fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Statement by Roberto Cicutto
La Biennale di Venezia

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Statement by

Roberto Cicutto

President of La Biennale di Venezia

Looking through the porthole

I try to put myself in the shoes of Cecilia Alemani, Curator of the 59th International Art Exhibition.
For almost two years we met virtually, framed by a computer screen, and it is through that same screen that Cecilia has visited hundreds of artists’ workshops and studios around the world, poring over paintings, sculptures, videos, installations and examples of performance art that must have given her a very different view from the one she would have experienced in the flesh.
Whether all this has greatly influenced the spirit of her exhibition, I cannot say. But looking at so many imaginary worlds through the porthole of her spaceship/computer, with the aim of physically bringing them to Venice to display them to the world, was most certainly an exceptional and unique experience.
As curators often do – and as they specifically do at the Biennale – Cecilia Alemani begins her (re)search by asking various questions. Of these, one in particular seems to me to summarise them all: “How is the definition of human changing?” Her work begins with the identification of an inspiration, Leonora Carrington, from whose art she develops strands and themes that are represented by artists who relate “the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; the connection between bodies and the Earth.”

The travelling companions

The works in the exhibition mirror some of their “ancestors” in dedicated spaces, telling us where today’s artists have drawn their inspiration from.
A way of bringing together the different contemporaneities that the Biennale Arte has related over its 127-year existence, which was already present in the exhibition Le muse inquiete (The Disquieted Muses). When La Biennale di Venezia Meets History, created by the Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee (ASAC) in the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, curated by all the Directors of the six Artistic Sectors of La Biennale (Architecture, Art, Cinema, Dance, Music, and Theatre), and coordinated by Cecilia Alemani herself in 2020, the year without an International Architecture Exhibition due to the pandemic.
A journey, as we were saying, seen from inside a spaceship. An image that recalls sci-fi films, full of special effects and populated by hybrid creatures that almost always tell the story of the eternal struggle between good and evil. Cecilia Alemani’s Exhibition, on the other hand, imagines new harmonies, hitherto unthinkable cohabitations and surprising solutions, precisely because they distance themselves from anthropocentrism. A journey at the end of which there are no losers, but where new alliances are brought forth, generated by a dialogue between different beings (some perhaps even produced by machines) with all the natural elements that our planet (and perhaps others as well) presents to us.
The travelling companions (the artists) who accompany the Curator all come from very different worlds. Cecilia tells us that there is a majority of female artists and non-binary subjects, a choice I endorse because it reflects the richness of the creative force of our time.
My wish for the 59th International Art Exhibition is that we can all immerse ourselves in the “re-enchantment of the world” that Cecilia evokes in her introduction. Perhaps this is a dream, which is another of the constituent elements of this Exhibition.

Biennale College Arte

Many works are new productions created specifically for this edition. This is an important sign and proof of the great attention bestowed on the new generations of artists. It is no coincidence that the Curator has agreed to create the first College Arte in the Biennale’s history, which now flanks those dedicated to Cinema, Dance, Theatre, and Music. The past few years of the Colleges under the direct responsibility of their Artistic Directors, aided by tutors, have been very positive.
The Colleges, attended by young women and men who have already realised and decided that their lives are going to be dedicated to some form of art, are challenging laboratories that over the years have become a unique tool for perfecting their training. The end result of the Colleges’ activities is the recognition on the stages and screens of the Biennale of the value of those who participate, often rewarded by stable job opportunities. It seemed difficult to achieve this also for the Biennale Arte. But three female artists and one male artist, chosen from among the many candidates from all over the world, see their works exhibited out of competition in the International Exhibition, with equal pride of place as their already established colleagues who have been selected by the Curator.
This is an important step for La Biennale di Venezia which, through the activities of its ASAC and the establishment of an International Centre for Research on the Contemporary Arts, is becoming an increasingly important instrument of growth for female and male artists, further enhancing its historical role of producing exhibitions and festivals.


We would like to thank all Participating Countries and new National Participations.

We thank Ministero della Cultura, the local institutions that support La Biennale in various ways, the City of Venice, the Veneto Region, the Soprintendenza Archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio per il Comune di Venezia e Laguna, and the Italian Navy.

Our thanks also go to the event’s Partner Swatch, to the Main Sponsor illycaffè, and to the Sponsors Bloomberg Philantropies and Vela-Venezia Unica.
We thank the important international Donors, organisations and institutions who have contributed to the success of the Biennale Arte 2022.

Our warmest thanks go to Cecilia Alemani and her entire team.

Finally, we would also like thank everyone at La Biennale for the great professionalism and dedication they have demonstrated in the realisation and administration of the Exhibition.

Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte