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Biennale Arte 2017

Collateral Events

57th International Art Exhibition 
A Bonsai of My Dream – Works by Wong Cheng Pou
The world is getting more and more complicated. Living in an over-crowded city, people may find it confusing to squeeze themselves among the gaps. I am so lucky to have been living by the sea, and whenever I am free I would like to go somewhere high, sitting there doing nothing, just gazing at the enchanting mountains from an elevated position, especially when there is a clear moon in the sky, the silvery shadows reflected by the calmness of the water are totally different from what they used to be in the day time – a frigid concrete jungle. Then I couldn’t help myself being infatuated with this unfathomable scenery, recalling my memories of the creatures in the Shan Hai Jing, who take care of the seas and mountains in an eccentric way.
Arsenale, Castello, 2126/A (Campo della Tana)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday (except 15.05, 14.08, 04.09, 30.10)
Promoter: The Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government;
The Macao Museum of Art
Alberto Biasi, Sara Campesan, Bruno Munari e altri amici di Verifica 8+1
The Verifica 8 + 1 association was set up in April 1978 on the Venetian mainland as a meeting place for artists involved in a search for new languages. The exhibition project is focused on three significant members of the association: Sara Campesan, a founding member with a dynamic personality and a strong creative bent; Bruno Munari, the association’s putative father-figure; and Alberto Biasi, the founder of Programmed Art in Veneto. The exhibition includes works by the other founding members, and the selection of seven more artists who have held solo shows at the Centre, and who have been particularly active in the group. Thus the project includes a symmetrical balanced group of seven artists, founders of the Centre, in addition to the three personalities mentioned in the title, and seven masters who have held shows at Verifica 8 + 1.
Istituzione Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, galleria di Piazza San Marco, 71/c
July 28 – October 8
h 10.30 – 17.30 closed on Monday and Tuesday
Promoter: Associazione Culturale Ars Now Seragiotto
Body and Soul. Performance Art – Past and Present
In Body and Soul. Performance Art – Past and Present, eight performance artists—some historically renowned, others emerging—appear in live performances and in video or photographic documentation of their earlier actions. The pioneering figures VALIE EXPORT, ORLAN, Nicola L, and Carolee Schneemann have long used their bodies to express concerns related to gender, femininity, personal relationships, and politics. Their innovations were both formal and thematic, directly confronting mid-twentieth-century gender inequality and social repression.
The exhibition’s younger participants, building on that heritage, address the performance art canon itself (Derrick Adams), cultural fragmentation and multiple identities (Aisha Tandiwe Bell), paternity and the cycle of life (John Bonafede), and the contestation of social roles and dynamics of bodily expression (Katarzyna Kozyra).
Conservatorio di Musica "Benedetto Marcello", Palazzo Pisani, San Marco, 2810 (Campiello Pisani)
May 13 – September 2
h 14 – 19 closed on Sunday and Monday
Promoter: Rush Philantropic Arts Foundation
Catalonia in Venice_La Venezia che non si vede
Antoni Abad proposes a sensory interpretation of the urban space that is Venice, created in collaboration with a group of blind and visually impaired people. This collective of people uses the senses in a different way compared to the majority of the population and is able to reveal hidden aspects of the city. The catalyst for this socially engaged art project is a mobile application, BlindWiki, created especially for blind people, which allows to record and publish impressions of any location in the city, as well as listen to these recordings in situ.  Thus, the Catalan project is an eminently sensorial experience, where the collective intelligence reclaims universal accessibility and suggest alternative ways to occupy public space, both physical and digital.
Cantieri Navali, Castello, 40 (Calle Quintavalle)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday  (except 15.05, 14.08, 04.09, 30.10, 20.11)
Promoter: Institut Ramon Llull
Doing Time
In Manhattan’s downtown art scene of the late 1970s and early 80s a young Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh made an exceptional series of artworks. He embarked on five separate yearlong performances. In each, he made a strict rule that governed his behaviour for the entire year. The performances were unprecedented in terms of their use of physical difficulty over extreme durations and in their absolute conception of life and art as simultaneous processes. Assembling many documents and artefacts into detailed installations, Doing Time counterpoints two of Hsieh’s most moving One Year Performances: the Time Clock Piece (1980-1981) and the Outdoor Piece (1981-1982). Together these two monumental performances of subjection mount an intense and affective discourse on human existence, its relation to systems of power, to time and to nature.
