The 56th International Art Exhibition titled All the World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor and organized by la Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, will be open to the public from Saturday,May 9th to Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 at the Giardini della Biennale and at the Arsenale. Thepreview will be held on May 6th, 7th and 8th. The awards ceremony and the inauguration will take place on Saturday May 9th, 2015.
89 National Participations will be exhibiting in the historical Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city of Venice. The countries participating for the first time in the Exhibition are Grenada, Mauritius, Mongolia, Republic of Mozambique, and Republic of Seychelles. Other countries are participating this year after years of absence: Ecuador (1966, then with the IILA), the Philippines(1964), and Guatemala(1954, then with the IILA).
The Holy See will again be participating with an exhibition to be held at the Sale d'Armi, in the spaces that the Biennale has renovated for new permanent pavilions.
The Italian Pavilion at the Arsenale, organized by the Italian Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities, with PaBAAC General Direction for the Landscape, Fine Arts, Architecture and Contemporary Art, will be curated by Vincenzo Trione.
44 Collateral Events, approved by the curator of the International Exhibition and promoted by non profit national and international institutions, will present their exhibitions and initiatives in various locations within the city of Venice.
The International Exhibition
The 56th International Art Exhibitionwill form a unitary itinerary that starts at the Central Pavilion (Giardini) and continues at the Arsenale, with over136 artists from 53 countries, of whom 88 will be showing here for the first time.
“This is our 56th edition. The Biennale is now 120 years old, and year after year it moves forward and builds on its own history, which is formed of many memories but, in particular, a long succession of different perspectives from which to observe the phenomenon of contemporary artistic creation.”
Paolo Baratta introduces this year’s edition with these words, recalling that “Bice Curiger brought us the theme of perception, of ILLUMInation or light as an autonomous and revitalizing element, and Massimiliano Gioni was interested in observing the phenomenon of artistic creation from within, and turned his attention to the inner impulses that drive mankind and the artist to create images and bring representations to life.”
“The world before us today exhibits deep divisions and wounds, pronounced inequalities and uncertainties as to the future. Despite the great progress made in knowledge and technology, we are currently negotiating an ‘age of anxiety’. And once more, the Biennale observes the relationship between art and the development of the human, social, and political world, as external forces and phenomena loom large over it. Our aim is to investigate how the tensions of the outside world act on the sensitivities and the vital and expressive energies of artists, on their desires and their inner song. One of the reasons the Biennale invited Okwui Enwezor as curator – Baratta states - was for his special sensitivity in this regard.”
“Curiger, Gioni, Enwezor, a trilogy in a sense – President Baratta recaps - three chapters in a research process engaged by la Biennale di Venezia to explore the benchmarks that can help us formulate aesthetic judgments on contemporary art, a “critical” question following the demise of the avant-gardes and “non-art”.”
“Okwui does not claim to pass judgement or prognosticate; his wish is to bring together arts and artists from throughout the world and from different disciplines, to instate a Parliament of Forms, as it were. A global Exhibition where we may question or at least listen to artists. 136 artists have been summoned, of which 88 for the first time. They come from 53 countries, and many of them from geographical areas that we paradoxically insist on defining as peripheral. Of works on display, 159 are expressly realized for this year edition. This will also help us uncover the latest tendencies regarding the geography and routes taken by contemporary art, thanks to a special project focusing on the Curricula of the artists operating around the world. A Parliament for a Biennale of varying and intense vitality, therefore.”
“Everything here is exhibited against the backdrop of the Biennale’s 120-year history. Fragments of the past of various kinds may be found in every corner, given also the fact that the Biennale is active in Art, Architecture, Dance, Theatre, Music, and Cinema. (…) To borrow the words of Walter Benjamin, the Biennale hosts “dialectical images”.
