Home Magazine Venice Biennale 2024, Foreigners Everywhere

The 60th edition of the Venice Biennale is at its door and Venice is getting ready to host millions of visitors from all over the world.

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As Sarah Thornton wrote in her book “Seven Days in the Art World”, the real Venice Biennale takes place the days before its opening to the public, where all the influential people of the art world run water taxis on the Grand Canal around Venice, from one opening to the other. The 60th edition of the Biennial “Foreigners Everywhere” will take place from Saturday 20th April to the 24th November 2024 both in the Giardini and Arsenale venues. However, the preview days will start Tuesday 16th April for press and Wednesday 17th for the people involved in the exclusive art world.

This year the curator is Adriano Pedrosa, the first latin-american to curate the international art fair. From 2014 he is the artistic director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand – MASP, where he curated numerous exhibitions including Histories of Dance (2020) and Brazilian Histories (2022). He was awarded with the 2023 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence. Innovative, outsider, folk, and indigenous artists, who often find themselves relegated to the fringes of the art world, will be the focus of Biennale Arte 2024. The fair this year will host 90 national pavilions, 332 exhibiting artists, and 30 parallel events.

"The expression 'Stranieri Ovunque' - explains Adriano Pedrosa - has several meanings. First of all, wherever you go and wherever you are, you will always bump into foreigners—they, or we, are everywhere. Secondly, no matter where you find yourself, you are always truly, and deep down inside, a foreigner".


Claire Fontaine, Foreigners Everywhere (Italian), 2004. Courtesy of Claire Fountaine and Galleria T293

The title of the fair is inspired by a series of works by the duo artists Claire Fontaine Collective, which they have been producing since 2004. Their work shows the world “Stranieri Ovunque” in neon sculptures in different languages. This word has been taken from the Turin- based collective that has the same name, fighting about xenophobia and racism in Italy during the 2000s. This year the Biennale will give a voice to all the artists who are foreigners, immigrants, expats and refugees. The indigenous artists will have a strong emblematic presence in the exhibition, Pedrosa announced. The collective Mahku coming from Perù and Brazil will create a mural on the facade of the Giardini. In the Arsenale, the collective Mataaho from New Zealand will present a big installation in the first room. Some of the Queer artists that will be present are: Erica Rutherford, Isaac Chong Wai, Elyla, Violeta Quispe, Louis Fratino e Dean Sameshima. 

The main attraction of the event will be the Curator’s International Exhibition, which this year will be divided into Contemporary Nucleus and Historical Nucleus. Contemporary Nucleus will include a special section in the Corderie venue dedicated to the Disobedience Archive, a project by Marco Scotini who, since 2005, has been developing this video archive focused on the relationships between art practices and activism. A big focus will be on textile art. Historical Nucleus will comprise 20th century works from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Arab world. The Historical Nucleus will be divided into three sections: “Portraits”, “Abstraction” and “Italian Diaspora”, showcasing one work per artist distributed between the Central Pavillon and the Arsenale. The section “Portraits” will include works from 112 artists such as, Selwyn Wilson, Cícero Dias, Yêdamaria, Laura Rodig, Rómulo Rozo, Inji Aflatoun, Grace Salome Kwami, Lee Quede and Gerard Sekoto. “Abstraction” will include Sandy Adsett, Fanny Sanín, Etel Adnan, Eduardo Terrazas and Samia Halaby. While the “Italian Diaspora” will presents artists as Lidy Prati, Nenne Sanguineti Poggi, Gianni Bertini e Lina Bo Bardi.


Bona Pieyre de Mandiargues, Toro Nuziale (1958). Courtesy of Sibylle Pieyre de Mandiargues


The Italian Everywhere section has the same display the Italian artist Lina Bo Bardi designed for the MASP. Pedrosa stated he was quite radical. The "Italians Everywhere" is really a play with the title Foreigners Everywhere. So the curator from the Global South, coming to Biennale and presenting a project that’s focusing on Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia. However, he thought the relationship with Italian art history to be pivotal.

As the Biennale is also called the Olympics of the Art World, there are numerous exhibitions and initiatives around Venice that are going to take place. We tried to pick a selected niche outlook, here you will find the five must see selected by us. 

Palazzo Franchetti will host an exhibition called “Breasts” which will celebrate the symbolism of the breasts during the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale Exhibition. The exposition curated by Carolina PastiIt will present the works of more than thirty emerging and established artists from around the world, spanning the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, and film from the 1500s to the present. The works in the exhibition explore how the breast has been understood and represented in art across different cultures and traditions.Palazzo Diedo will open its doors for the first time with the exhibition Janus. Active as an artistic residency since 2022, Palazzo Diedo will be open after its renovation as a polyfunctional hub of the Berggruen Arts and Culture. The exhibition will present 11 site specific works made by Urs Fischer, Piero Golia, Carsten Höller, Ibrahim Mahama, Mariko Mori, Sterling Ruby, Jim Shaw, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Aya Takano, Lee Ufan e Liu Wei, curated by Mario Codognato (Direttore di Berggruen Arts & Culture) e Adriana Rispoli (Curatrice di Berggruen Arts & Culture). The Helmut Newton Exhibition will take place at the Stanze della Fotografia on the Island of San Giorgio. It will present Newton's  story and his collaboration with one of the most important fashion magazines, Vogue Italia. Tuesday 16th of April at the St. Regis Hotel in Venice the artist talk “Icecafè, Benvenuti a Venezia” will see Gregor Hildebrandt, Jorinde Voigt and Alicja Kwade in conversation with the curator Gisela Winkelhofer, founder of EditionartCo. Punta della Dogana will invite Pierre Huyghe to conceive, with the curator Anne Stenne, a major new exhibition featuring a large nucleus of his works, some of them from the Pinault Collection. 

Cover image: Manifesto Biennale di Venezia 2024 "Foreigners Everywhere". Courtesy of Biennale

Written by Asia Artom

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