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la Biennale di Venezia
Visual Top Art EN (new)


Meetings on Art

What have we done?!, by Paolo Baratta
Presentation of Meetings on Art, by Bice Curiger

Saturday, October 1st, 2011 – Sala delle Colonne, Ca’ Giustinian, 3 p.m.
IllumiNATIONS: art and the community, a philosophical dialogue >>
Speakers: Carlo Sini and Tommaso Tuppini
Saturday, October 22nd, 2011 – Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale, 3 p.m.
Tintoretto and the Biennale: the effects of a new contextualization >>
Speakers: Achille Bonito Oliva, Cecilia Canziani, Pericle Guaglianone, Roland Krischel and Haroon Mirza
Saturday, October 29th, 2011 – Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale, 3 p.m
Tintoretto and the Biennale: the painter of light and the Biennale of Illuminations >>
Speakers: Paolo Baratta, Renato Barilli, Melania Mazzucco, Giandomenico Romanelli and Abbot Norberto Villa
Saturday, November 19th, 2011 – Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale, 3 p.m.
Art today: from globalization to nations, settlement and nomadism >>
Speakers: Nicolas Bourriaud, Marta Kuzma and Gianfanco Maraniello
Sunday, November 20th, 2011 – Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale, 3 p.m.
Defining a new subjectivity: photography from Luigi Ghirri to Annette Kelm >>
Speakers: David Campany, Giovanni Carmine, Daniela Salvioni and Shirana Shahbazi
Saturday, November 26th, 2011 – Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Let’s talk about us
Session 1- Blockbuster or Betablocker: Biennale curator, museum curator >>
Speakers: Paolo Baratta, Bice Curiger, Germano Celant, Massimiliano Gioni, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Letizia Ragaglia
Saturday, November 26th, 2011 – Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale, 5 – 7 p.m.
Let’s talk about us
Session 2- Blockbuster or Betablocker: museum curator, Biennale curator >>
Speakers: Paolo Baratta, Diana Baldon, Giovanni Carmine, Okwi Enwezor, Beatrix Ruf and Vicente Todoli
Sunday, November 27th, 2011 – Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale, 2:30 p.m.
Let’s talk about us
Session 3- What have we done?! >>
Speakers: Paolo Baratta, Bice Curiger, Francesco Bonami, Daniel Birnbaum, Maria de Corral, Rosa Martinez and Robert Storr

October 1st is the starting date for the Meetings on Art, a series of conversations organized by la Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta, as part of the 54th International Art Exhibition ILLUMInations, curated by Bice Curiger. The meetings, anticipated by two other conversations with Laurie Anderson in July and Patti Smith together with Karl Holmqvist in September, will be held from October 1st through November 27th, the closing date of the exhibition.
The aim of Meetings on Art is to explore some of the themes, insights and suggestions offered by the exhibition ILLUMInazioni and open an ample space for reflection within the 54th Exhibition. The meetings will be organized in the heart of the exhibition – the Arsenale – to speak directly to the vast number of visitors to the Art Biennale which include not only professionals in the field, as well as art-lovers, students and audiences of every age, educational background and national origin.
“The Meetings on Art are intended to confirm the role of la Biennale di Venezia – states Paolo Baratta - as an institution open to knowledge and to the spirit of exploration, worth a pilgrimage. Here, the works of the artists and the work of the curators become a meeting point for the voices of the world that speak to us about our future as well as their own. Art is therefore understood as an activity that is constantly evolving.”
This platform for interaction, dialogue and analysis is animated by artists, philosophers, writers, theologians, art historians, curators, museum directors and critics so that the themes under consideration may be addressed to from diverse and original points of view.
“What is common to all the Meetings on Art – sustains Bice Curiger – is the will to create a positive tension, a fertile dialogue between elements that are considered opposites or even clashing in the habitual discourse about art: the legacy of the past represented by Tintoretto and contemporary creation; the role of the curator and that of the historian in the art world today; globalization and national identity; the work of a curator in an Art Biennale and his role in a museum”.
The meeting on October 1st will be a philosophical dialogue between the two Italian scholars Carlo Sini and Tommaso Tuppini, who is also the author of an essay in the exhibition catalogue. In this encounter, there will be a metaphorical reversal of the graphic device in the title ILLUMInations, which made it possible – thanks to the false suffix “nations” – to semantically extend the term into illumiNATIONS. The emphasis will be placed on the concept of nation as a community or culture in the ethnological sense as opposed to historical reality of the State-nation.
The dialectic between nations and globalization will be applied to the world of art in the encounter scheduled on November 19th, which will feature the participation of two foreign curators and scholars, Nicolas Bourriaud and Marta Kuzma, and the director of the MAMbo in Bologna, Gianfranco Maraniello. The three speakers will attempt to shed light on a perspective common to many contemporary artists, who have become increasingly conscious cultural migrants and tourists, and on their experience, characterized by instability and wanderlust.

