2024 Venice Biennale: A Global Artistic Journey Embracing Diversity and Foreignness

A Star-studded Artist Lineup for the Prestigious Event

The 2024 Venice Biennale, often lauded as the most crucial recurring art exhibition globally, has announced its participation list of 331 artists and collectives. The esteemed roster encompasses emerging, mid-career, and established living artists. Some notable names include Beatriz Cortez, Olga De Amaral, Hito Steyerl, Simone Forti, Samia Halaby, Lauren Halsey, Rindon Johnson, Bouchra Khalili, Teresa Margolles, Ahmed Morsi, Puppies Puppies, Zilia Sánchez, Ana Segovia, Yinka Shonibare, Superflex, Salman Toor, Kay WalkingStick, and WangShui. Additionally, historical figures and recently deceased artists such as Pacita Abad, Etel Adnan, Huguette Caland, Tarsila do Amaral, Carmen Herrera, Maria Izquierdo, Frida Kahlo, Wifredo Lam, Judith Lauand, Tina Modotti, Tomie Ohtake, Diego Rivera, Freddy Rodriguez, Jewad Selim, Joaquin Torres-García, and Rubem Valentim will also mark their presence.

Embracing the Theme “Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere”

Last June, the Biennale’s curator revealed that the event would adopt the theme “Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere.” This title draws inspiration from a series of neon works created by French artist collective Claire Fontaine in various languages, including some extinct Indigenous ones. Curator Pedrosa, also the artistic director of São Paulo’s Museu de Arte, is widely recognized for his innovative exhibition series “Histórias.” This project devotes the museum’s yearly programming to lesser-known narratives, such as those of Afro-Atlantic, Indigenous, women, and queer people.

At the press conference, Pedrosa explained that these works by Claire Fontaine represent “a world rife with multifarious crises concerning the movement and existence of people across countries, nations, territories, and borders, which reflect, in turn, the perils and pitfalls of language, translation, nationality, expressing differences and disparities conditioned by race, identity, nationality, gender, sexuality, freedom, and wealth.” Further elaborating on the wide-ranging implications of the phrase ‘Foreigners Everywhere’, the curator posited it as a motto, slogan, call to action, or an expression conveying excitement, joy, or fear.

Venice Biennale Designed Around Two Main Sections

Much like its 2022 edition, this year’s event will be bifurcated into two main sections: “Nucleo Contemporaneo” (contemporary) and “Nucleo Storico” (historical). Similar to Venice itself—an international hub experiencing a bustling inflow of daily tourist traffic—these sections aim to create unique, immersive experiences for visitors at the Biennale.

“Nucleo Contemporaneo”: A Showcase of Global Artists Exploring Foreignness

This section delves deep into an all-encompassing definition of “foreigner,” shedding light on various artists’ facets, such as queer, outsider, self-taught, folk, and indigenous. Several first-time participants will exhibit their work under the theme, including:

  • MAHKU—Movimento dos Artistas Huni Kuin collective (Brazil)
  • Mataaho Collective (Aotearoa)
  • Erica Rutherford
  • Isaac Chong Wai
  • Elyla
  • Violeta Quispe
  • Louis Fratino
  • Dean Sameshima
  • Evelyn Taocheng Wang
  • Historical outsider female artists: Madge Gill, Anna Zemánková, and Aloïse Corbaz

Moreover, the “Nucleo Contemporaneo” will feature a section dedicated to the Disobedience Archive. This project, founded in 2005 by Milan-based curator Marco Scotini, has created a video archive capturing the interplay between artistic practices and activism over nearly two decades.

“Nucleo Storico”: Celebrating Global Modernisms and the Italian Diaspora

This historical segment aims to shed light on global modernisms and focuses primarily on the works of painters from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Divided into three distinct sections—portraiture and representation, abstraction, and the Italian diaspora in the Global South—this part of the Biennale seeks to uncover diverse insights and art forms.

In conclusion, the 2024 Venice Biennale promises to be an enriching exploration of foreignness and diversity through powerful artworks from around the world. Don’t miss this opportunity to witness unique creations and perspectives that undoubtedly enrich the global artistic landscape. The event is set to take place from April 20 to November 24.

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