Mercoledì, 26 Settembre 2018
VENICE

Venice ready for Biennale arts bonanza

English
© ANSA

(By Kate Carlisle) Venice, May 29 - The Venice
Biennale, considered among the most important contemporary art
festivals in the world, has pulled a page from history and
chosen the title The Encyclopedic Palace for its central
exhibition, remembering a patented but unfinished project from
half a century ago.
Curated by 39-year-old Massimiliano Gioni, associate
director and director of exhibitions at the New Museum in New
York, the title refers to the self-taught Italian-American
artist Marino Auriti and the 1955 design he filed with the US
Patent office called the 'Palazzo Enciclopedico'.
Auriti's 700-meter-tall museum was projected to cover 16
city blocks in Washington DC and was conceived of to bring
together the world's greatest discoveries under one roof.
Auriti's ambitions plan never came to fruition, but the
idea remains intriguing enough to inspire the theme for one of
the world's best-known biannual art events.
A three-day preview beginning on Wednesday gives early
select visitors a taste of what's to come when the show opens to
the public on Saturday.
Some 500,000 people are expected to flock to the lagoon
city to see the Biennale before it draws to a close November 24.
The enormous exhibition is located in two sites - one in
the shaded gardens, or Giardini, on the city's east side and the
other in the nearby Arsenale complex.
The 55th Biennale will host 158 artists from 38 countries,
almost double compared to the two previous Biennales.
"Perhaps it is because I am great admirer of (Italian
author of Name of the Rose) Umberto Eco, but I have always
thought that knowledge is a sort of romantic adventure....the
world seems made as inspiration for a novel," Gioni told ANSA
explaining the Encyclopedia theme.
Mixing themes and eras, Gioni made a decisive choice to
select artists of all levels, placing the well-known next to the
unfamiliar.
Works on display are just as varied with cultish and
obscure objects taking stage next to sophisticated drawings and
paintings.
A deck of tarot cards by the British occultist and artist
Aleister Crowley, an Icelandic boat, a Vietnamese church will
all be on display for visitors to grapple with how they fit into
the curator's concept.
"It is an exhibition that looks towards tomorrow - where
together with giants of art are unknown or 'amateurs'. I do not
want to say that I ask who the artist is today, but I wanted to
go beyond the accepted criteria," Gioni said.
Apart from the major undertaking of organizing the event,
Gioni also actively sought, and found, 1.5 million euros in
funds to supplement the 1.8 million-euro budget.
Another new feature of this edition of the Biennale is the
presence of the Vatican.
For the first time, the Holy See has stitched together an
exhibition to be presented at its very own pavilion.
Three contemporary artists were commissioned by the
sovereign Holy See and given complete artistic liberty to create
interpretations of the first 11 chapters of Genesis.
The Venice Biennale originated in 1895 as an international
art exhibition and as an autonomous institution arranges the
music, film and theater festivals.

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