“And once again, I am glad – concludes Baratta - that I did not listen to the regrettable considerations made in 1998 claiming that the exhibition with foreign pavilions was outmoded and should be done away with, perhaps in favour of a white cube, an aseptic space in which to erase history, exercise our abstract presumptions, or offer hospitality for the dictatorship of the market. It is our multi-faceted, complex reality that helps us avoid perils such as these. The great mountain of the fragments of our history grows year by year. Opposite stands the even greater mountain of all that was not shown in past Biennales.”
After having explained in October the main topics of All the World’s Futures, Okwui Enwezor has explained one movens for his project as follows:
“In 1974 la Biennale di Venezia, following a major institutional restructuring and the revision of its rules and articles of constitution, launched an ambitious and unprecedented four-year plan of events and activities. Part of the programs of 1974 were dedicated to Chile, thus actively foregrounding a gesture of solidarity toward that country in the aftermath of the violent coup d’état, in which General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the government of Salvador Allende in 1973. Bringing practitioners across the fields of visual art, cinema, music, theater, dance, and performance, the events of the 1974 Art Biennale were spread across the entire city of Venice. Today, this remarkable and transformative episode in the history of the Biennale is largely forgotten.”
“The dedication of the program of events to Chile and against fascism remains one of the most explicit attempts, in recent memory, by which an exhibition of the stature of the Art Biennale not only responds to, but courageously steps forward to share the historical stage with the political and social contexts of its time. It goes without saying that, in view of the current turmoil around the world, that the Biennale’s Eventi del 1974 has been a curatorial inspiration.”
“In response to this remarkable episode and the rich documentation it generated, the 56th International Art Exhibition: All the World’s Futures, will introduce the ARENA, an active space dedicated to continuous live programming across disciplines and located within the Central Pavilion in the Giardini. The linchpin of this program will be the epic live reading of all three volumes of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital (Capital). Here, Das Kapital will serve as a kind of Oratorio thatwill be continuously read live, throughout the exhibition’s seven months’ duration.”
“Designed by award-winning Ghanaian/British architect David Adjaye, the ARENAwill serve as a gathering-place of the spoken word, the art of the song, recitals, film projections, and a forum for public discussions. Taking the concept of the Sikh event, the Akhand Path (a recitation of the Sikh holy book read continuously over several days by a relay of readers), Das Kapital will be read as a dramatic text by trained actors, directed by artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, during the entire duration of this year Art Biennale.”
“Carrying out the concept of “Liveness: On Epic Duration,” the Art Biennale has commissioned several new scores and artists’ performances, to be presented continuously in the ARENA. Here, we are especially interested in the concept of the song and the potential for the human voice to be an instrument that carries forward the pace of a narrative.”
“Olaf Nicolai is developing a new performance work that draws inspiration from Luigi Nono’s two-part composition Un volto, e del mare / Non consumiamo Marx (1968), an innovative piece for voice and magnetic tape, as well as the Italian composer’s later attempts to develop a critical and political statement by means of music, drawing inspiration for his lyrics from Cesare Pavese’s poems, from wall writings seen in the streets of Paris, and even found voices which he randomly recorded live during street demonstrations!
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige will present a daily reading of their artist book Latent Images: Diary of a Photographer, the third part of theirWonder Beirut project. In addition to its text, this book includes thirty-eight photographic plates selected from among hundreds of reels of film exposed, but until now never developed, by the Lebanese photographer Abdallah Farah between 1997 and 2006.
Jason Moran’s STAGED will map and investigate the tempos of work songs sung in prisons, fields, and houses. In a sampling of songs that inmates sing while working in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, the tempos range from 57 to 190 beats per minute.
Jeremy Deller will explore the question of life and working conditions in factories, based on archival materials from the nineteenth century through the present.
Charles Gaines’s new original master composition for the Art Biennale is derived from his most recent body of work, Notes on Social Justice, a series of large-scale drawings of musical scores from songs, some borrowed from as early as the American Civil War (1860–1865) and others dating from the mid twentieth century.
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc will present in the Art Biennale a temporary memorial to the music and personality of the legendary African American musician, singer, and composer Julius Eastman (1940–1990), whose singular and inimitable contribution to contemporary, avant-garde classical music will be on display in the ARENA throughout the Exhibition.
the TOMORROW will focus their attention on Das Kapital, not just as an abstract field of logical and economical devices, but rather as a potential repository of stories and figures. In the Art Biennale, the TOMORROW will attempt to imagine the characters and the figures that could make use of Marx’s toolbox in the contemporary context. Tales on Das Kapital is a search for non-modern subjects to play the Capital Drama. The TOMORROWwill offer weekend seminars, during which the focus will turn to the narrative and epic dimension of Marx’s book.”
“The focus on live performances and actions will extend in the Central Pavilion beyond the ARENA and into the Biblioteca della Biennale, where Mounira Al Solh’s NOA (Not Only Arabic), a limited-edition periodical founded in 2008, will be made available for solo viewings that must be arranged by appointment. During the preview (May 6–8), also at the Biblioteca, Lili Reynaud-Dewar and her students will read a selection of texts from the mid 1990s to today—analysis, testimonies, manifestos—dealing with notions of intimacy, vulnerability, and promiscuity in the context of the AIDS epidemic.”
“Connecting the 56th Art Biennale’s two main venues, the Giardini and the Arsenale, Saâdane Afif’s performance piece The Laguna’s Tribute: A Corner Speaker in Venice will be staged at the corner of Via Garibaldi and the Grand Canal. Spectators there will see and hear a local Corner Speaker either read a text or sing the lyrics of songs composed by friends of the artist.”
“A number of performance works will also be presented in the Arsenale, beginning with a new project by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, In the Midst of Things, in which a choral group will perform an arrangement of Joseph Haydn’s oratorio The Creation.”
“In the Corderie, Theaster Gates will activate his new multimedia installation Martyr Construction, a work addressing the question of the recurring dissolution and demolition of church parishes in African American and Hispanic neighborhoods across the United States.”
“While the central focus of All the World’s Futures is on an extensive body of new works commissioned from artists specifically for the 56th Art Biennale—an unprecedented range of projects exhibited for the first time—the Exhibition will also pay close attention to a selected iteration of historical perspectives by artists both living and deceased. Organized as small anthologies, these compact surveys range from a series of text-based neon sculptures by Bruce Nauman, dating from 1972 to the early 1980s, to an atlas of Harun Farocki’s filmography, which totals 87 films. In addition, the Art Biennale will present works by such seminal figures as the photographer Walker Evans, with a complete set of the original edition of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men; from filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein tomultimedia artist Chris Marker; installation artist Isa Genzken to sculptor-composer Terry Adkins; author-film director Alexander Kluge to installation artist Hans Haacke; conceptual artist Teresa Burga to performance artist Fabio Mauri; sculptor Melvin Edwards to painter Marlene Dumas; artist-activist Inji Efflatoun to earthworks artist Robert Smithson, painter Emily Kngwarreye to film director Ousmane Sembène; sculptor Ricardo Brey to conceptual artist Adrian Piper; painters Tetsuya Ishida to Georg Baselitz.”
“This gathering of practices from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America searches for new connections in the artists’ commitment to examining the human condition, or exploring specific ideas and areas of production within the artists’ oeuvre.”
“The Invisible Borders Trans-African Project, for example, is an artist-led organization founded in Nigeria in 2009 that assembles African artists –mainly photographers, writers, and filmmakers- with the zeal and passion for social change, to reflect upon with the question of borders and its implications in 21st century Africa. The Invisible Borders will present in the 56th Art Biennale a Trans-African Worldspace, a survey of their platform’s recent and ongoing photographic and audiovisual production, which will be periodically generated and incorporated into their presentation throughout the seven months of the exhibition. Moreover, the group will present in the ARENA their feature length documentary Invisible Borders 2011, The Film, followed by a discussion on the State of Things in the trans-African contemporary art scene and the critical ideas at the center of their practice.
Abounaddara is an anonymous collective of Syrian filmmakers working on impromptu documentaries, otherwise known as “emergency cinema.” Abounaddara has long reflected on the right to the image. They employ an aesthetic of do-it-yourself and disorientation, self-producing their films and distributing them online to avoid political censorship and the formatting dictates of the media and entertainment industries. Since its founding in 2010, Abounaddara has released a series of short documentaries celebrating the daily life of ordinary Syrians. In the wake of the March 2011 popular uprising, they began to produce a short film everyFriday, an ongoing initiative that relies on the voluntary commitment of a network of filmmakers who work in secret, for reasons of security. At the Art Biennale Abounaddara will present a video installation featuring a selection of films from their prolific body of work, and will premiere a new film every Friday in the ARENA.“
Biennale Sessions, a project for universities
The Biennale Sessions project will be held for the sixth consecutive year, following the success of its previous editions. This initiative is dedicated by la Biennale di Venezia to universities and academies of fine arts, and to institutions that develop research and training in the arts and in related fields. The goal is to offer favourable conditions for students and teachers to organize three-day group visits for fifty people or more, offering reduced price meals, assistance in organizing their journey and stay, and the possibility to organize seminars at the Exhibition’s venues free of charge.
Educational activities will again be offered for the year 2015, addressed to individuals and groups of students of all levels and grades, to universities and academies of fine arts, and to professionals, companies, experts, art lovers and families. These initiatives aim to actively involve participants in both Guided Tours and Creative Workshops.
To conceive and organize the choreography of the Exhibition spaces, the exhibition architecture, is designed by David Adjaye and members of Adjaye Associates.
The Catalogue of the Biennale Arte 2015 is published in two volumes. The first describes the International Exhibition in a lengthy essay by the curator, divided into chapters that feature the narrative biographies of the invited Artists and the images of their works. Volume two is dedicated to the National Participations and the Collateral Events. The short guide is an essential tool for visiting the Exhibition: it contains information on all the Artists,the National Pavilions and Collateral Events. The graphic design of the Exhibition and its editorial products are by Chris Rehberger and his Double Standards studio in Berlin.Both the exhibition catalogue and short guide are published by Marsilio Editori.
The 56th International Art Exhibition is carried out thanks to the partner of the event, Swatch.
ENEL main sponsor, Japan Tobacco International, Vela-Venezia Unica, illycaffè and VEDE-Venice Excellence Design. We would also like to thankCleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Adecco, and Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane.
Our thanks go to the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities, which at a difficult time for our country’s public finances has continued to offer its decisive support, and to the local institutions that in various ways support la Biennale, the City of Venice and the Regione del Veneto. We also extend our thanks to the Marina Militare and the Venice Soprintendenze.
We would also like to thank our many Donors, who have been particularly important to the realization of the 56th Exhibition.
Our special thanks go to the curator Okwui Enwezor and to his entire team.
And finally, we would like to thank the highly professional staff of the Biennale, whose members work with great dedication on the realization and management of the Exhibition throughout its six-and-a-half month duration.
The show of Biennale di Venezia 2015 consists of over 136 artists from fifty-three countries, and will feature in the Central Pavilion designed by David Adjaye called The Arena. “The linchpin of this program will be the epic live reading of all three volumes of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital,” Enwezor states. “Here, Das Kapital will serve as a kind of Oratorio that will be continuously read live, throughout the exhibition’s seven months’ duration.”
