May You Live in Interesting Times: between play and uncertainty the next Venice Art Biennale is a collective experiment that involves the curator, the artists and the public.
The journey to Biennale Arte 2019 begins with an ancient (and false) Chinese anathema: “May you live in interesting times” which insinuates that this moment of fear and uncertainty is instead a door to new opportunities. The director Ralph Rugoff invites us to enquire on how we define our cultural boundaries while he is getting ready to create the 58th Venice Biennale which will open from 11 May to 24 November 2019 at the Giardini, the Arsenale and in many other places around Venice.
58. International Art Exhibition
11th May – 24th November 2019
These we live in are interesting times and it might be worth pausing and questioning our points of reference
The President Paolo Baratta and the Curator Ralph Rugoff have introduced the next 58th International Art Exhibition by saying that ‘art can neither stop the coming forth of nationalist movements and authoritarian governments, nor it can alleviate the tragic fate of refugees throughout the planet. However in an indirect way art can perhaps offer a guide that will help us to live and reason in these “interesting times”.
The theme of the social function of art is back to offer us a new and unexpected point of view. Every thing is connected: Leonardo da Vinci said it and it will be one of the research criteria for the New Yorker Ralph Rugoff, who is currently directing the Hayward Gallery in London, one of the most important public galleries in the United Kingdom.
The selection will be among art works that explore the interconnection between different phenomena and challenge the existing categories of thought, now that ‘the order’ has become the simultaneous presence of different orders.
An exhibition should open people’s eyes to unexplored ways of being in the world, thus changing their vision of that world
The participation of the public is fundamental for this edition of the Biennale Arte, which will be based on real conversations – between the artist and the work of art, between the work of art and the public, and among different audiences – and on playful encounters ‘because it is when we play that are full ‘humanity’ comes out’.
The Bienniale must be a machine of desire aimed at always keeping up our need to discover more and more.
The President Paolo Baratta reiterates the opening of the exhibition as also suggested by the Bienniale of Arald Szeemann; looking for an art able to go beyond the limits of the visible and to make the visitors to feel ‘engaged in front of every single work, as if they were on a platform ready for a fencing match’.
The photos: cover by Paola Franqui, @Monaris for Veneziadavivere.
First three photos: Biennale 2018, Paolo Loa, Indonesian pavilion, Rossana Viola, Greenland, Serena Acquaro, Biennale 2017. Last three photos: Biennale 2016, Roberto Povero and Christina Nørdam Andersen, and Biennale 2015, Katia_Mi.