53rd Venice Biennale Art Exhibition Previews today, Opens to public June 7th

June 3rd, 2009

This year’s Venice Biennale runs from June 7 to November 22, with press preview on June 4-6.  Since 1985, emerging and long-established artists have represented their countries at the Biennale.  The event, happening every other year, has evolved to exhibit current movements in art, architecture, cinema, dance, music, and theatre.  The Biennale presents the artistic trends at the forefront of contemporary art and the avant-garde.  Art Observed will be on site for this event, as Venice opens its doors to artists and art fans from around the world.

Related links:
La Biennale di Venezia
Venice Biennale 2009 Exhibit Map
Blood, oil and designer rugs: the world’s top artists set for the Venice Bienniale [The Guardian UK]
Braco Dimitrijevic’s Future Post History to be Shown at Ca’Pesaro and Ca’Farsetti as Part of Venice Biennale  [ArtDaily]
Can-Do Canadians Struggle Toward Venice Biennale [ArtInfo]
Does Venice Still Matter? [The Art Newspaper]
‘Flying Art’ Gallery in Venice [Ansa.it]
French Pavilion presents Claude Leveque at 53rd Venice Biennale [Artipedia]
Home Team: A Pair of Artists Play Home [TMagazine]
How the French Charles Saatchi became the merchant of Venice [The Guardian UK]
The Internet Pavilion at the Venice Biennale [Wired]
Mark Lewis Represents Canada with Four New Films at the 53rd International Art Exhibition [ArtDaily]
My week: Steve McQueen [The GuardianUK]
Steve McQueen at the Venice Biennale: Private view with Adrian Searle [The Guardian UK audio]
New Funding model behind the British Pavilion [The Art Newspaper]
The Pavilion doesn’t even have a bathroom [The Globe and Mail]
Russia makes its presence felt in Venice [The Art Newspaper]
Russian Pavilion to Present Victory over the Future at 53rd International Venice Biennale [ArtDaily]
Too Haute for Commerce: The Venice Biennale [The New York Observer]
Venice Biennale in the past [The Telegraph]
Venice Biennale: Let the Invasion Begin
[The New York Times]
Venice Biennale Preview

This year’s International Art Exhibition, “Making Worlds,”  will be the Biennale’s 53rd.  Curated and directed by Daniel Birnbaum, “Making Worlds” includes 90 artists from 77 countries, and 44 collateral events in and around Venice.  In keeping with its consideration of international community, the exhibit seeks to encompass most media of artistic expression.  Installation art, sculpture, drawing and painting, video and film, and performance comprise the exhibition, with performance artist Miranda July, composer Arto Lindsay, emerging artist Xu Tan, and sculptor Rachel Harrison among its featured artists.

Nose, by America’s Rachel Harrison, who will present with “Making Worlds” at the Biennale. via The Saatchi Gallery

Untitled, Dreaming Pigs, by China’s Xu Tan, who will present with “Making Worlds” at the Biennale. via daylife

The 53rd Biennale will also include, for the first time ever, an Internet Pavilion, to be launched by PadiglioneInternet.com and Biennale.net.  The first, only open for the duration of the physical Biennale, will host a collaborative work by Miltos Manetas and Rafael Rozendaal, while Biennale.net will serve as a gateway and discussion site for collateral projects.

An installation in the Biennale, by Shepard Fairey, via The World’s Best Ever

Other highlights this year include Bruce Nauman’s Topological Gardens, which will represent the United States.  Organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pavilion comments on topology – constant spatial properties that survive their objects’ transformation – a common theme of Nauman’s work.

Two works by Bruce Nauman, whose Topological Gardens will be the United States’ official contribution to the Biennale.  Above, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths, via art : 21.  Below, Punch and Judy II Birth & Life & Sex & Death, via MOMA

Fang Lijun, He Jinwei, He Sen, Liu Ding, Qiu Zhijie, Zeng Fanzhi, and Zeng Hao will represent China with What is to Come, an exhibit curated by Zhao Li and artist Lu Hao which looks to create a confrontation with the viewer.  Liam Gillick will represent Germany with The future acts differently, curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen.

A look at Liam Gillick’s The future acts differently, for the German Pavilion. Via artloversnewyork.

 The UK Pavilion will include works by representatives of each member country.  Steve McQueen will represent Great Britain; Wales’s exhibit, featuring John Cale, will be curated by Bruce Haines.  Martin Boyce will represent Scotland with No Reflections, a solo exhibition curated by Dundee Contemporary Arts, while Northern Ireland’s contribution will feature video artist Susan MacWilliam  in Remote Viewing, curated by Karen Downey.  The French Pavilion will present Claude Leveque’s Le grand soir (The Great Night), curated by Christian Bernard. 

A preview of Claude Lévéque’s Le grand soir, France’s official contribution to the Biennale. via Artipedia

Japan’s contribution, Windswept Women: The Old Girls’ Troupe, is by Miwa Yanagi.  The exhibit, housed in a tent designed by Takamasa Yoshizaka, chronicles cyclical changes, allegorical deaths/births, in women as they grow old/young.  Russia’s Victory over the Future, curated by Olga Sviblova, is a combination of individual works — by artists Pavel Pepperstein, Alexey Kallima, Andrei Molodkin, Gosha Ostretsov, Irina Korina, Sergei Shekhovtsov and Anatoly Shuravlev — that comments on the artists’ confrontation with the avant-garde.

internal and external views of Miwa Yanagi’s forthcoming Windswept Women: The Old Girls’ Troupe, for the Japanese Pavilion. via Japan Foundation: Arts and Cultural Exchange

Artists Yoko Ono and John Baldessari, both also part of “Making Worlds,” will be presented with Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement.  Baldessari has worked in film and video, photography, and painting, often mixing images with text.  His work has been featured in over 900 group and 200 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe.  Musician/artist Yoko Ono’s  work spans artistic media.  Included here is Add Colour Painting, completed by art fans and families as they add to a mural with the artist’s 1966 work, by the same name, as inspiration.

Beach Scene/Nuns/Nurse (with Choices), by John Baldessari, who will receive a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 53rd Biennale. via ArtCritical


Add Colour Painting, by Yoko Ono, who will receive a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 53rd Biennale. via Imagine Peace.
- Rivka Fogel