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The 57th Venice Biennale, “VIVA ARTE VIVA,” opened this week, curated by Christine Macel. On view through November 26, it takes place over the Giardini and Arsenale, complemented by 23 Collateral Events and Exhibitions throughout the city.
The historic pavilions at the Giardini will host 86 national participants, including exhibition first-timers Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, and Nigeria.
The exhibition “VIVA ARTE VIVA” consists of nine chapters, two of which open the show at the Central Pavilion, followed by the other seven hosted at the Arsenale through the Giardino delle Vergini. On view is work by 120 artists from 51 countries. As its title suggests, this edition of the biennale celebrates artists and the way their work expands our perspectives. Macel will take visitors inside the artist’s studio, unveiling the process of art’s inspiration and creation.
“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,” Macel said in a statement. “VIVA ARTE VIVA” is inspired by humanism—focusing on the artists’ ability to make work in spite of their surroundings, be it an oppressive social or political environment. She proposes that the artistic act is an act of resistance, liberation, and generosity.
“VIVA ARTE VIVA is an exclamation, a passionate outcry for art and the state of the artist. VIVA ARTE VIVA is a Biennale designed with artists, by artists and for artists,” said Macel.