We arrived in the church of San Giorgio Maggiore as a man and a woman emerged from a trap-door in a grey painted platform beneath the Dome. We took our seats in anticipation as four walls of fans whirred to an exhausted stop and left only an eery silence. We had arrived at Anish Kapoor's Ascension at the beginning of its lunch break. On the Venetian island of San Giorgio there was plenty Biennale to keep us entertained while we waited for Kapoor's installation to siesta: a photography exhibition of Real Venice, an exhibition of developments in tapestries, Penelope's Labour.
At 2.30 there were crowds of people on the white-hot stairs of the Abbazia waiting for the doors to open on Kapoor's miracle. Even if you see the mechanics exposed; the invigilator disappearing to switch on, the fans warming up and Kapoor's ghost struggling towards ascension; the installation retains the quality of miracle. Smoke or mist,spirit or ghost; Anish Kapoor has created the perfect illusion. Installed here in the dome of
San Giorgio's beautiful church it takes the viewer's breath away. A twist of dusty air curls up towards the heavenward cupola; a spirit ascending to the highest heights of religious experience.