Home Magazine The 58th Venice Biennale…

Yes… because between both huge space's of Central Pavilion (Giardini) and Arsenale, and a variety of capillar events in the Laguna, it’s always dramatic really understand where to go and what merits being explored. 

Just few days ago, Ralph Rugoff has named the 78 worldwide artists selected for this 58th International Art Exhibition titled "May You Live In Interesting Times". Running from May 11th and November 24th 2019 (preview days on May 8th, 9th and 10th), the Biennal will present 90 National Participations including for the first time Algeria, Ghana, Madagascar, Pakistan. While in Venice there'll be 21 Official Collateral Events ready to be discovered.

We already spoke about this Venice Biennal edition, don't miss our article Breaking News from the Venice Biennal 2019!

From 1895 the Venice Biennale is an incredible event to being familiar with the most important artists of each historical period, to see their personal reflection about the main topics of the period and even the vision of their related country. Indeed, it is precisely for that reason why the curator has chosen a political imprint for this Biennial, as he declared:

"In a speech given in the late 1930s, British MP Sir Austen Chamberlain invoked an ancient Chinese curse that he had learned of from a British diplomat who had served in Asia, and which took the curious form of saying, “May you live in interesting times.” There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us, Chamberlain observed. “We move from one crisis to another. We suffer one disturbance and shock after another”.This summary sounds uncannily familiar today as the news cycle spins from crisis to crisis. Yet at a moment when the digital dissemination of fake news and “alternative facts” is corroding political discourse and the trust on which it depends, it is worth pausing whenever possible to reassess our terms of reference".


Ralph Rugoff. Courtesy by La Biennale di Venezia


If you are interested in learning more about the Italian Pavillon read our article about Milovan Farronato at the Art Venice Biennale 2019.

But what we can see in this edition? (Ralph Rugoff)

"May You Live in Interesting Times will no doubt include artworks that reflect upon precarious aspects of existence today, including different threats to key traditions, institutions and relationships of the “post-war order.” But let us acknowledge at the outset that art does not exercise its forces in the domain of politics. Art cannot stem the rise of nationalist movements and authoritarian governments in different parts of the world, for instance, nor can it alleviate the tragic fate of displaced peoples across the globe (whose numbers now represent almost one percent of the world’s entire population). May You Live in Interesting Times will take seriously art’s potential as a method for looking into things that we do not already know - things that may be off-limits, under-the-radar, or otherwise inaccessible for various reasons. It will highlight artworks that explore the interconnectedness of diverse phenomena, and that convey an affinity with the idea, asserted by both Leonardo da Vinci and Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, that everything connects with everything else".

What about the special project?

21 collateral events approved by the curator and promoted by national and international non-profit organizations and institutions. Organized in numerous venues of Venice, all events want to offer a wide range of contributions and participations in order to enrich the pluralism Biennale voices. 

*Special Project Forte Marghera, Mestre - Ludovica Carbotta, among the artists present at the International Exhibition, was invited by Ralph Rugoff for a specific intervention at Forte Marghera, inside the building called Austrian Polveriera.
*Special Project at the Pavilion of Applied Arts, Arsenale, Sale d'Armi - Marysia Lewandowska is the artist called to exhibit in the Pavilion of Applied Arts in the Arsenal's Arms Halls. The project, which is renewed for the fourth consecutive year, is the result of the collaboration between La Biennale and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Click here to discover more about all the special events...

Cover image of " Le Corderie dell'Arsenale" by Giulio Squillacciotti.

Written by Lorenzo Uggeri

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