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Biennale Arte 2022

Meetings on Art

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7 - 11 June 2022
Teatro Piccolo Arsenale

The programme takes Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) – whose literary and artistic work inspired the title and themes of the 59th International Art Exhibition – as a point of departure to expand on the thematic threads raised throughout The Milk of Dreams: the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; and the connection between bodies and the Earth.

Running from June 7th to June 11th, 2022, a series of conversations, keynote lectures, and film screenings will bring together thirty-five artists, scholars, curators, thinkers, and writers from various fields to discuss the work by Carrington and other Surrealist women artists in relation to topics such as metamorphosis, the undoing of binary gender forms, the occult, alchemy, magic, and Indigenous epistemologies; the posthuman turn; our relationship with the Earth and with technologies; the practice of fabulation; and feminist approaches to curating.

Speakers include Susan Aberth, Sophia Al-Maria, Tere Arcq, Tomaso Binga, Matthew Biro, Rosi Braidotti, Giulia Cenci, Susanne Christensen, Jeffrey Deitch, Elisa Giardina Papa, Andrea Giunta, Jack Halberstam, Saidiya Hartman, Jennifer Higgie, Tishan Hsu, Yuk Hui, Jacqueline Humphries, Candice Lin, Canirisia Lubrin, Sebastiano Maffettone, Joanna Moorhead, Gloria Orenstein, Alexandra Pirici, Clarissa Ricci, Christina Sharpe, Marianna Simnett, Adrien Sina, Ánde Somby, Gražina Subelytė, Emma Talbot, Wu Tsang, Angela Vettese, Rinaldo Walcott, Marina Warner, and Anna Watz.

Tuesday 7 June

10.00 am – 12.00 noon

This panel will introduce Leonora Carrington’s life and work, which is filled with hybrid creatures that cross species and states of being, examining points of contact between the artist’s universe and the theme of metamorphosis that runs through the 59th International Art Exhibition, The Milk of Dreams.

Welcome and introductory remarks by Cecilia Alemani, Curator, The Milk of Dreams.

Conversation between Joanna Moorhead, journalist and author; and Marina Warner, award-winning writer of fiction, criticism and history; moderated by Angela Vettese, art critic and Professor at the Università Iuav di Venezia.

Audience Q&A.


5.00 pm – 7.00 pm

Many of the artists included in The Milk of Dreams imagine a posthuman condition that challenges the modern Western vision of the human being − especially the supposed ideal of the “Man of Reason” − as the fixed centre of the universe and measure of all things. This panel will introduce and discuss various strands of the posthuman turn.

Keynote by Rosi Braidotti, philosopher and Distinguished University Professor Emerita at Utrecht University.

Conversation between Rosi Braidotti; Alexandra Pirici, participating artist at the 59th International Art Exhibition; Jeffrey Deitch, curator of the 1992 Post Human exhibition and dealer, Jeffrey Deitch Gallery.

Audience Q&A.

Download Post Human

Wednesday 8 June

10.00 am – 12.00 noon

Examples from the more surrealistic side of trans* visual history demonstrate that what we call gender lies beyond binary forms and material coherence. Following a tradition of queer/trans* image making that flirts with incongruence, animality, and non-sensical modes of expression, queer theorist Jack Halberstam will discuss Leonora Carrington’s magical worlds in relation to experiments in incoherence in queer visual culture.

Keynote by Jack Halberstam, author and Professor in the department of English and comparative literature at Columbia University.

Conversation between Giulia Cenci, Candice Lin, and Marianna Simnett, participating artists at the 59th International Art Exhibition; moderated by Jack Halberstam.

Audience Q&A.


5.00 pm – 7.00 pm

This event will explore the interconnections between Leonora Carrington and Sámi Noaidis (shamans) via the work of feminist art historian Gloria Orenstein while proposing that Indigenous Sámi epistemology might serve as a generative alternative to Western anthropocentrism.

Introduction and yoik performance by Ánde Somby, Professor of Indigenous Law and traditional Sami yoiker from Sirbma, a town in the Samiland territories of Northern Norway.

Conversation between Susanne Christensen, editor of Norwegian Art Yearbook, critic and author; and Gloria Orenstein, Professor Emerita in Comparative Literature and Gender Studies from the University of Southern California; moderated by Ánde Somby.

Closing with a screening of Gloria’s Call, directed by Cheri Gaulke, a documentary capturing Gloria Orenstein’s journey into art and Surrealism, ecofeminism, and Sámi shamanism.

Audience Q&A.

