Viva Arte Viva: discoveries at the 57th Venice Biennial

Biennale de Venise


The Venice Biennale is back: an exciting seven-month stretch of international contemporary artistic expression in all its forms. During the three inaugural days—reserved for the press, collectors and big art world names—many jewels from within the 86 national pavilions were revealed. There were emblematic exhibition spaces such as the Giardini and the Arsenal, the latter of which was hosting the humanist-themed exhibition “Viva Arte Viva” (its French curator, Christine Macel, described it as “an act of resistance, liberation and generosity”). There were exhibitions beyond the Biennial, like Loris Gréaud’s immersive project in an old glass factory on the island of Murano. The French artist had hand-picked 50 guests to share an in-situ dinner under more than a thousand blown-glass lights. The full weekend of encounters and discoveries began with the inauguration of the French Pavilion: the huge recording studio was based on a Russian doll structure imagined by Xavier Veilhan, entitled “Studio Venezia,” which welcomed a series of artists. On Saturday morning, May 13th, Anne Imhof, representing the German Pavilion, won the Golden Lion for “Faust,” her disturbing, provocative work featuring characters dressed in black, locked in cages with glass ceilings on which visitors could walk. Also unmissable: Damien Hirst’s exceptional exhibition at Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana, coordinated by the Pinault Foundation. In the evening, the Biennale came alive with numerous private soirées, including ones organized by Galerie Perrotin and Studio Veilhan. The opening of the Biennale to the public follows this eventful, generous preview.

Photos: Say Who
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