This is the list of artists for Okwui Enwezor’s “All the World’s Futures” at the 2015 Venice Biennale:
Jumana Emil Abboud
B. 1971 Palestine, Lives And Works In Jerusalem
B. 1971 Algeria, Lives And Works In Paris
Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc
B. 1977 France, Lives And Works In Metz
Founded 2010 Syria/Palestine, Live And Work In Damascus
B. 1966 France, Lives And Works In Paris
B. 1953 - D. 2014, United States
B. 1970 France, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1950 Belgium, Lives And Works In Paris
B. 1957 Ghana, Lives And Works In London
B. 1981 Nigeria, Lives And Works In Lagos And Berlin
Mounira Al Solh
B. 1978 Lebanon, Lives And Works In Beirut And Amsterdam
Meriç Algün Ringborg
B. 1983 Turkey, Lives And Works In Stockholm
Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla
B. 1974 United States, B. 1971 Cuba, Live And Work In San Juan
B. 1961 Turkey, Lives And Works In London
B. 1967 Bosnia, Lives And Works In Paris And Sarajevo
B. 1963 Argentina, Lives And Works In Buenos Aires
B. 1978 Democratic Republic Of Congo, Lives And Works In Lubumbashi And Brussels
B. 1972 Italy, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1938 Germany, Lives And Works In Munich
B. 1977 Argentina, Lives And Works In Buenos Aires
B. 1970 Sweden, Lives And Works In Stockholm
B. 1976 United Kingdom, Lives And Works In Los Angeles
B. 1962 Pakistan, Lives And Works In Poughkeepsie
B. 1944 France, Lives And Works In Paris
B. 1965 Italy, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1962 United Kingdom, Lives And Works In London
B. 1982 Australia, Lives And Works In Sydney
B. 1955 Cuba, Lives And Works In Gent
B. 1924 - D. 1976, Belgium
B. 1968 Cuba, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1935 Peru, Lives And Works In Lima
Keith Calhoun and Chandra Mccormick
B. 1955/B. 1957 United States, Live And Work In New Orleans
B. 1978 China, Lives And Works In Beijing
B. 1985 Tunisia, Lives And Works In Tunis And Paris
B. 1962 Russia, Lives And Works In Moscow
B. 1969 Vietnam, Lives And Works In Ho Chi Minh City
Cooperativa Cráter Invertido
An Artistic Cooperative Founded 2011, Based In Mexico City
Creative Time Summit
A Non-Profit Organization Founded In 1974, Based In New York
B. 1979 Peru, Lives And Works In Copenhagen
B. 1966 United Kingdom, Lives And Works In London
B. 1971 Georgia, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1953 South Africa, Lives And Works In Amsterdam
A Publishing Platform Founded In 2008, Based In New York
B. 1937 United States, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1924 - D. 1989 Egypt
Antje Ehmann and Harun Farocki
B. 1968 Germany, Lives And Works In Berlin / B. 1944 – D. 2014 Germany
B. 1962 Germany, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1903 - D. 1975 United States
B. 1944 - D. 2014, Germany
B. 1972 Australia, Lives And Works In Sydney
B. 1960 Austria, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1960 United States, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1964 Australia, Lives And Works In Melbourne
B. 1944 United States, Lives And Works In Los Angeles
B. 1965 United States, Lives And Works In Rotterdam
B. 1958 Argentina, Lives And Works In Buenos Aires
B. 1965 Spain, Lives In Barcelona
B. 1973 United States, Lives And Works In Chicago
B. 1948 Germany, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1969 Russia, Lives And Works In Saint Petersburg
B. 1948 Brazil, Lives And Works In Belo Horizonte
B. 1961 Germany, Lives And Works In Berlin
A Transnational Coalition Of International Artists Founded In 2010
B. 1955 Germany, Lives And Works In Düsseldorf
B. 1936 Germany, Lives And Works In New York
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige
B. 1969 Lebanon, Live And Work In Paris And Beirut
B. 1972 Australia, Lives And Works In Sydney
B. 1956 South Africa, Lives And Works In Johannesburg
B. 1957 Switzerland, Lives And Works In Paris
B. 1961 Belgium, Lives And Works In Stockholm
Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson
B. 1938 - D. 2014 / B.1938 - D. 1973 United States
