming silence as a dull foreboding.

A fitting basic feeling for the 60th Venice Biennale. The threats of our time are literally in the air. Of course, as usual, the art aficionados in a brilliant mood are present, running hectically back and forth between the receptions, where you can see the ex-professional footballer Michael Ballack, the art patron Francesca von Habsburg and the luxury entrepreneur François-Henri Pinault with his wife Salma Hayek, of Hollywood -actress, meets. But they seem like supporting actors in a film whose apocalyptic outcome has been leaked through the spoiler warning. The scene seems like its own disturbing work of art when Prada co-creative director Raf Simons looks at a buzzing drone above him at coffee magnate Andrea Illy’s art party in the garden of the Giardini Reali, which is being attacked by very annoyed seagulls.

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