The 56th Venice Biennale is set to open on 9th May 2015 embedding exiting and current themes of social justice, political awareness and environmental awakening.
The appointment this year of curator: Okwui Enwezor will mark for the first time in the Biennale’s history the most diverse group of artists will be curated with a spectacular injection of cultures and backgrounds. The British Pavilion featuring the YBA artist Sarah Lucas, known for her sexually explicit, tongue in cheek feminist artwork is much anticipated.
Okwui’s current view on the presentation of art for Biennale focuses on “Disquiet” mirroring the waves and movements of our social time. He writes that ” The ruptures that surround and abound around every corner of the global landscape today recall the evanescent debris of previous catastrophes piled at the feet of the angel of history in Angelus Novus”. Angelus Novus -The Klee painting he refers to is the corner stone for his curatorial process and symbolizes the “ angel of history”, offering a global perspective on current affairs with a micro focus on specific events.
Amides political crisis in the Ukraine – Pinchuk Art Centre will be organising it’s pavilion featuring young rebellious artists such as Zhanna Kadyrova whom recently exhibited her controversial piece “ Untitled 2014” at Grad’s London Gallery. The work consists of a brick wall lined with wallpaper on one side in the shape of the newly formed borders of Ukraine; Its rough edges and fallen bricks suggest the annexation of Crimea and its economic collapse. Björn Geldhof Pinchuk Art centre’s curator explains that: “With this exhibition a young generation of artists voices hopes for Ukraine’s future through a deeply personal commitment and solidarity with those involved in the war.”
Another political presentation will take place at the Israeli Pavilion featuring renowned artist Tsibi Geva, the 63 years old artist who reside in Tel Aviv carries reputable politically aware artworks. For the Biennale he will juxtapose paintings with sculptural installations and found elements related to the home, such as terrazzo tiles, windows, shutters, lattices, and cement blocks.
The installation will address “political and cultural questions of locality and immigration, hybrid identity, existential anxiety and existence in an age of instability.” Hadas Maor, curator of the Israeli Pavilion, promises that Geva’s installation will engage in “issues of the stratified structure of identity,” a theme the artist has returned to again and again.
The Venice Biennale takes place in the magnificent city of Venice with its backdrop of ancient architecture which is drenched in artistic, violent and romantic history. Though the last Biennale exemplified incredibly diverse ambitious and striking artworks- such as Konrad Smoleński Bells installation at the Polish Pavilion (Titled: Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More) This year, there is an exiting sense of artistic tension and the NEED to create real political impact, artists and curators re-gaining the important role of art as prime culture maker and reflector of society rather than the role of the financial market.
Words/Photo: Michal Cole © Artlyst 2015