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While in Venice for the 59th Venice Biennale, you’ll want to save time to visit these pavilions, on view from April 23 to November 27.
Gian Maria Tosatti and Valentino: History of Night and Destiny of Comets
For the first time ever, the Italian Pavilion debuts a presentation of a single artist. Sponsored by Valentino, the country invited Gian Maria Tosatti for the task, bringing us the exhibition “History of Night and Destiny of Comets” for this year’s pavilion, which was curated by Eugenio Viola. In dialogue with the fashion house’s Pierpaolo Picciolo, the presentation (described as a sort of environmental installation) is an optimistic one, meant to inspire viewers to take on a proactive mindset and gain a new awareness surrounding the role of humans in relationship to our environment.
Francis Alys: The Nature of the Game
Francis Alÿs represents Belgium in “The Nature of the Game,” an exhibition of his films and paintings curated by Hilde Teerlinck. At the Belgian Pavilion, Alÿs presents films made in Afghanistan, Belgium, Canada, DR Congo, Hong Kong, Mexico and Switzerland of children playing. For Alÿs, play in the public arena has proved to be the best means to make contact with a place and begin to understand its socio-cultural codes. The activity, as natural and essential a human need as eating and sleeping, here reveals a generative, creative relationship to the world which is played in.
Until the Songs Spring
The Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico and the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature present “Until the Songs Spring,” on view at the Mexican Pavilion. The show is curated by Catalina Lozano and Mauricio Marcin, features Mariana Castillo Deball, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Fernando Palma Rodríguez, and Santiago Borja. These artists approach uncolonized forms of knowledge, thinking and perceiving the separation of humanity and technology from nature in ways that question the modern Western categories of “natural resources,” “crafts,” “rituals,” and “popular art.”
The World in the Image of Man
Video artist Danielle Arbid and visual artist Ayman Baalbaki represent Lebanon in “The World in the Image of Man.” The show, presented by the Lebanese Visual Art Association and curated by Nada Ghandour, will comprise a video by Arbid, “Allô Chérie” (2022), and a monumental installation by Baalbak, “Janus Gate” (2022). The works will maintain an aesthetic dialogue between these two artists and places in light of the political, social, and economic crisis which Lebanon has faced since 2019 and the uncertainty which the world has faced over the past two years.
Simone Leigh: Sovereignty
Artist Simone Leigh represents the U.S. Pavilion. Co-commissioned by Jill Medvedow, the Ellen Matilda Poss Director, and Eva Respini, the Barbara Lee Chief Curator at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA), and curated by Respini, Leigh will present her inimitable, large-scale sculptures, the magnificence of which brings viewers face-to-face with the powerful Black female presence and experience.
Sigurður Guðjónsson: Perpetual Motion
With The Icelandic Art Center, artist Sigurður Guðjónsson presents a new exhibition, “Perpetual Motion,” at the Iceland Pavilion. Curated by Mónica Bello, the fantastical exhibition is grounded by a large-scale sculpture in combination with moving imagery and a complex soundscape, created by Guðjónsson and Icelandic musician Valgeir Sigurðsso. The artist is known for his compelling time-based artworks, unveiling the elusive components of machinery and technology.
Yunchul Kim: Gyre
Yunchul Kim represents the Korean Pavilion with his solo exhibition, Gyre. The show, curated by Young-chul Lee, includes a series of five large-scale, kinetic installations and a site-specific wall drawing reflecting Kim’s transdisciplinary practice spanning art, literature, mythology, philosophy and science. The works reflect three themes: "The Swollen Suns," "The Path of Gods," and "The Great Outdoors." An accompanying catalog for the exhibition will launch in September 2022 with an artist talk and performance.
Latifa Echakhch: The Concert
Latifa Echakhch represents the Switzerland Pavilion with her solo exhibition, “The Concert.” The show, curated by Alexandre Babel and Francesco Stocchi, presents scenes of impermanence, reuse, and catharsis which brings life as a cycle to the fore. Echakhch evokes a cyclical dialogue with the installation site itself (designed by Bruno Giacometti in 1951), exploring the relationship of her work to the lights and sounds that emerge from its placement, and recycling most of the material used for the exhibition from previous biennales.
Jonathas de Andrade: With the heart coming out of the mouth
With The Fundação Bienal de São Paulo and the Special Secretariat for Culture, artist Jonathas de Andrade reveals a new installation, “With the heart coming out of the mouth,” for the Brazil Pavilion. Curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, the exhibition—consisting of photographs, sculptures, and videos—examines Brazilian identity, referring back to the human body and experience. The artist was inspired by the science fairs of his youth and his encounter with a 1980s installation, Eva, a replica of a woman which traveled through Brazil as an educational attraction for learning human anatomy.