The 57th International Art Exhibition Biennale di Venezia open to the public from Saturday May 13th to Sunday November 26th. Titled VIVA ARTE VIVA, is dedicated to celebrating, and almost giving thanks for, the very existence of art and artists.120 are the invited artists from 51 countries.
Anri Sala, “All of a Tremble”, 2016
Viva Arte Viva is organised in 86 National Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice.The Exhibition also includes nine trans-pavilions distributed in the Arsenal and the Central Pavilion, project curated by Christine Macel. Each of them focuses on one theme: the pavilion of artists and books, of joys and fears, of the common, of the earth, of traditions, of shamans, the dionysian pavilion, of colours, of time and infinity. The 86 pavilions of participating countries, each with its own curator, which will once more bring to life the pluralism of voices, have followed the guidelines suggested by Christine Macel and have accepted the invitations to participate in joint programs.
Vajiko Chachkhiani, `Living Dog Among Dead Lions´, 2017
Lots of proposals capture the attention of the public in the Biennale, from a crashed van into the floor (by Erwum Wurm) to a cabin where rain cannot stop (Vajiko Chachkhiani). Visitors will find artworks that show the importance of earth, traditions or the collective, like the Chilean video artist Juan Downey (Chile, 1940- New York, 1993), that reveals against eurocentric gaze by making the members of the Yanomani tribe create his video, using one of his cameras. Or spaces where huge installations can be observed, such as the textile artist Sheila Hicks (Nebraska, 1934) one, that fill with wool the back of the pavilion. Other proposals connect with sensorial field, like the one by Anri Sala (Albania, 1974), that reflects on sculptural properties of sound through the synaesthetic relationship between it and the vision. His piece consists on a music box that decorates a whole wall with random patterns while it sounds. In addition, there are poetic performances like `One thousand and One Night´, where Edith Dekyndt (Belgium, 1960) rebuilt a dust square in the floor without stopping. He has to be aware of a projected light over it in order to bring them into line one with each other.
Juan Downey, `The Laughing Alligator´, 1979
Among the national pavilions in Giardini is the Spanish one, with the proposal `¡Únete! Join Us!´, by Jordi Colomer, where he reflects on the public space and how to make it ours. It is a vindication of collective and spontaneous nomadism, symptom that refugees and displaced people suffer nowadays. His proposal consists on a miniature city in the previous room and a series of video pieces that show migrations and cities on movement.
Edith Dekyndt, `One thousand and One Night´, 2017
It has to be emphasized that most of the artists are participating for the first time (103 of 120), the same as countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati and Nigeria. The German artist Franz Erhard Walther (Fulda, 1939), known for his huge and participative sculptures made of fabrics, has been awarded as the best artist in the official exhibition. This artist is currently exhibiting his artwork in Velázquez Palace, in Madrid, until the 10th of Septembre.
Jordi Colomer, `Join Us! Únete!', 2017
The Venice Biennale offers during the months is taking place selected collateral events promoted by non-profit national and international institutions. They present their exhibitions and initiatives in palaces, museums, churches and public spaces. The city will host plenty of artistic proposals during the 57th Exhibition.
James Lee Bryars, `Gold Tower´, 2017