BIENNALE ARTE 2019 58TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION
The 58th International Art Exhibition, titled May You Live In Interesting Times and curated by Ralph Rugoff, opened to the public on Saturday 11th May 2019. The pre-opening for the Press and Professionals ran 8th, 9th, 10th May; the Awards ceremony and Inauguration was held at the Biennale headquarters of Ca’ Giustinian on Saturday 11th May.
“We have often reflected” – President Paolo Baratta declared– “on the role the Biennale should have and the challenges it must face, well aware of the many, ambivalent ways our work (and our mission) can be interpreted. Our work stands apart from that of many others, not for what it does (Exhibitions) but perhaps for the spirit with which it is done and for our work method, which, in turn, must hold true to that spirit.
In times of great change, we have all realized that we must pay attention to the evolution of the world and of the world of art. I must admit that, at the helm of La Biennale di Venezia, we are facilitated in this task since we are active in various artistic sectors – Theatre, Music, Dance, Cinema, and Architecture – and the stimuli, challenges, and incentives never lack”.
The exhibition develops from the Arsenale (Proposition A) to the Central Pavilion (Proposition B) at Giardini, and includes 79 participants from all over the world, each of whom is exhibited in both venues with different artworks that show different aspects of each artist’s practice.
As Ralph Rugoff explains: «From the acceleration of climate change to the resurgence of nationalist agendas across the globe, from the pervasive impact of social media to the growing disparity of wealth, contemporary matters of concern are addressed in many of the works in this exhibition. But let us acknowledge at the outset that art is more than a document of its times. The 58th International Art Exhibition, titled May You Live In Interesting Times, takes place from 11th May to 24th November 2019. The title is a phrase of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse that invokes periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil; “interesting times”, exactly as the ones we live in today.
The exhibition also includes 89 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice. Four countries participate for the first time at the Biennale Arte: Ghana, Madagascar, Malaysia and Pakistan.
The Biennale Arte 2019 is complemented by 21 Collateral Events admitted by the Curator and promoted by non-profit national and international bodies and institutions. Collateral Events take place in several locations throughout the city of Venice.