The meetings scheduled for October 22nd and 29th will focus on the presence of Tintoretto at the 2011 Art Biennale, on his role as the patron of the entire exhibition because he is the painter of light par excellence, on the effects of an intense dialogue between ancient art and contemporary creation. The two meetings will be conducted by historians, critics and artists who will analyze the work of Tintoretto each in his own capacity – Achille Bonito Oliva, Roland Krischel, Renato Barilli, Giandomenico Romanelli, Cecilia Canziani, Pericle Guaglianone and Haroon Mirza (the author of video and audio installations and winner of the Silver Lion for a promising young artist at the ILLUMInations Exhibition) – with the President of la Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta, writer Melania Mazzucco (author of two books on Tintoretto)and Father Norberto Villa (Abbot of the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore which lent The Last Supper on display in the Central Pavilion).
On November 20th the meeting entitled Defining a new subjectivity: photography from Luigi Ghirri to Annette Kelm focuses on the means and language of photography and features the participation of critics David Campany, Giovanni Carmine and Daniela Salvioni and of artist Shirana Shahbazi.

The meetings on November 26th - 27th will be entitled Let’s talk about us: they will take place in three different sessions focused on the differences and similarities between the Biennale curator and the museum curator and will take account of the past five editions of the Art Biennale. International curators from different generations who have served in one or both of these roles during their career - Germano Celant, Massimiliano Gioni, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Letizia Ragaglia, Diana Baldon, Giovanni Carmine, Okwui Enwezor, Beatrix Ruf and Vicente Todoli – will be invited to this debate with President Paolo Baratta and Bice Curiger.

The title of the first two sessions to be held on November 26th, Blockbuster or Betablocker, is a tribute to Harald Szeemann who, as the director of the 48th and 49th International Art Exhibition gave new impulse to the Art Biennale during Paolo Baratta’s first term as President. Szeemann used the term “betablocker”, the name of a drug that improves the heart’s ability to relax, to indicate works of art that serve to calm, anesthetize, relax. These two events will question the function of a curator, a figure halfway between a person who is self-taught and an academic, and what points of reference are relevant to a profession that does not have a well-defined tradition or a written history. The discussion will focus on the positive tension that exists between the museum as an institution and the Venice Art Biennials.
In the last meeting to be held on November 27th, the closing day of the 54th Exhibition, the speakers will ask themselves the question What have we done?! with regard to their achievements as directors of the most ancient and prestigious of the art biennials. President Baratta and Director Curiger will engage in a panel discussion with the directors of the most recent editions: Francesco Bonami (2003), Maria de Corral and Rosa Martinez (2005), Robert Storr (2007) and Daniel Birnbaum (2009).
The first Meetings on Art conversation held at Ca’ Giustinian is open to the public free of charge. The program could be subject to modification or integrations that will be promptly communicated. The other sessions are open to the public visiting the 54th Exhibition and holding an admission Ticket for the day of event, up to seats availability. Ticket price € 20,00 – Concessionary Ticket Price € 16,00 – Students/Under 26 € 12,00. Tickets are valid for one admission to the Arsenale and one to the Giardini.