Palazzo delle Prigioni, Castello, 4209 (San Marco, Ponte della Paglia)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Taipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan
Fernando Zóbel. Contrapuntos
The exhibition provides an introduction and perspective on the work of Fernando Zóbel (1924-1984), who was born in Manila, studied at Harvard University, and lived in Spain. The exhibited paintings are a harmonious synthesis of Asian and Western painting techniques. Described as a transnational artist, Zóbel was a key figure in the modern art movement in the Philippines. He also formed close ties with Spanish artists in the 1950s to 1960s during the ascendancy of Spanish abstract painting. Focusing on the years 1956-1962, the show selects artist’s prime achievements, the Saeta and Serie Negra series. The exhibition also includes the sculptures of Pablo Serrano (1908-1985) who was also a proponent for abstraction in Spain. Fernando Zóbel. Contrapuntos is designed as an organic mise-en-scène, a contemplative, cerebral sphere rather than inanimate scenography. Artifacts, texts, music, and publications form part of a visual dialogue about how artistic practice could be reimagined as a lively form of contemporary expression.
Fondaco Marcello, San Marco, 3415 (Calle del Traghetto o Ca' Garzoni)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Ayala Foundation/Ayala Museum
Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice 2017
The Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice 2017 presents the fourth edition of the first global art prize with 21 artists from almost all continents and 16 different countries. Through the independent artists statements this exhibition engages with the complexities of the contemporary world and investigates the possibilities of art within it. Balancing between personal and collective, imaginary and real, familiar and uncanny, the show proposes a captivating journey through parallel realities where idiosyncratic experiences and global phenomena intersect.
Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Dorsoduro, 874 (Accademia)
May 12 – August 13
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Victor Pinchuk Foundation
James Lee Byars, The Golden Tower
James Lee Byars (1932-1997) envisioned The Golden Tower as a colossal beacon and oracle that would bridge heaven and earth and unify humanity – a contemporary monument surpassing the grandeur of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The idea first began in 1990 and was developed with numerous conceptual studies throughout the artist’s career. Towering to a height of 20 meters, The Golden Tower is the artist’s largest and most ambitious work. Fabricated in 2017 with a team of Italian gilders, this installation of The Golden Tower is the first to fully realize the artist’s intentions of presenting the sculpture in a public space, and doubly significant given Byars’s deep connections to the city. Byars lived off and on in Venice beginning in 1982. He participated in four previous editions of Biennale Arte since 1980 and enacted numerous performances in Venice throughout his career.
Dorsoduro, Campo San Vio
May 13 – November 26
Promoter: Fondazione Giuliani
Jan Fabre – Glass and Bone Sculptures 1977 – 2017
The exhibition surveys Jan Fabre’s oeuvre from its beginning, leading viewers into a philosophical, spiritual and political contemplation of life and death through the lens of metamorphosis, as embodied in his works in glass and bone created in the period 1977-2017. The artist chooses glass for its real and metamorphical transparency, because it is a material that can be looked through. He uses it in different ways, as a transparent sheet/wall into which he can engrave or sculpt an ear in relief:  the orgn of hearing thus joining that for seeing. The use of bones marks a return to one of Fabre’s fundamental reference points, the tradition of the Flemish masters, who regularly used ground bone in their paintings. Thus the glass and bone works unite the artist’s artistic childhood with the history of old and modern art, in an ongoing reinterpretation of the relationship between past, present and future.
