The 58th edition of the Biennale Arte is entitled May You Live In Interesting Times, which comes from an English proverb mistakenly referring to a Chinese curse that wished the enemy to live in uncertain times, crises and disorders: “interesting”, therefore,exactly as the ones we live in today. A sort of invitation to face the present and its fears: the tragedies of migrants, climate change, epidemics, racism, the precariousness of the future, the violence of the regimes.
For the first time half of the artists are women and are under 40; almost all the works were made after 2010 and many have never been exhibited, which makes the exhibition more contemporary than usual.
The exhibition curated by Ralph Rugoff is divided into two parts: Proposition A, in the Arsenal, and Proposition B, in the Central Pavilion based in the Gardens. The Arsenal contains larger and more monumental works and many artists are present in both. Rugoff said he was inspired by the book by Umberto Eco, Opera Aperta, from 1962, because “it brings attention to the ability of the art to inspire new ways of looking and behaving”. The result is generally liked very much. The exhibition includes 79 participants from all over the world.
Ralph Rugoff said: “The 58th International Art Exhibition will not have a theme per se, but will highlight a general approach to making art and a view of art’s social function as embracing both pleasure and critical thinking. The Exhibition will focus on the work of artists who challenge existing habits of thought and open up our readings of objects and images, gestures and situations. Art of this kind grows out of a practice of entertaining multiple perspectives: of holding in mind seemingly contradictory and incompatible notions, and juggling diverse ways of making sense of the world. Artists who think in this manner offer alternatives to the meaning of so-called facts by suggesting other ways of connecting and contextualising them. Animated by boundless curiosity and puncturing wit, their work encourages us to look askance at all unquestioned categories, concepts and subjectivities. It invites us to consider multiple alternatives and unfamiliar vantage points, and to discern the ways in which “order” has become the simultaneous presence of diverse orders.»
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(monday > friday 10-13.30 / 14.30-17.30; saturday 10-13.30)