THE VENICE BIENNALE – WHAT NOT TO MISS
If you can make your way to Venice before November 26th, prepare yourself for mind-blowing art discoveries.
VIVA ARTE VIVA, the 57th International Art Exhibition organized by La Biennale di Venezia, will unfold over the course of nine chapters or families of artists, beginning with two introductory realms in the Central Pavilion, followed by another seven across the Arsenale through the Giardino delle Vergini. Hosting 120 invited artists from 51 countries; the Biennale also made way for 103 who will be participating for the first time. 3 countries will be participating for the first time: Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, Nigeria.
So much to do, so little time! Unless you’re staying there for a while, we’d suggest these spectacles:
“The Unplayed Notes Factory” (2017) by Loris Gréaud
Campiello della Pescheria, Murano
French artist Loris Gréaud revives an abandoned glass furnace on an island in Murano district during the Biennale. “The continuous performance of the glass gaffers on site will soon turn into a strange ‘tableau vivant.'”
“Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” by Damien Hirst
Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi (until Dec. 3)
Damien Hirst leads visitors on a trail around two museums filled with treasures plundered from an “ancient shipwreck.”Look closely at his coral-covered heroes, gods and leviathans and you might spot some familiar faces.
“The Golden Tower” (1990) by James Lee Byars
Campo San Vio, Dorsoduro
Rising almost 20 meters, you can’t miss this beautiful totemic golden installation. James Lee Byars, who died back in 1997, is best known for his performance pieces and always wanted to publicly exhibit the work that he first realized for a 1990 Berlin show. His wish has finally come true with a spot right next to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. You can also use this work as an orientation reference if you’re lost in Venice!
Phyllida Barlow’s British Council commission
Venice Biennale British Pavillon (Giardini di Castello) opening May 13
Phyllida Barlow’s sculptures and installations alter and challenge their environments.
Man-of-the-moment Kader Attia won the 2016 Marcel Duchamp prize. Known for his large scale, often architectural installations, the French-Algerian artist created one of his installations made from cardboard boxes, ancient doors, or vitrines.
“Pablo Echaurren: Du champ magnétique. Works 1977-2017”
Scala Contarini del Bovolo until October 15
In ode to Marcel Duchamp’s “Nu descendant un escalier, No.2”, Italian artist Pablo Echaurren will ask the visitors to clumb and the descend the 15th-Century Scala Contarini del Bovolo’s famour spiral staircase via a series of signs, conceived by the artist.
“One and One Makes Three” by Michelangelo Pistoletto
Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore, Isola di San Giorgio
A beautiful installation with a strong message: Pistoletto will suspend a series of mirrors from the center of the 16th-Century Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore in a work titled “Suspended Perimeter — Love Difference,” which will be externded to the chapter room, where you can find “The Time of Judgement,” representing the world’s largest four religions and denouncing the conflict between them to shed the light on the need for acceptance and multiculturalism.
There is so much to see, we hope you enjoy the Biennale!