Heung Soon Im
B. 1969 South Korea, Lives And Works In Seoul
Invisible Borders: Trans-African Photographers
An Artists’ Organization Founded In 2011, Based In Lagos
B. 1973 – D. 2005 Japan
B. 1968 China, Lives And Works In Beijing
B. 1960 United Kingdom, Lives And Works In London
B. 1975 Iraq, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1975 Malawi, Lives And Works In London
B. 1979 South Korea, Lives And Works In Seoul
B. 1932 Germany, Lives And Works In Munich
Emily Kame Kngwarreye
B. 1910 - D. 1996, Australia
B. 1977 Sweden, Lives And Works In Stockholm And São Paulo
Sonia Leber and David Chesworth
B. 1959 Australia, B. 1958 United Kingdom, Live And Work In Melbourne
B. 1960 United States, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1975 Mozambique, Lives And Works In Maputo
B. 1956 India, Lives And Works In New Delhi And Kerala
B. 1987 Ghana, Lives And Works In Tamale
B. 1973 Croatia, Lives And Works In Zagreb
B. 1974 Romania, Lives And Works In Berlin
Abu Bakarr Mansaray
B. 1970 Sierra Leone, Lives And Works In Freetown And The Netherlands
B. 1921 - D. 2012, France
Kerry James Marshall
B. 1955 United States, Lives And Works In Chicago
B. 1985 United Kingdom, Lives And Works In London
B. 1926 - D. 2009 Italy
B. 1969 United Kingdom, Lives And Works In Amsterdam
B. 1969 Bangladesh, Lives And Works In Dhaka And New York
B. 1975 United States, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1972 Croatia, Lives And Works In Paris
B. 1982 Bahamas, Lives And Works Between Chapel Hill, North Carolina And Washington DC
B. 1986 Colombia, Lives And Works In London
B. 1972 Kenya, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1979 South Korea, Lives And Works In Seoul And Berlin
B. 1941 United States, Lives And Works In New Mexico
B. 1970 Senegal, Lives And Works In New York, Dakar And Lyon
B. 1962 Germany, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1968 United Kingdom, Lives And Works In London And Trinidad
B. 1977 Nigeria, Lives And Works In Lagos And Berlin
B. 1964 France, Lives And Works In Paris
B. 1935 - D. 1968, Italy
B. 1948 United States, Lives And Works In Berlin
B. 1964 New Zealand, Lives And Works In Auckland
B. 1969 China, Lives And Works In Beijing
B. 1968 Iran, Lives And Works In New York
Raqs Media Collective
(Narula, Monica; Bagchi, Jeebesh; Sengupta, Shuddhabrata)
A Collective Founded 1992 India, Based In New Delhi
B. 1975 France, Lives And Works In Grenoble
B. 1985 Ukraine, Lives And Works In Kharkiv
B. 1969 France, Lives And Works In New York, Helsinki And Saint Petersburg
B. 1976 Argentina, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1958 South Africa, Lives And Works In Johannesburg
B. 1980 Algeria, Lives And Works In Algiers And Tours
Fatou Kandé Senghor
B 1971 Senegal, Lives And Works In Dakar
Prasad Shetty and Rupali Gupte
B. 1974 India, Live And Work In Mumbai
B. 1973 United States, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1964 United States, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1975 United States, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1960 United States, Lives And Works In New York
B. 1938 - D. 1973, United States
B. 1981 South Africa, Lives And Works In Johannesburg
B. 1979 Pakistan, Lives And Works In Bangalore
B. 1969 United States, Lives And Works In New York
The Propeller Group
A Collective Founded 2006 Vietnam/US, Live And Work In Ho Chi Minh City
A Journal Founded 2014 Italy, Based In Milan
B. 1961 Thailand, Lives And Works In New York, Berlin And Chiang Mai
B. 1967 Cameroon, Lives And Works In Paris And Bandjoun
B. 1955 China, Lives And Works In Beijing
Excerpt from: www.labiennale.org
The President of la Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta, accompanied by the curator of the 56th International Art Exhibition, Okwui Enwezor, met today at Ca’ Giustinian with the representatives of the 53 Countries participating in the 56th Exhibition, which will take place from May 9th – November 22nd 2015 at the Giardini and at the Arsenale (Preview on May 6th, 7th and 8th) and in various other venues in Venice.
