Home Art Magazine La Biennale Venezia 2022

How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human? What are our responsibilities towards the planet, other people, and other life forms? And what would life look like without us?

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The 59th International Art Exhibition, defined as “the women’s Biennale” by The Guardian, is now open. In fact, this year the exhibition includes 213 artists from 58 countries, of which the majority – for the first time in the history of the Biennale – are women. 

Taking place from the 23rd of April to the 27th of November, the title of this edition of La Biennale is ‘The Milk of Dreams’.

 

Andrea Avezzù, Venice’s Arsenale, 2019, Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.

 

The Earth, Bodies, metamorphoses, technologies… The exhibition The Milk of Dreams takes its name from Leonora Carrington’s children’s book where life is constantly re-imagined in a magical world of otherworldly creatures, of possibilities and re-definition of the self.

“(…) I intend to give voice to artists to create unique projects that reflect their visions and our society”, states Cecilia Alemani, first Italian woman to hold the position of curator at the Venice Biennale. 

This exhibition is grounded in many conversations with artists, and the questions that kept emerging from these dialogues:

“How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human? What are our responsibilities towards the planet, other people, and other life forms? And what would life look like without us?”

 

n.d., Central Pavillion at La Biennale, n.d., Courtesy of Italiani.it

 

At the core there is the understanding that the world we live in is under threat. The survival of our species, the pressure of technology, strengthening social tensions, the pandemic, and the looming threat of environmental disaster remind us how we are part of a “symbiotic web of interdependencies that bind us to each other, to other species, and to the planet as a whole”.

Linking past and present, five small historical ‘time capsules’ feature women artists and cultural practitioners whose work has been left out and marginalised. 

Three central themes weave through the display at the Arsenale and the Central Pavilion: the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; and the connection between bodies and the Earth. 

 

Italian Pavillion, Couresty @labiennale
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Cover image: Felipe Baeza, ‘The Milk of Dreams’ Banner, 2022, Courtesy of the Artist ©Felipe Baeza

 

Written by Zoë Rivas Zanello

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