Revolving around the 58th Venice Biennale

10 unmissable collateral events in Venice, from Catalonia to Scotland to Wales Pavilion, experiencing Salon Suisse, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana.

Dora García, The Plague, Installation view, ProjecteSD, Barcelona, 2018, per il Padiglione della Catalogna

2019 edition of La Biennale di Venezia (58th International Art Exhibition) will ‘not have a theme per se’, but Rugoff believes that the exhibition ‘will highlight a general approach to making art and a view of art’s social function as embracing both pleasure and critical thinking.’ So While eschewing a theme, Rugoff has chosen to innovate with format, in effect presenting two separate exhibitions: ‘Proposition A’, which will occupy the city’s Arsenale and ‘Proposition B’, which will occupy the main pavilion in the Venice Giardini. Each exhibition has the same artist list, with different bodies of work presented in each space to emphasize the multifaceted nature of each artistic practice. The shows will also present work that deals with digital culture and VR worlds – parallel realities in another sense. But Venice always offers a wide choice of cultural events, what to see revolving around the 58th Venice Biennale? One of the smartest initiative about it comes directly from New York. A new culture pass has been launched by three New York libraries which will provide free access to more than 30 museums and cultural institutions across the city. The initiative launched by Brooklyn Public Library, The New York Public Library and Queens Library will be available in all five New York boroughs and participating institutions include Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1 and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The culture pass will grant free day-passes for library card holders with a reserved portion of passes being donated to under-served neighbourhoods in order to reach new audiences.
Rugoff’s Biennale, in fact, will offer a real anthology of official Collateral Events. We selected ten exhibitions, ten initiative representing a must-see parcours among the National Pavilions, The Arsenale and the Giardini. The Collateral Events at the 58th Venice Biennale, which are admitted by the curator and promoted by non – profit national and international bodies and institutions, take place in several locations; they offer a wide range of contributions and participation that enrich the diversity of voices that characterizes the exhibition of Venice. We selected ten collateral exhibitions completing at best Rugoff’s auspicious May You Live In Interesting Times.

At Cantieri Navali, Castello, 40 (Fondamenta Quintavalle), Catalonia will participate in the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale of Art as part of the Eventi Collaterali program with a project curated by Pedro Azara titledTo Lose Your Head (Idols) . Catalonia's exhibition at the Venice Biennale, to open 11 May 2019, is produced by the Institut Ramon Llull. To select the winning proposal the IRL nominated a committee of experts chaired by artist Dora García and made up of members João Fernandes, deputy director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; Carles Guerra, director of the Fundació Tapies; Cèlia del Diego, art critic and director of the Centre d’Art la Panera as well as head of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts at the Institut Ramon Llull—with a voice but no vote. To Lose Your Head (Idols) is a collaborative project involving artists as: Marcel Borràs e Albert García-Alzórriz con la collaborazione di Perejaume, Francesc Torres, David Bestué, Lúa Coderch, Lola Lasurt e Daniela Ortiz.

The same day, on 11 May, at Arsenale Docks, on behalf of the Scotland + Venice partnership, Charlotte Prodger will represent Scotland at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Charlotte Prodger works with moving image, sculpture, writing and performance. The commission for Scotland + Venice will provide her with the opportunity to produce a new single channel video work that will build on her sustained exploration of queer wilderness. Prodger will develop this new work over a series of research and production residencies at Cove Park, one of Scotland’s foremost residency centres and will be supported by the artist’s production consultant Mason Leaver-Yap. On its return to Scotland the work will tour the Highlands and Islands while Dutch arts organisation If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part of Your Revolution, who are supporting the production of the work, will lead on a subsequent international tour.

3 Sean Edwards, Untitled 2007, Courtesy Tania Leighton, per il Padiglione del Galles
Sean Edwards, Untitled 2007, Courtesy Tania Leighton, for the Wales Pavilion

Through a totally different scenario, even the Wales will be represented in Venice, by Sean Edwards, at Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Castello, 450 (Fondamenta San Gioacchin). Although known as a sculptor, Sean Edwards’s work also combines objects, film, video, photography, books and performance. Wales has been represented since 2003 and for Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice 2019, Sean Edwards’s presentation is led by Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham who will be working with international curator, Marie-Anne McQuay. This exhibition will be his most ambitious and emotionally resonant to date; a poetic enquiry into place, politics and class intertwined with personal histories.

