A little over two months before the opening of the 59th edition of the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art, the Italian general curator Cecilia Alemani unveiled the themes and artists of the international exhibition to the press. Summary of the main lines of the event, while waiting for the next detail of the French pavilion, which has just announced that it will welcome the artist Zineb Sedira.
From April 23 to November 27, 2022, the 59th edition of the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art will take place, including the international exhibition will bring together 213 artists from 58 countries including five newcomers (Cameroon, Namibia, Nepal, Oman and Uganda) for 1433 works and exhibits. An edition all the more awaited as it has been delayed for a year, an unprecedented event since the Second World War. The Milk of the Dreams / Il latte dei Sogni, in French “Le Lait des Rêves” is its title, which sounds like the story of a marvelous tale, borrowed from the eponymous book by the Mexican writer Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), where “fantastic creatures and multiple metamorphic figures are companions of an imaginary journey through the metamorphoses of the body and definitions of the human being”.
Courtesy Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt © SIAE
A Biennial on the body and the relationship
Born from long discussions between the artists and the curator via their interposed screens, the international exhibition which will be held in the central pavilion and in the spaces of the Corderies, proposes to reflect on current questions, through three themes: the representation of bodies and its metamorphoses, the relationship between individuals and technologies, as well as the links between bodies and the Earth. Five other small “trans-historical” exhibitions, designed by the Design Forma fantasma research laboratory, will also bring new perspectives to the subjects treated within the major event, through the paralleling of documents, found objects and works of art of a museum nature.
A Biennial that honors women and painting
From this, there emerges an emphasis on female and feminist artists, as among many, Eileen Agar, Leonora Carrington, Claude Cahun, Leonor Fini, Ithell Colquhoun, Loïs Mailou Jones, Carol Rama, Augusta Savage, Dorothea Tanning, Passing by Aneta Grzeszykowska, Julia Phillips, Christina Quarles, Shuvinai Ashoona, Birgit Jurgenssen, visual artists highlighting the bodies in mutation, which challenge the Western humanist vision inherited from the Renaissance, through their hybrid and connected worlds. Also, the predominance of painting and the applied arts as evidenced by, among many others – and the list is long – the narrative canvases of the octogenarian American Jessie Homer, the wax drawings of the Chilean artist Sandra Vásquez de la Horra or the metallic weaving installations of the Mexican Ruth Usawa (1926-2013).
This 59th Biennial, which is in no way intended to be an edition on the pandemic, seeks to go beyond the postulates erected by the white man on our world, by proposing prospective visions that are both disturbing and marvelous, inherited from those of the Surrealists, mixing intimate and universal myths, new technologies and amateur and local practices. To be continued.