La Biennale as a place of research and dialogue
We customarily define La Biennale as a place of research. We customarily repeat that, regardless of the Exhibition’s theme or approach, La Biennale must present itself as a place whose method—and almost raison d’être—is dedicated to an open dialogue between artists, and between artists and the public. This spirit has been confirmed at every Biennale in past years.
The 57th International Art Exhibition introduces a further development. It is as though what has always been our primary work method—encounter and dialogue—has now become the theme of the Exhibition, because this year’s Biennale Arte is dedicated to celebrating, and almost giving thanks for, the very existence of art and artists, whose worlds expand our perspective and the space of our existence.
Christine Macel has called it an Exhibition inspired by humanism. This type of humanism is neither focused on an artistic ideal to follow nor is it characterized by the celebration of mankind as beings who can dominate their surroundings. If anything, this humanism, through art, celebrates mankind’s ability to avoid being dominated by the powers governing world affairs.
These powers, if left to their own devices, can greatly affect the human dimension, in a detrimental sense.
In this type of humanism, the artistic act is contemporaneously an act of resistance, of liberation and of generosity.
In presenting the works to us, Macel has adopted a theme shared by the great humanist authors: the journey. Along the journey of the Exhibition’s itinerary, the artists encounter each other; they draw near to, or distance themselves from one another, according to the affinities manifested in the impulses and stimuli which move them, in the challenges they must face, or in the practices they have chosen to follow.
It is not a classification, but rather, a disposition, a choreography, an epic poem parsed in a prologue and nine episodes, in which each individual work of art has the task of engaging the visitor with its vitality (and I know how carefully Macel has selected each and every work).