Venice Art Biennale 2022 – The must-see shows
In about one week, the Venice Art Biennale 2022 will close its doors. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, titled The Milk of Dreams, includes: 213 artists from 58 countries in the International Exhibition; 80 National Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city centre of Venice; 30 Collateral Events and many more exhibitions around the city, organized concurrently with the Biennale.
THE MUST-SEE PAVILIONS AND EXHIBITIONS
- INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION (GIARDINI AND ARSENALE)
The International Exhibition takes place in the Central Pavilion (Giardini) and in the Arsenale, including 213 artists from 58 countries; 180 of these are participating for the first time in the International Exhibition. 1433 the works and objects on display, 80 new projects are conceived specifically for the Biennale Arte. Curated by the Cecilia Alemani, the exhibition takes inspiration from Leonora Carrington‘s The Milk of Dreams Surrealist book, and it focuses on three main thematic areas: the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; the connection between bodies and the Earth. Among the artists invited, we can find Miriam Cahn and her nightmarish dreamscapes that evoke the violence felt on a human, bodily level as the result of global policy, war, and oppression; Marguerite Humeau’s supernatural, biomorphic sculptures that inabitate a possible future world dominated by no-human beings; Mire Lee and her animatronic apparatuses, that break the boundaries between machines and internal organs realms; Hannah Levy‘s uncanny objects that confuse the separation between office furniture and living creatures; Ovartaci’s animal-like creatures with slim, elongated features, that create a universe where the hybridization between reality and myths, genders and categories, www.labiennale.org
- PAVILION OF DENMARK: WE WALKED THE EARTH
On entering the Pavilion of Denmark at Biennale’s Giardini, you are suddenly far from the reality you left out of the door. Set in a possible future or maybe in a parallel universe, this eerie Danish farm is the theater of a strange tragedy of which we don’t know the reasons and meanings, neither we are certain that our way to interpretate the situation is adeguate for this new trans-human world. Among working tools, soil and unknown sci-fi relics, we meet a majestic male centaur who hanged himself while, in another room, a female one is giving birth to a new creature. The whole setting created by Uffe Isolotto, is haunted by a deep uncertainty. “While the centaurs at first seem strange, their struggle does not. Faced with the challenging realities of an ever-changing world, the family experiences a deep existential and ecological struggle. It’s the basic struggle of navigating a present that is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable”.
- PAVILION OF LATVIA: SELLING WATER BY THE RIVER
For the Pavilion of Latvia (Biennale’s Arsenale), Skuja Braden, an international artistic collaboration, born in 1999, between Ingūna Skuja and Melissa D. Braden, presents a multilayered installation that maps the mental, physical, and spiritual areas within the artists’ home. In the exhibition, home and the character thereof are echoed by images in porcelain, a material which Skuja Braden has mastered superbly, making it assume the most surprising shapes. Their porcelain comes to life in the form of luxuriously painted dishes, everyday objects, fountains and bendy hoses, male and female physiques and preserve the traces of nature.
- PAVILION OF THE NETHERLANDS: WHEN THE BODY SAYS YES
Hosted in a former deconsecrated church, the Pavilion of The Netherlands invites visitors to be part of an immersive and sensual video installation, while laying on colorful soft furnishings. The protagonist of the installation is the video When the body says Yes by Melanie Bonajo. The installation is part of the artist’s ongoing research into the status of intimacy in our increasingly alienating, commodity-driven world. For Bonajo, consensual touch can be a powerful remedy for the modern epidemic of loneliness. About the project, Bonajo says, “We brought together a group of international gender queer people, where many have a bicultural identity and we expanded on sexuality beyond the Western discourse, what our genitals mean to us and others, self-expression as a healing modality, the way our body matrix sends and receives information about closeness and touch, and how that is embodied in different language structures. Do you know the sensational dimensions of your No? How do you feel when your body says Yes?”
- CLAIRE TABOURET: I AM SPACIOUS, SINGING FLESH
Included among the official Collateral Events of this year Biennale, Claire Tabouret: I am spacious, singing flesh presents a new critical reading of key dimensions of the Los Angeles-based French artist’s work in a remarkable survey exhibition curated by Kathryn Weir that explores multiple transformations: of self, other, collective identities, struggle, release, refuge. A powerful and unexpected dialogue is created with a number of vernacular devotional objects drawn from archaeological and liturgical collections in Italy, invoking an ambivalent threshold in Tabouret’s practice, a portal into multiple temporalities and subjectivities through which to consider alternative relationships amongst human beings, and between human beings and their environment, in the face of ecological and social crises and in communication with the supernatural.
The first institutional exhibition of Fondazione In Between Art Film, Penumbra is a group exhibition curated by Alessandro Rabottini and Leonardo Bigazzi that feature eight new video and filmic installations commissioned to Karimah Ashadu (1985, UK), Jonathas de Andrade (1982, Brazil), Aziz Hazara (1992, Afghanistan), He Xiangyu (1986, China), Masbedo (Nicolò Massazza, 1973 and Iacopo Bedogni, 1970, Italy), James Richards (1983, UK), Emilija Škarnulytė (1987, Lithuania) and Ana Vaz (1986, Brazil). Taking inspiration from the rarefied atmosphere of Venice and from the hybrid architecture of the Ospedaletto and the church of Santa Maria dei Derelitti (hosting venue), Penumbra is conceived as a stage where images, sounds, and the set design are in reciprocal dialogue with the architecture and its history. The concept of “penumbra” is addressed on two levels: in material terms, the absence of light is the necessary condition for making moving images visible; in metaphorical terms, semi-darkness is interpreted as a threshold or place of transition within which the contours and appearance of things blur together.
The 59th International Art Exhibition – Biennale di Venezia