Art: Codes And Whispers

Ann Hamilton's severe meditation on violence in America creates a buzz at the Venice Biennale

In the arsenal of curious things an artist can do with colored pigment, Ann Hamilton summoned up the equivalent of a cruise missile and fired a shot heard round Venice's Grand Canal. Hamilton, 43, is this year's star-power artist officially representing the U.S. at the 48th Venice Biennale, the oldest of the international art expositions. With 59 countries participating and more than 100 artists on view through Nov. 7, there is, as ever, notable work amid a great deal of minor junk. At the opening, Hamilton's minimalist installation--four rooms that appear empty but for a shower of madly pink dust collecting...

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