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Highlights from the 2022 Venice Biennale

Didier Descouens, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Staff writer Mina Yasar describes some must-see exhibitions that stood out during the 2022 Venice Biennale.

There is only a month left to visit the 2022 Venice Biennale. From April 23 to November 27, Venice welcomes art lovers to one of the world’s most important contemporary art exhibitions. The 59th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale Di Venezia, titled “The Milk Of Dreams”, has the artworks of 213 artists from different countries with different pavilions. I’d recommend seeing the art in person.

This year the curator of the Biennale is Cecilia Alemani. Visitors can explore artists from around the world in a single experience, I was excited to explore new artists since they are all so unique. This is a large-scale exhibition and it could take hours or even multiple days to finish all of the exhibitions.

There are multiple locations to explore: Giardini, the traditional location of the Biennale since the first edition in the 19th century, hosts pavilions of Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, The United States of America, Switzerland, Venezuela, Japan, Uruguay, and more. Arsenale is also an important exhibition of the Biennale; you have the chance to visit the pavilions of Argentina, Chile, Georgia, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Turkey and more.

This exhibition includes guided tours for students, workshops, theme-based tours and an educational program. There are also special art projects and exhibitions held simultaneously in Venice.

You can buy tickets here, and get souvenirs from the online gift store.

Here is a list of highlights, must-see national pavilions and other exhibitions that you could visit in Venice.

BELGIUM

In Belgium’s pavilion “The Nature of The Game” in Giardini, the activity of playing is central to the exhibition. I think this makes this exhibition unique because generally, playing is seen as related to children but here it can be seen from a different perspective. I thought about how playing gives children perspective and skills they could use in their adult life. In the Belgian pavilion, there is a selection of short films that shows the activity of playing, and those films are shot in countries like Hong Kong, Mexico, and others.

In the exhibition, you have the chance to think about playing in a social context, the rules of playing and to question them. The layout and design of the Belgian pavilion makes the visitors feel like they are on a playground. As the artist Francis Alÿs tries to capture children in public spaces and observes their attitudes and behaviors via digital tools, you could have the chance to look at the act of playing and understand the nature of this with the help of this unique exhibition.

BRAZIL

Brazil’s pavilion this year, “with the heart coming out the mouth”, is one of my favorites in Giardini. In my opinion, you should not miss it. According to the description in the Biennale’s website; the exhibition is about “authentically ‘popular’ culture.” In the exhibition you could see two huge ears placed in the entrance, and parts of the human body with some kind of metaphorical expressions. In this exhibition, one of the things that drew my attention was being able to see our body’s parts in a different context. It made me think about the importance of the role of exhibiting and curating.

GREAT BRITAIN

Great Britain’s exhibition in Giardini explores communication and interpersonal relations and collaborative play. I think this is one of the pavilions that you should visit this year. According to the description in the Biennale’s website, in this exhibition you have the chance to understand “intimate social encounters that explore interpersonal dynamics”. I think communication is something that we should really think about, everyday people have different types of conversations in different contexts without thinking about it. By seeing this exhibition I had the chance to think about it from a perspective that I am not used to.

THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO

When you enter The Republic of Kosovo’s exhibition, you will be surrounded with colorful paintings, carpets, and other artworks. The artist is inspired by children’s drawings and folk art. I really liked the artworks and I admired that Ferri collaborated with women from Burkina Faso, Albania, Kosovo, and Suriname. The art shows scenes from everyday life – including animals, children, and sports activities. You should not miss this exhibition – the artworks’ colors make you feel very joyful, and it makes you think about the role of collaboration.

OTHER EXHIBITONS AND MUSEUMS

There are a lot of artists to explore, I recommend Felipe Baeza from Mexico; Sara Enrico from Italy; Célestin Faustin from Haiti; Katharina Fritsch from Germany. One of my favorites is Barbara Kurger from USA.

For Turkey’s exhibition in Arsenale, the artist uses a minimalist approach and silent music for living and loving together and telling stories. South Africa’s exhibition “Into The Light” uses new media, and photography, you are invited to learn and think about self-discovery.

Canada’s pavilion includes four large photographs of riots and some political events from different cities like London, perfect for those interested in media, photography and politics.

There are other exhibitions that you could visit independently from the Biennale: Bruce Nauman’s “Contrapposto Studies” exhibition in Punta della Dogana, and Anselm Kiefer’s exhibition in Palazzo Ducale. I think you should also visit Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Galleria dell’Accademia.

Staff Writer

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