Once more on 11 May, one of the richest prize for under 35 years old artists will reveal itself in Venice, at Università IUAV di Venezia (Ca' Tron). Future Generation Art Prize 2019, will show an exhibition from the 21 shortlisted artists for the 5th edition of the Future Generation Art Prize. The exhibition, established by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in 2009, in 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the prize's founding. Using cutting-edge technologies, new and recent works question the possibilities of interpreting knowledge in today's world. Investigating ideas of the self, the second theme of the exhibition draws from individual socio-cultural values and traditions, whilst also exploring more poetic considerations of the psychological journey. Here, artists similarly reflect on a discrepancy between those traditions and shifting realities in a globalised world. Participating artists will be: Monira Al Qadiri, Yu Araki, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Kasper Bosmans, Madison Bycroft, Alia Farid, Gabrielle Goliath, Rodrigo Hernández, Laura Huertas Millán, Marguerite Humeau, Eli Lundgaard, Taus Makhacheva, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Sondra Perry, Gala Porras-Kim, Emilija Škarnulytė, Jakob Steensen, Daniel Turner, Anna Zvyagintseva and artist collectives Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Cooking Sections.

Natalie Djurbger, Putting down the pray, The Future Generation Art Prize, Venezia, 2018
Natalie Djurbger, Putting down the pray, The Future Generation Art Prize, Venice, 2017

A very intra-disciplinary event will be supported by Prohelvetia. Under the heading of Salon Suisse, Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi hosts the support programme to the Swiss exhibition at the Venice Biennale, titled S l o w. During the Biennale (11 May; 19-20-21 September; 17-18-19 October; 21-22-23 November) the patrician palace dating back to the 15th century becomes a meeting point for artists, specialists, scholars, students and other interested visitors from all over the world. In the times between the biennials the Swiss Consulate in Venice organises cultural events at the Palazzo. Depending on how intensively the site is being used, short, project-related stays by artists and academics are also possible against payment of a fee. The premises can also be hired for external events. From 2005 until spring 2012, the Istituto Svizzero in Rome was responsible for cultural activities at Palazzo Trevisan. Pro Helvetia has since assumed the coordination of cultural events there as part of its responsibility for Switzerland’s presence at the biennials.

Moreover, opening on 24 March and running until December 2019, there will be two exhibitions enhancing the Biennale’s frame events. As part of the cycle of monographic shows dedicated to major contemporary artists, launched in 2012 and alternating with thematic exhibitions of the Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi presents Luc Tuymans’ first personal exhibition in Italy.Curated by Caroline Bourgeois in collaboration with the artist, the show is entitled La Pelle (The Skin), after Curzio Malaparte’s 1949 novel. It includes over 80 works from the Pinault Collection, international museums and private collections, and focuses on the artist’s paintings from 1986 to today.

Philippe Parreno Gropius Bau Berlino, 2018, ©Philippe-Parreno, per Espace Louis Vuitton
Philippe Parreno Gropius Bau Berlino, 2018, ©Philippe Parreno, for Espace Louis Vuitton

Punta della Dogana introduces Luogo e Segni, curated by Martin Bethenod, Director of Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana, and Mouna Mekouar, independent curator. Luogo e Segni takes its title from a painting by Carol Rama included in the exhibition. The show brings together over one hundred works, by thirtysix artists, that establish a particular relationship with their urban, social, political, historical, intellectual setting. Among the artists presented, 17 appear for the first time in a Pinault Collection exhibition in Venice including, among others; Berenice Abbot, Liz Deschenes, Trisha Donnelly and R. H. Quaytman. Among those, 3 have taken part in the artist residency programme promoted by the Pinault Collection in Lens: Lucas Arruda, Hicham Berrada and Edith Dekyndt.
Eventually, before leaving the Laguna, there will be three art-enclaves to experience and undergo during the 58th Venice Biennale: Espace Louis Vuitton (San Marco, 1353, Calle del Ridotto) with Philippe Parreno and his solo show Displacing Realities; in Chiesa di Santa Maria Della Pieta, by Processional, Todd Williamson examines the ideas of order and tradition to insinuate the deep uncertainty and uncontrollable political, social, and cultural movements of our time; and Fondazione Querini Stampalia, opening on 8 May with the baffling, obscure Ichich – Ichihr – Ichwir / We All Have to Die.

Exhibition Title:
La Biennale di Venezia. 58esima mostra internazionale d’Arte
Opening dates:
From 8 May to 24 Novamber 2019
Curated by:
Ralph Rugoff
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