fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Djuna Barnes
La Biennale di Venezia

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Djuna Barnes

1892 – 1982, USA

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

In 1928, the American writer and journalist Djuna Barnes privately published Ladies Almanack, a literary experiment blending prose, poetry, drawings, and even bars of music. The book tells the tale of Dame Evangeline Musset and her whimsically named friends – Patience Scalpel, Doll Furious, and Señorita Fly-About – who freely, frivolously, proudly enjoy their homosexuality. Even on the cover, the “Members of the Sect,” as Barnes calls them, are portrayed as an army of bellicose adventuresses, fashionably dressed and riding white horses, as they put to rout a worried-looking knight. While the book is clearly a declaration of war on men, the web of words and images is so dense that the narrative becomes cryptic. It is punctuated by a series of satirical vignettes, titled after the months of the year and brimming with astrological symbols connected to the “almanac” theme. When she dedicated this book to her partner and fellow artist Thelma Wood, Barnes was in the middle of the decade she spent in Paris surrounded by a circle of women including Natalie Clifford Barney, Mina Loy, and Dorothy Wilde, and the novel shows an unusual cheerfulness for her writing.

Stefano Mudu

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte