Venice Biennale 2022 Will Center On A Re-Envisioning Life Theme Inspired By Leonora Carrington Book

  • June 09, 2021 10:08

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President of La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, and the curator of the 59th International Art Exhibition, Cecilia Alemani. Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

The pressure of technology, the outbreak of the pandemic, the heightening of social tensions, and the looming threat of environmental disaster remind us every day that as mortal bodies, we are neither invincible nor self-sufficient, but rather part of a symbiotic web of interdependencies that bind us to each other, to other species, and to the planet as a whole. - Curator of the 59th International Art Exhibition, Cecilia Alemani 

The President of La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, and the Curator of the 59th International Art Exhibition, Cecilia Alemanithe first Italian woman and the fifth woman ever to lead the international art event—on Wednesday announced the title and theme of the Biennale Arte 2022, which will be held from April 23 to November 27, 2022 (pre-opening April 20-22) in the Giardini, at the Arsenale, and at various sites around Venice.


After a year-long delay due to the pandemic, the 59th International Art Exhibition will be held in 2022 with the title The Milk of Dreams. This name is borrowed from a book by Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), in which, as Cecilia Alemani says, “the Surrealist artist describes a magical world where life is constantly re-envisioned through the prism of the imagination, and where everyone can change, be transformed, become something and someone else. The exhibition takes us on an imaginary journey through metamorphoses of the body and definitions of humanity.”

Cecilia Alemani. Photo by Andrea Avezzù. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia.

Alemani explains in her statement that, "in the 1950s, while living in Mexico, Carrington dreamed up and illustrated mysterious tales, first directly on the walls of her home, then in a small notebook with this title. It is a world set free, brimming with possibilities. But it is also the allegory of a century that imposed intolerable pressure on the individual, forcing Carrington into a life of exile: locked up in mental hospitals, an eternal object of fascination and desire, yet also a figure of startling power and mystery, always fleeing the strictures of a fixed, coherent identity."

Alemani writes that the next edition's theme is grounded in many conversations with artists which took place over the past months.

Added biennale president Cicutto, the 2022 exhibition in sum will delve into “the reinvention of new and more sustainable relations between individuals and the universe we live in.”

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