Abbazia di San Gregorio, Dorsoduro, 172
May 13 – November 26
h 11 – 19 closed on Monday
Promoter: GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo
Man as Bird. Images of Journeys
The exhibition invites the viewer to travel across multiple dimensions – space, time and individual experience – which may alter the perception of the world and the self. The initial morphology and structure of the images transform along the journey due to different viewpoints incorporated into the project. Like Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver or Lewis Carroll’s Alice, the viewer will experience unusual proportions and perspectives: the world transforms, the point of view changes, the real and the imaginary intertwine and no longer correspond to our perception. Along the journey, the angle of vision broadens through the bird’s-eye view to expanded vision linked to all other senses. Sound, tactile sensation, and haptic vision allow experiencing one more space - the space of memory, which foregrounds the individual journey through the self. The vanishing point converging the machine and the human eye, spaces of history and individual memory, is inside each of us, and the ultimate goal of this journey is to cognize oneself.
Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel, Cannaregio, 6071 (Calle fianco la Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli)
May 13 – September 5
h 10 – 15  closed on Monday
Promoter: The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
Memory and Contemporaneity. China Art Today
What exactly is the significance of a reflection on contemporary Chinese art in the memory? Obviously, it is an important path leading us to realize the value of Chinese civilization. City of Beijing is the symbol to represent the diversity and richness of the Chinese Culture. And it is precisely in the capital city that the exhibition project Memory and Contemporaneity was born. In the context of the Forbidden City, one of greatest legacies of China’s history, it is currently opening a space of investigation where, starting from the Palace Museum’s collections and archives, a group of Chinese contemporary artists have been asked to reflect on contemporary art in relation to the cult of memory.
Arsenale Nord, Tese n. 98-99
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 (Friday and Saturday until 30.09 h10 – 20) closed on Monday (except 15.05, 14.08, 04.09, 30.10, 20.11)
Promoter: The Palace Museum, Beijing
Michelangelo Pistoletto
The symbol of the Third Paradise, a reconfiguration of the mathematical symbol for infinity, is composed of three consecutive circles. The two outer circles represent all diversities and antinomies, including natural and manmade. The central circle is the joining and interpretation of the outer circles and represents the generative womb of a new humanity. The Third Paradise is the third phase of humanity, achieved via a balanced interconnection of the articial and the natural. In this phase, art becomes a catalyst for meanings relating to religious symbolism, a multiconfessional realm capable of promoting equilibrium in the political and religious conflicts that tragically grip the entire world. In the exhibition Michelangelo Pistoletto, the artist explores contemporary issues relating to today’s globalized society, presenting works inspired by the acceptance of differences and by political, religious and racial tolerance, promoted through creativity aiming to improve society.
Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore and Officina dell’Arte Spirituale
May 10 – November 26
Tuesday - Saturday h 10 – 18, Sunday h 14 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Associazione Arte Continua
Modus tells the story of an aspect in the practice of art that progressively eroded starting in the second half of the nineteenth century and was reformulated in a theoretical key by the historical avant-garde movements: the intimate connection between technique and poetics, the relation between science and the material of the work of art. With an animated video on the history of art, the exhibition reveals, in multiple sections, the linguistic and interdisciplinary interrelations that characterize the contemporary quest in art. The scientific basis has been developed in collaboration with the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna and the Visual Communication Design Method program of the Fine Arts Academy of Venice.
Ca’ Faccanon, San Marco, 5016 (Poste Centrali)
May 13 – November 26
13.05 – 20.05 h 9.30 – 20 open every day; 21.05 – 01.07 h 10.30 – 19.30 closed Wednesday;  02.07 – 26.11 h 11 – 13.30 and 14.30 – 19 closed on Wednesday
Promoter: WAVE’s (women arts Venice)
Philip Guston and The Poets
The Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia present the work of the pre-eminent Canadian-American painter Philip Guston (1913-1980) in a major exhibition exploring the artist’s oeuvre in relation to  key literary figures. The exhibition considers the ideas and writings of major 20th century poets as catalysts for his enigmatic pictures, featuring works that span a fifty-year period in Guston’s artistic career, paintings and drawings dating from 1930 until his death in 1980. The exhibition draws parallels between the essential humanist themes reflected in these works, and the words of five poets: D.H. Lawrence, W.B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens, Eugenio Montale and T.S. Eliot. This museum exhibition reflects the artist’s special relationship with Italy.
Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia, Dorsoduro, 1050 (Campo della Carità)
May 10 – September 3
Monday h 8.15 – 14, Tuesday - Sunday h 8.15 – 19.15
free entrance with ticket Biennale Arte 2017, Gallerie Accademia
Promoter: Museo Nazionale Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia
Pierre Huyghe
For the Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, Pierre Huyghe has imagined a whole new exhibition format, between narrative, fiction and fugitive memory. The film A Journey that wasn’t (2005) is at the center of the exhibition, retracing an expedition to Antarctica aboard an ancient sailboat in search of a new island where an albino penguin allegedly lives; there Huyghe translated the topography of the island into sound, creating a musical score performed on Central Park rink in New York. Creature (2005-2011), small penguin made of fiberglass, emitting sounds, is "a unique, distant intuition where it disappears almost in the context". Silence Score (1997), is the transcription of the imperceptible sounds of John Cage’s 4'33” (Silence) recorded in1952, where a musician would play a few minutes of silence from a score without notes.
Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, San Marco, 1353 (Calle del Ridotto)
May 13 – November 26
Monday – Saturday h 10 – 19.30 , Sunday h 10.30 – 19.30 open every day
Promoter: Fondation Louis Vuitton
Ryszard Winiarski. Event-Information-Image
The exhibition of Ryszard Winiarski’s works presents the oeuvre of one of the most interesting personalities of the Polish art of the second half of the 20th century: An artist, engineer, painter, stage designer, teacher, precursor of conceptual art, and the leading representative of indeterminism. In his diploma thesis of 1966, titled Event-Information-Image, he defined a mature and innovative concept of a piece of art based on an attempt at transferring the issues of mathematics, statistics, information technology, and game theory to canvas. His bold vision of incorporating the real information in the painting, binary aesthetics, and use of participation perfectly fit Ryszard Winiarski’s oeuvre into such widespread contemporary phenomena as development of visual communication, dominance of digital narrations, universality of participation, popularity of QR codes.
Palazzo Bollani, Castello, 3647
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Starak Family Foundation
Salon Suisse: Ataraxia
The well-trodden narrative ‘Switzerland is a country without problems’ establishes an image of economic security, but for all its cultural capital the country has for the most part managed to side-step confrontation on the subject of its modernist and colonial histories. Switzerland’s so-called ‘neutrality’ within the current economic, political and cultural landscape of Europe and further afield – as well as its post/colonial narratives – is central to this year’s Salon Suisse. A series of tools including Roland Barthes’s term ‘mythologisation’ (Mythologies, 1957) will be used to unpack the political narratives of Switzerland – tropes carrying near mythological status. Ataraxia aims to galvanise us into action through spirited forms of collective reflection, experience and response.
Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi, Dorsoduro, 810 (Campo Sant’ Agnese)
May 11; August 31 – September 2; October 19 – 21; November 23 – 25; h 18.30
Promoter:  Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
Samson Young: Songs for Disaster Relief, Hong Kong in Venice
Artist and composer Samson Young creates a new body of work that attempts to frame the popularisation of “charity singles” as a historic “event” and a culturally transformative moment in time. Charity singles were most widespread in the 1980s, and coincided with the rise of neo-liberalist aspirations and the globalisation of the popular music industry. Through a deliberate repurposing and creative misreading of such iconic titles as We Are the World and Do They Know It’s Christmas, the artist generates a series of objects, performance, and spatial sound installations that together constitute an audio-visual tableau. The exhibition is conceived as an album unfolding in space: a single-copy mechanical reproduction that must be heard and seen in person; an urgent and perpetual plea-for-action.
Arsenale, Castello, 2126 (Campo della Tana)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday (except 15.05, 14.08, 04.09, 30.10, 20.11)
Promoter: M+, West Kowloon Cultural District; Hong Kong Arts Development Council
Scotland + Venice presents Rachel Maclean’s Spite Your Face
The Scotland + Venice partnership is delighted to introduce a major new film commission by Rachel Maclean, Spite Your Face. Referencing the Italian folk-tale Pinocchio, Spite Your Face offers a powerful critique of contemporary ‘post truth’ political rhetoric, in which the dubious language of truth is used and abused to enhance personal, corporate and political power. Possessing a unique and often disturbing vision, Maclean’s fantasy narratives combine traditional modes of theatre with technology and popular culture, raising critical questions about identity, economy, society and morality in a media saturated world.
Former Church Santa Caterina, Cannaregio, 4090/4091 (Fondamenta di Santa Caterina)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday  (except 15.05)
Promoter: Scotland + Venice
Shirin Neshat The Home of My Eyes
The Home of My Eyes is the visual portrait of a culture. Conceived and produced by Shirin Neshat from 2014 to 2015, her photographs include calligraphy in ink. Besides this most recent work, Neshat presents Roja, a video from 2016 based on her personal dreams. Roja shows the feelings of ‘displacement’ and the ‘strange land,’ as well as the desire for a reunion with ‘home,’ and with ‘motherland.’ What seems at first sympathetic yet proves to be, throughout the course of the video, terrifying and demonic. For The Home of My Eyes, Neshat chose different individuals across Azerbaijan, a country of diverse ethnicities, religions, and languages. The personalities of the portrayed appear frontal in three sizes, from 152 to 205 cm. We look at people’s faces and meet several cultures and generations.
Museo Correr, San Marco, 52
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 19 until 31.10 (ticket office h 10 – 18), h 10 – 17 from 01.11 (ticket office h 10 – 16)
open every day with ticket Museo Correr
Promoter: Written Art Foundation
Stephen Chambers: The Court of Redonda
The British artist Stephen Chambers presents an installation of paintings conceived for the historic setting of Ca’ Dandolo, Venice. The Court of Redonda explores the creation of myths, articulating the role played by artists in envisaging a world not how it is, but how it could be - one that is not necessarily wholly tethered in reality. Redonda is a tiny, uninhabited island in the Eastern West Indies, with an honorary kingship that is passed through literary lineage. Chambers was introduced to the legend of Redonda by the writings of the Spanish novelist Javier Marías, and has found in the story a labyrinthine weave of visual possibilities. Over 100 portraits of an imaginary court hang in the piano nobile of the ancient palazzo. The Court of Redonda offers a compelling insight into Chambers’ work and follows major exhibitions at the Royal Academy, London (2012), and the Pera Museum, Istanbul (2014). The exhibition is curated by Emma Hill.
Ca’ Dandolo, San Polo, 2879 (Calle del Traghetto San Tomà)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: The Heong Gallery at Downing College, University of Cambridge
Wales in Venice: James Richards
James Richards’ interest lies in the possibility of the personal amidst the chaos of mass media. He combines video, sound and still images to create installations and live events. His work makes use of an ever-growing bank of material that includes fragments of cinema, works by other artists, stray camcorder footage, murky late night TV and archive research. Carefully constructed installations involve sculptural, cinematic, acoustic, musical and curatorial considerations to create works of extraordinary intensity. Richards’ presentation for Wales in Venice consists of a site responsive sound installation that moves across a wide range of genres and musical languages and the resultant work is a cinematic and multi-sensory experience.
Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, Castello, 450 (Fondamenta di San Gioacchin)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Cymru yn Fenis Wales in Venice
Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow: Traceability is Credibility by Bryan Mc Cormack
This work visualizes the refugee crisis and gives voice to hundreds of thousands of people from over 30 nationalities (speaking as many languages), in majority children, often illiterate. Each refugee creates 3 drawings, one of their life before (Yesterday), one of their current life (Today) and one of their future (Tomorrow). It is both an installation/performance and a social media voice that maps-out a visual memory of this exodus, from refugee boats/camps on Greek islands to shelters in the UK. A multiplicity of refugees participated in these drawings, creating their contemporary culture whilst simultaneously losing  traceability of their inherited culture. Without traceability, the existence of a people disappears. Each refugee drawing counts. Each drawing is a voice. Every voice counts.
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Sala Borges
May 13 – August 13
h 11 – 18 closed on Wednesday
Promoter: Fondazione Giorgio Cini
Biennale Arte
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