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Venice Biennale 2022 | Pt 1

The International Arts Festival Makes a Post-Covid Comeback WORDS AND PHOTOS BY ANQI LI

Postponed from 2021 due to lockdowns, the 59th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale The Milk of Dreams finally opened on April 23, 2022. Curated by Cecilia Alemani, this edition of the most prestigious art exhibition marks several milestones: it’s the fourth Biennale Arte curated by a woman in its 127-year history, and for the first time, by an Italian woman. It is also the first time since 1895 that women and gender non-conforming artists represent the majority of the presenting artists, an intentional choice by Alemani.

Photography by Anqi Li

Exploring recurring questions and blurry boundaries of sciences, arts, and myths, 213 artists from 58 countries exhibit 1,433 works and objects focused on three themes through November 27, 2022: “the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; the connection between bodies and the Earth.” Moved and motivated by this slow but steady progress, smART Magazine is thrilled to announce that we will bring you a five-show journal review to celebrate some of these great artists and their intriguing artworks.

First selected by Okwui Enwezor for the 56th Venice Biennale, the U.K. artist Sonia Boyce won this year’s top prize Golden Lion. Reflected in her iconic tessellating wallpapers, Boyce expresses her feeling “as a fragment” of “the weight of all Black artists, Black people.” With Feeling Her Way at the Great British Pavilion, Boyce poses the question: “As a woman, as a Black person, what does freedom feel like?” smART Magazine will also review several other exhibitions, including the architectural interventions at the German Pavilion and the Spanish Pavilion; The Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua alta at the Ukrainian Pavilion; the Chinese Pavilion’s hybrid META-SCAPE in the human-technology-nature context, Black Star – The Museum as Freedom presented by Ghana, and other shows that effectively engage the audience in conversations around arts, sciences, and myths.

Anqi Li

As Curator Cecilia Alemani concludes in her statement, “the Biennale sums up all the things we have so sorely missed in the last two years: the freedom to meet people from all over the world, the possibility of travel, the joy of spending time together, the practice of difference, translation, incomprehension, and communion.”

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