Performance Art, Provocative Statements Take Center Stage at Venice Biennale

RUSSIA: Theatrum Orbis
RUSSIA: Theatrum Orbis
(La Biennale di Venezia )
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Tomorrow is Another Day
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Tomorrow is Another Day
(La Biennale di Venezia)
  • GERMANY: Anne Imhof

    GERMANY: Anne Imhof

    La Biennale di Venezia

The 57th International Art Exhibition, titled Viva Arte Viva, opened to the public on Saturday May 13th and continues to Sunday November 26th 2017 (Giardini and Arsenale). This year's edition is curated by Christine Macel and organised by La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta. 

The Exhibition includes 86 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city centre of Venice. Three countries will be participating for the first time: Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, and Nigeria.

The Guardian describes Germany's crowd-popular pavilion: "Anne Imhof’s disturbing durational performance, evolving over several hours and featuring many sinister figures, is somewhere between opera, ballet and protest art, with overtones of Goethe’s Faust set to black metal music."

Russia's ominous double-headed eagle rising above fields conjures up "acute visions of Soviet past and Putin’s present," notes the Guardian's Laura Cumming. She writes that American artist Mark Bradford "has turned the rotunda of the White House, as the neoclassical US pavilion is nicknamed, into a barely convincing ruin."

A statement from the Rose Art Museum on Mark Bradford’s exhibition for the U.S. Pavilion says Tomorrow is Another Day is a narrative of ruin, violence, agency, and possibility, a story of ambition and belief in art’s capacity to engage us all in urgent and profound conversations, and even action.

Following its debut in Venice, Mark Bradford: Tomorrow Is Another Day will be on view at The Baltimore Museum of Art from September 2018 through January 2019.

23 Collateral Events, promoted by non-profit national and international institutions, will present their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice during the 57th Exhibition.

The Exhibition offers a route that unfolds over the course of nine chapters or families of artists, beginning with two introductory realms in the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, followed by seven more realms to be found in the Arsenale and the Giardino delle Vergini. There are 120 invited artists from 51 countries; 103 of these are participating for the first time.

Curator Christine Macel declared: “Today, in a world full of conflicts and shocks, art bears witness to the most precious part of what makes us human. Art is the ultimate ground for reflection, individual expression, freedom, and for fundamental questions. Art is the last bastion, a garden to cultivate above and beyond trends and personal interests. It stands as an unequivocal alternative to individualism and indifference.”

“The role, the voice and the responsibility of the artist are more crucial than ever before within the framework of contemporary debates. It is in and through these individual initiatives that the world of tomorrow takes shape, which though surely uncertain, is often best intuited by artists than others.”


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