The title chosen by Okwui Enwezor for the 56th International Art Exhibition is: All the World’s Futures
Okwui Enwezor has explained his project as follows:
«The ruptures that surround and abound around every corner of the global landscape today recall the evanescent debris of previous catastrophes piled at the feet of the angel of history in Angelus Novus. How can the current disquiet of our time be properly grasped, made comprehensible, examined, and articulated? Over the course of the last two centuries the radical changes have made new and fascinating ideas subject matter for artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, composers, musicians. It is with this recognition that the 56th International Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia proposes All the World’s Futuresa project devoted to a fresh appraisal of the relationship of art and artists to the current state of things».
The Exhibition: Parliament of Forms
«Rather than one overarching theme, All the World’s Futures is informed by a layer of intersecting Filters, these Filters are a constellation of parameters that circumscribe multiple ideas, which will be touched upon to both imagine and realize a diversity of practices. The 56th International Art Exhibition will employ as a Filter the historical trajectory that the Biennale itself, over the course of its one hundred and twenty years existence has run over, a Filter through which to reflect on both the current “state of things” and the “appearance of things».
«How can artists, thinkers, writers, composers, choreographers, singers, and musicians, through images, objects, words, movement, actions, lyrics, sound bring together publics in acts of looking, listening, responding, engaging, speaking in order to make sense of the current upheaval? What material, symbolic or aesthetic, political or social acts will be produced in this dialectical field of references to give shape to an exhibition which refuses confinement within the boundaries of conventional display models? In All the World’s Futures the curator himself, along with artists, activists, the public, and contributors of all kinds will appear as the central protagonists in the open orchestration of the project».
«At the core of the Exhibition is the notion of the exhibition as stage where historical and counter-historical projects will be explored. Within this framework the main aspects of the 56th Exhibition will solicit and privilege new proposals and works conceived specifically by invited artists, filmmakers, choreographers, performers, composers, and writers to work either individually or in collaboration».
Three are theFiltersthat formAll the World’s Futures:
Liveness: On epic duration; Garden of Disorder; Capital: A Live Reading.
Liveness: On epic duration
«All the World’s Futures is both a spatial and temporal manifestation that is relentlessly incomplete, structured by a logic of unfolding, a program of events that can be experienced at the intersection of liveness and display. It will be a dramatization of the space of the exhibition as a continuous, unfolding, and unceasing live event. In doing so All the World’s Futures will activate works that are already existing but also invites contributions that will be realized especially for this Exhibition».
Garden of Disorder
«This Filter, located in the Giardini and the Central Pavilion, Corderie, Giardino delle Vergini in the Arsenale, and selected areas in Venice, takes the historical ground of la Biennale in the Giardini as a metaphor through which to explore the current “state of things ”. The Biennale Arte 2015, returns to the ancient ground of this ideal to explore the changes in the global environment, to read the Giardini with its ramshackle assemblage of pavilions as the ultimate site of a disordered world, of national conflicts, as well as territorial and geopolitical disfigurations. The artists have been invited to develop proposals that take the concept of the garden as a point of departure to realized new sculptures, films, performances, and installations forAll the World’s Futures».
Capital: A Live Reading
«Beyond the distemper and disorder in the current “state of things,” there is one pervasive preoccupation that has been at the heart of our time and modernity. Since the publication of Karl Marx’s massiveCapital: Critique of Political Economy in 1867, the structure and nature of capital has captivated thinkers and artists, as well as inspired political theorists, economists, and ideological structures across the world. A core part of this program of live readings, is “Das Kapital” a massive meticulously researched bibliographic project, conceived by the artistic director in the Central Pavilion».
«With this outlook, All the World’s Futures, through its constellation of Filters will delve into the “state of things” and question “the appearance of things”, shifting from the guttural enunciation of the voice to the visual and physical manifestations between artworks and the public».
«The first International Art Exhibition of the reformed Biennale di Venezia took place in 1999 and it was in that year, at the very beginning of a new chapter in its history, that it found itself having to respond to the many adverse comments it received. Many thought that an exhibition through pavilions was obsolete or at the very least an outdated concept in what was the much heralded era of globalization».
So the President Paolo Baratta has introduced the 56th International Art Exhibition remembering to accepted the criticisms, but not the solutions that some put forward: «we did not throw out the use of pavilions for the Biennale - explains the President – but we enhanced it in a definitive way, by arranging a large, stand-alone International Exhibition at the same time. We arranged additional large spaces and appointed a curator for this ambitious project of ours. A main International Exhibition replaced the international sections, which used to be added to the exhibition organized by the curator of the Italian Pavilion. An international curator for our International Exhibition and no more committees or commissions. The new model worked, and this dynamic, new two-pronged event led to an increase in the number of countries wanting to participate.
It’s been 15 years since that reform, and the start of this new chapter, and it is thanks to that calculated choice that today, a curator of the ilk ofOkwui Enwezor – like his most recent predecessors – can present not just a ‘section’, but an entire International Exhibition inspired by the ambition tooffer the world a global sounding board».
«In that occasion – Baratta continues – the Arsenale became an addition to the Giardini venue, and 15 years on, the number of participating countries, exhibiting in the two venues, is equal: 28 national participations at the Giardini and the same at the Arsenale, on the occasion of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition. Since the Biennale took on this greater and more precise responsibility, the dialogue with the pavilions and participating countries has evolved. The pluralism of voices that now exists is unique to the Biennale di Venezia».
«The Biennale – specifies Baratta – is an Art Exhibition and not an art fair, and as such requires more than an unbiased up-dating of a roster of artists, young or not so young, famous or otherwise. Art and today’s reality present us with far more complex tasks. In the past, we have defined the Biennale in various ways. Today, faced with the dangers of slipping towards a more orthodox popularity, conventionality and security, we have named it “The Machine of Desire” to keep the desire for art high and in turn to want art and accept it is a necessity. In other words, to recognise as both a primary and primordial necessity man’s need to give some perceptible form to utopias, obsessions, anxieties, desires and to the ultra-sensitive world».
«A Biennale is a complex affair– states Baratta. None of the aspects mentioned can be overlooked and whatever the curator’s initial concept – philosophical, political or anthropological – his selection really must include pieces that are necessary and fundamental to our perception. The introduction of the Biennale College is proof of our increasing commitment to new generations of artists. The current Architecture Exhibition has enjoyed the addition of the Dance, Theatre, Music and Cinema sectors. The next Art Biennale contain various forms of art but as an integral part of the exhibition».
Baratta concludes: «It is not the first time that an exhibition faces a world filled with uncertainty and turmoil whilst the “garden of the world” appears to us as a “garden of disorder”, and it is also not the first time that faced with a complicated reality, an exhibition responds with the enthusiasm and dynamism evident in the one we are in the throes of organizing».
The 56th International Art Exhibitionof la Biennale di Venezia will also present, as is traditional, the National Participations with their own exhibitions in the Pavilions at the Giardini and at the Arsenale, and in the historic city centre of Venice.
This edition will also include selected Collateral Events, presented by international entities and institutions, which will present their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice concurrently with the 56th Exhibition.
Official website: www.labiennale.org