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"May You Live in Interesting Times: Biennale of Venice 2019"

Starting from 11th of May it will be open the 58th edition of Biennale di Venezia, the International Art Exposition at the Giardini and the Arsenale. The title of this edition is “May You Live In Interesting Times”; the exposition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, American curator and director at the London’s Hayward Gallery since 2006.

Speaking about the content and meaning of this exposition, President Paolo Baratta stated: «The title of this Exhibition could be interpreted as a sort of curse where the expression “interesting times” evokes the idea of challenging or even “menacing” times, but it could also simply be an invitation to always see and consider the course of human events in their complexity, an invitation, thus, that appears to be particularly important in times when, too often, oversimplification seems to prevail, generated by conformism or fear. And I believe that an exhibition of art is worth our attention, first and foremost, if it intends to present us with art and artists as a decisive challenge to all oversimplifying attitudes. »


courtesy of Whitney Museum

Indeed, it has been confirmed once again the role of art and its capacity of freeing and elevating the human spirit beyond fear. This is the program of the 58th edition. It is important for the organization to establish a contact between the exposition and the public, in order to offer another pint of view, thanks to the discovery of different artists spreading their own personal visions about the world.

La Biennale will host 79 participants from the Central Pavillion to the Arsenale. Even Ralph Rudoff talked about the importance of communicating how uncertain our situation is and how instable, on the verge of change our society is and the things it has always believed in. The role of art is therefore crucial in order to offer a mirror on contemporaneity but also as a tool to shape one’s thoughts and ideas, suggesting other points of view and new possibilities.


courtesyArtribune, photo by Irene Fanizza

The exhibition will include also 89 National Participations together with 4 countries who will present their works for the first time at La Biennale: Ghana, Madagascar, Malesia and Pakistan, with Dominican Republic with its own pavilion.

Among the artists there is Michael Armitage from Kenya, whose art celebrates the connection between a fantastical reality and the modern political chaos. Njideka Akunyli Crosby, from Nigeria, offers a look on the contemporary Nigerian reality, its national and cultural identity, by often portraying domestic situations which profundity lead us into different contexts personally lived by the artist.


courtesy Riccardo Bianchini

Antoie Catala, from France, proposes a path through the many signs and symbols of the word and its transformations in this digital era, with his sculptural installations.

Ian Cheng, from United States presents his artificial intelligence creature named BOB (Bag of Beliefs), which has the shape of a snake or a coral. The public will have the chance to see him interact thanks to an app through which the visitors can influence his actions.


courtesy Gladstone Gallery, photo by David Regen

These and many more will be the creations exposed at La Biennale, which will be open until the 24th of November 2019.

Written by Ludovica Mucci


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