Thursday 9 June

10.00 am – 11.00 am

A recount on the various philosophical strands around the posthuman.

Keynote by Sebastiano Maffettone, University Professor and Director of Ethos at Luiss University in Rome.

Audience Q&A.


5.00 pm – 7.00 pm

When asked about her birth, Carrington once said she was the product of her mother’s encounter with a machine, in the same bizarre union of human, animal, and the mechanical that marks much of her painting and writing. This event will discuss the convergences between individuals and technologies, asking what’s at stake in today’s theories of transhumanism and technological optimism that oppose the dread of a complete takeover by machines via automaton and artificial intelligence.

Keynote by Yuk Hui, philosopher and author, Associate Professor, Philosophy of Technology and Media, SCM, City University of Hong Kong.

Conversation between Yuk Hui; Tishan Hsu, and Jacqueline Humphries, participating artists at the 59th International Art Exhibition; moderated by Matthew Biro, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Michigan.

Audience Q&A.

Friday 10 June

10.00 am – 12.00 noon

A discussion around alchemy, magic, mysticism, and the tarot in relation to Leonora Carrington and other Surrealist women artists.

Conversation between Susan Aberth, Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Tere Arcq, independent curator and art historian; and Emma Talbot, participating artist at the 59th International Art Exhibition; moderated by Gražina Subelytė, Associate Curator at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Audience Q&A.


5.00 pm – 7.00 pm

This panel will introduce Carrington’s literary work and expand on the key and open-ended notion of fabulation – a term employed in literary criticism to describe a writing methodology that fuses history and the everyday with invention and the fantastical – in storytelling and artmaking.

Keynote by Saidiya Hartman, University Professor at Columbia University, New York.

Conversation between Saidiya Hartman; Sophia Al-Maria, and Elisa Giardina Papa, participating artists at the 59th International Art Exhibition; moderated by Anna Watz, Associate Professor of English, Linköping University, Sweden.

Audience Q&A.

Saturday 11 June

10.00 am – 12.00 noon

One section within The Milk of Dreams is inspired by sci-fi author Ursula K. Le Guin and her 1986 essay “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction,” which thinks of the birth of technology and the writing of narrative through the metaphor of containers used for providing sustenance and care: bags, sacks, and vessels. Taking up this presentation as a point of departure, this panel will reflect upon the metaphor of the vessel, asking what a vessel might be.

Keynote by Christina Sharpe, Professor of English literature and Black Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada.

Conversation between Rinaldo Walcott, Full Professor, University of Toronto, Canada; Canisia Lubrin, Assistant Professor, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada; and Wu Tsang, participating artist at the 59th International Art Exhibition; moderated by Christina Sharpe.

Audience Q&A.


3.30 pm – 4.30 pm

Screening of an excerpt from the documentary Bianca-Tomaso and Other Warriors. The Scream of Women’s Art in Italy in the 1970s: A chronicle of Italy in the most subversive decade of the second post-war period narrated through the biography of Bianca Pucciarelli Menna, aka Tomaso Binga (Salerno, 1931), one of the most iconic and brilliant poets and performers from a generation of artists who were central protagonists in the battle for women’s rights and gender equality.

Introduction to documentary by Rosa L. Galantino, producer, and screening (11 mins 30 secs).

Conversation between Luigi Giuliano Ceccarelli, Director of the documentary Bianca-Tomaso and Other Warriors and Tomaso Binga, participating artist at the 59th International Art Exhibition; followed by a live performance.

Audience Q&A.


5.00 pm – 7.00 pm

This panel will discuss curatorial practice from a feminist standpoint, troubling the idea of curating all-women shows, while looking at the inclusion of women at La Biennale Arte through the years. Special focus to Materializzazione del linguaggio (1978), the first exhibition in the Biennale’s history dedicated to women artists.

Keynote by Andrea Giunta, curator and Professor, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina and CONICET.

Conversation between Andrea Giunta; Adrien Sina, curator and art historian; and Clarissa Ricci, Adjunct Professor, Università di Bologna; moderated by Jennifer Higgie, novelist, screenwriter, art critic and editor.

Audience Q&A.


The meetings will be open to the public free of charge, with RESERVATION REQUIRED while seats last.
Admission to the Biennale Arte 2022 is not included.


The meetings will be translated live from English to Italian on the streaming channel of La Biennale di Venezia and recordings will be available at www.labiennale.org

Please check the official website of La Biennale di Venezia for up-to-date listings

Info +39 041 5218 828

Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte