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La Biennale di Venezia

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56th International Art Exhibition


The Jury of the 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, comprised of Naomi Beckwith (USA), Sabine Breitwieser (Austria), Mario Codognato (Italy), Ranjit Hoskote (India), Yongwoo Lee (South Korea), has attributed on 9th May 2017 the official Awards of the Biennale Arte 2015.


The Jury of the 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia wishes to acknowledge an outstanding Biennale Arte 2015 with an increased number of National participations and a particular sensitivity to current geopolitical urgencies. It also marks the first International Art Exhibition with a dedicated space which emphasizes the performative and discursive as an integral element in today’s art practice.


The Golden Lion for Best National Participation goes to the Republic of Armenia
Armenity / Haiyutioun. Contemporary artists from the Armenian Diaspora
Commissioner: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia. Deputy Commissioner: Art for the World Europa, Mekhitarist Congregation of San Lazzaro Island,  Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Italy, Vartan Karapetian. Curator: Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg. Venue: Monastery and Island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni

The Golden Lion for the best artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures goes to Adrian Piper
The Probable Trust Registry: The Rules of the Game #1–3
(United States, 1948; Arsenale, Corderie)

The Silver Lion for a promising young artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures goes to Im Heung-Soon
Factory Complex
(South Korea, 1969; Arsenale, Artiglierie)


The Jury has also decided to assign three special mentions to artists of the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures:
Harun Farocki
(Germany 1944 - d. 2014; Corderie, Arsenale)

Abounaddara collective
(founded 2010 Syria, based in Syria; Giardino delle Vergini, Arsenale)

Massinissa Selmani
(Algeria 1980; Corderie, Arsenale)

The Jury has also wished to honor with a special mention the United States of America for their presentation of Joan Jonas, an artist of significant oeuvre and influence:
Joan Jonas: They Come to Us Without a Word
Commissioner: Paul C. Ha. Deputy Commissioner: MIT List Visual Arts Center. Curators: Ute Meta Bauer, Paul C. Ha. Venue: Pavilion at Giardini


The Awards Ceremony of the 56th International Art Exhibition took place on May 9th 2015 at Ca’ Giustinian. The Board of la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, also awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to El Anatsui (Ghana), and a Special Golden Lion for Services to the Arts to Susanne Ghez (USA), both under director Okwui Enwezor’s proposal.


The awards of the International Jury are assigned with the following motivations:

The Golden Lion for the national pavilion goes to Republic of Armenia for forming a pavilion based on a people in diaspora, each artist engaging their specific locality as well as their heritage. The pavilion took the form of a palimpsest, with contemporary positions inserted into a site of historic preservation. In a year that witnesses a significant milestone for the Armenian people, this pavilion marks the resilience of trans-cultural confluence and exchanges.

Golden Lion for best artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures to Adrian Piper. A pioneering artist, Piper has reformed conceptual practice to include personal subjectivity—of herself, her audience and the publics in general. Her presentations invite us to engage in a life-long performance of personal responsibility and calls out attention to ephemeral and transitional character of value systems.

Silver Lion for a promising young artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures to Im Heung-Soon for a moving video work that probes the nature of precarity in relation to the conditions of labor for women across Asia. Factory Complex takes the form of a documentary but with a direct, lightly mediated, encounter with his subjects and their working conditions.

A special mention for artists of the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures goes to Harun Farocki, a seminal figure in post-war cinema. This presentation makes his entire body of highly influential work accessible to a larger public.

Another special mention goes to the incredibly brave Abounaddara collective for documenting the current political strife and human struggle for survival in Syria, without taking sides.

Special mentions goes to Massinissa Selmani for working in a modest medium which has the capacity to act beyond its scale.

Biennale Arte 2015
Biennale Arte 2015