An invitation to see
The title of this Exhibition could be interpreted as a sort of curse, where the expression “interesting times” evokes the idea of challenging or even “menacing” times, but it could also simply be an invitation to always see and consider the course of human events in their complexity, an invitation, thus, that appears to be particularly important in times when, too often, oversimplification seems to prevail, generated by conformism or fear.
And I believe that an exhibition of art is worth our attention, first and foremost, if it intends to present us with art and artists as a decisive challenge to all oversimplifying attitudes.
Twenty years have passed since, in this same location, I presented my first Exhibition (as President), after the Biennale underwent major reform in 1998.
Let me tell you, they have been very interesting times.
It's natural that, over the course of these years, we – and many other people - have often reflected on the role the Biennale should have and the challenges it must face, well aware of the many, ambivalent ways our work (and our mission) can be interpreted. Our work stands apart from that of many others, not for what it does (Exhibitions) but perhaps for the spirit with which it is done and for our work method, which, in turn, must hold true to that spirit.
In times of great change, we have all realized that we must pay attention to the evolution of the world and of the world of art. I must admit that, at the helm of La Biennale di Venezia, we are facilitated in this task since we are active in various artistic sectors – Theatre, Music, Dance, Cinema, and Architecture – and the stimuli, challenges, and incentives never lack. How have we reacted?