Jeremy Shaw | LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA, 57TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION, 2017
La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy | 13.5.–26.11.2017
The 57th International Art Exhibition, titled Viva Arte Viva, will open to the public from Saturday May 13th to Sunday November 26th, 2017 (Giardini and Arsenale) and will be curated by Christine Macel and organised by La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta. The preview will take place on May 10th, 11th and 12th, the awards ceremony and inauguration will be held on Saturday, May 13th 2017.
The Exhibition will also include 86 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city centre of Venice. Three countries will be participating for the first time: Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, and Nigeria.
The Italian Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale, sponsored and promoted by the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, Direzione Generale Arte e Architettura Contemporanee e Periferie Urbane, this year will be curated by Cecilia Alemani.
23 Collateral Events, promoted by non-profit national and international institutions, will present their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice during the 57th Exhibition.
The International Exhibition VIVA ARTE VIVA
The Exhibition offers a route that unfolds over the course of nine chapters or families of artists, beginning with two introductory realms in the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, followed by seven more realms to be found in the Arsenale and the Giardino delle Vergini. There are 120 invited artists from 51 countries; 103 of these are participating for the first time.
“La Biennale must present itself as a place whose method—and almost raison d’être—is dedicated to an open dialogue between artists, and between artists and the public.”
This is how Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale di Venezia, presents Biennale Arte 2017, explaining that “the 57th Exhibition introduces a further development. It is as though what has always been our primary work method—encounter and dialogue—has now become the theme of the Exhibition, because this year’s Biennale is dedicated to celebrating, and almost giving thanks for, the very existence of art and artists, whose worlds expand our perspective and the space of our existence.”
“Christine Macel has called it an Exhibition inspired by humanism. This type of humanism is neither focused on an artistic ideal to follow nor is it characterised by the celebration of mankind as beings who can dominate their surroundings. If anything, this humanism, through art, celebrates mankind’s ability to avoid being dominated by the powers governing world affairs. These powers, if left to their own devices, can greatly affect the human dimension, in a detrimental sense. In this type of humanism, the artistic act is contemporaneously an act of resistance, of liberation and of generosity.”
“There is another aspect of the 57th Exhibition – states Baratta - which alone qualifies it, above and beyond all the themes or narrations: of the 120 artists who have been invited to the Exhibition by our curator, 103 are participating here for the first time. Some are discoveries; many others, at least for this year’s edition, are rediscoveries. And these courageous choices, too, are a concrete expression of our confidence in the world of art.”
“This year, direct encounters with the artists have assumed a strategic role, to the point of becoming one of the pillars of La Biennale, whose program is of unprecedented size and commitment. Our curator’s main Exhibition is surrounded by the 86 pavilions of participating countries, each with its own curator, which will once more bring to life the pluralism of voices which is a hallmark of La Biennale di Venezia.”
Christine Macel has declared:
“Today, in a world full of conflicts and shocks, art bears witness to the most precious part of what makes us human. Art is the ultimate ground for reflection, individual expression, freedom, and for fundamental questions. Art is the last bastion, a garden to cultivate above and beyond trends and personal interests. It stands as an unequivocal alternative to individualism and indifference.”“The role, the voice and the responsibility of the artist are more crucial than ever before within the framework of contemporary debates. It is in and through these individual initiatives that the world of tomorrow takes shape, which though surely uncertain, is often best intuited by artists than others.”“Viva Arte Viva is an exclamation, a passionate outcry for art and the state of the artist. Viva Arte Viva is a Biennale designed with artists, by artists and for artists.”