Venice (Arsenale and Giardini), May 13th to November 26th 2017 (Preview May 10th, 11th and 12th)


The President of La Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta, accompanied by the curator of the 57th International Art Exhibition, Christine Macel, met today at Ca’ Giustinian with the representatives of57 Countries. The 57th Exhibition will take place from May 13th to November 26th 2016 (Preview May 10th, 11th and 12th) in the Giardini and the Arsenale and in various other venues in Venice. 


The title chosen by Christine  Macel for the 57th International Art Exhibition is:




Christine  Macel  has explained his project as follows: 

«In a world full of conflicts and jolts, in which humanism is being seriously jeopardized, art is the most precious part of the human being. It is the ideal place for reflection, individual expression, freedom and fundamental questions. It is a “yes” to life, although sometimes a “but” lies behind. More than ever, the role, the voice and the responsibility of the artist are crucial in the framework of contemporary debates. 


Viva Arte Viva is also an exclamation, an expression of the passion for art and for the state of the artist. Viva Arte Viva is a Biennale designed with the artists, by the artists and for the artists. It deals with the forms they propose, the questions they pose, the practices they develop and the forms of life they choose. 


The Exhibition organically evolves in a sequence of pavilions, rooms and stanze, offering the spectator an experience, i.e. a journey, from the interiority to the infinity. 

These pavilions or Trans-pavilions, which gather artists of all generations and origins, sinuously follow one another like chapters of a book. From the “Pavilion of artists and books ” to the “Pavilion of time and infinity”, a dozen universes tell a conversational and sometimes paradoxical story, concerning the complexity of the world and the variety of positions and practices. 

The Exhibition also aims to be an experience, representing an extroversion movement towards the other, towards a common place and towards the most indefinable dimensions, opening the pathways to a neo-humanism.


Every week, during the six months of the exhibition, the artist and his public will participate to an Open Table (Tavola Aperta) where they can have lunch together and where they can dialogue and talk about the artist’s practice.


Every day, during the weeks before the opening of the Exhibition, a video will be posted on the Biennale official website, giving the opportunity to uncover the artists even before the Exhibition».

(Read here the full text of Macel’s Statement)


Christine Macel is “a curator committed to emphasizing the important role artists play in inventing their own universes and kindly injecting vitality into the world we live in”, President Paolo Baratta said last January on the day of Macel’s appointment. 

Today Baratta adds that: «By finding inspiration in a “humanist” vision and keeping the focus on the artist’s creative act the Exhibition will also promote a new and more intense conversation between visitors and many of the artists on display, through a programme of meetings specifically designed for the occasion».

(Read here the full text of Baratta’s Statement)


The 57th International Art Exhibition of 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 57th Exhibition.






05 - 09 - 2015


Golden Lion for Best National Participation to the Republic of Armenia


Golden Lion for Best Artist to Adrian Piper (USA)

The Jury of the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia comprised of Naomi Beckwith (USA), Sabine Breitwieser (Austria), Mario Codognato (Italy), Ranjit Hoskote (India), andYongwoo Lee (South Korea), wishes to acknowledge an outstanding Biennale Arte 2015 with an increased number of National participations and a particular sensitivity to current geopolitical urgencies. It also marks the first International Art Exhibition with a dedicated space which emphasizes the performative and discursive as an integral element in today’s art practice.


The Golden Lion for Best National Participation goes to the Republic of Armenia

Armenity / Haiyutioun. Contemporary artists from the Armenian Diaspora

Commissioner: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia. Deputy Commissioner: Art for the World Europa, Mekhitarist Congregation of San Lazzaro Island,  Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Italy, Vartan Karapetian. Curator: Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg. Venue: Monastery and Island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni


The Golden Lion for the Best Artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures goes to Adrian Piper

The Probable Trust Registry: The Rules of the Game #1–3

(United States, 1948; Arsenale, Corderie)


The Silver Lion for a promising young artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures goes to Im Heung-Soon

Factory Complex

(South Korea, 1969; Arsenale, Artiglierie)


The Jury has also decided to assign three Special Mentions to artists of the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures:


Harun Farocki

(Germany 1944 - d. 2014; Corderie, Arsenale)


Abounaddara collective

(founded 2010 Syria, based in Syria; Giardino delle Vergini, Arsenale)


Massinissa Selmani

(Algeria 1980; Corderie, Arsenale)

The Jury has also wished to honor with a special mention the United States of Americafor their presentation of Joan Jonas, an artist of significant oeuvre and influence:


Joan Jonas: They Come to Us Without a Word

Commissioner: Paul C. Ha. Deputy Commissioner: MIT List Visual Arts Center. Curators: Ute Meta Bauer, Paul C. Ha. Venue: Pavilion at Giardini


The Awards Ceremony of the 56th International Art Exhibition took place on May 9th 2015 at Ca’ Giustinian, 12.30 am. The Board of la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, also awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to El Anatsui (Ghana), and a Special Golden Lion for Services to the Arts to Susanne Ghez (USA), both under director Okwui Enwezor’s proposal.


The awards of the International Jury are assigned with the following motivations:


The Golden Lion for the national pavilion goes to Republic of Armenia for forming a pavilion based on a people in diaspora, each artist engaging their specific locality as well as their heritage. The pavilion took the form of a palimpsest, with contemporary positions inserted into a site of historic preservation. In a year that witnesses a significant milestone for the Armenian people, this pavilion marks the resilience of trans-cultural confluence and exchanges.


Golden Lion for best artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures to Adrian Piper. A pioneering artist, Piper has reformed conceptual practice to include personal subjectivity—of herself, her audience and the publics in general. Her presentations invite us to engage in a life-long performance of personal responsibility and calls out attention to ephemeral and transitional character of value systems.

Silver Lion for a promising young artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures to Im Heung-Soon for a moving video work that probes the nature of precarity in relation to the conditions of labor for women across Asia. Factory Complex takes the form of a documentary but with a direct, lightly mediated, encounter with his subjects and their working conditions.


A special mention for artists of the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures goes to Harun Farocki, a seminal figure in post-war cinema. This presentation makes his entire body of highly influential work accessible to a larger public.

Another special mention goes to the incredibly brave Abounaddara collective for documenting the current political strife and human struggle for survival in Syria, without taking sides.


A Special mentions goes to Massinissa Selmani for working in a modest medium which has the capacity to act beyond its scale.



Official website:

Official hashtag: #biennalearte2015



Curator: Okwui Enwezor

The President of la Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta, accompanied by the curator of the 56th International Art Exhibition, Okwui Enwezor, met on October 10th at Ca’ Giustinian with the representatives of the53 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:
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 Filtersthese 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, 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 the Filters that form All 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 for All 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 massive Capital: 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 of Okwui Enwezor – like his most recent predecessors – can present not just a ‘section’, but an entire International Exhibition inspired by the ambition to offer 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 Exhibition of 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:
Official hashtag: #biennalearte2015

Il CdA nomina Okwui Enwezor Direttore del Settore Arti Visive

La 14. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura si svolgerà dal 7 giugno al 23 novembre ai Giardini e all'Arsenale (vernice 5 e 6 giugno) nonchè in vari luoghi di Venezia.