la Biennale di Venezia
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A Bonsai of My Dream – Works by Wong Cheng Pou
The world is getting more and more complicated. Living in an over-crowded city, people may find it confusing to squeeze themselves among the gaps. I am so lucky to have been living by the sea, and whenever I am free I would like to go somewhere high, sitting there doing nothing, just gazing at the enchanting mountains from an elevated position, especially when there is a clear moon in the sky, the silvery shadows reflected by the calmness of the water are totally different from what they used to be in the day time – a frigid concrete jungle. Then I couldn’t help myself being infatuated with this unfathomable scenery, recalling my memories of the creatures in the Shan Hai Jing, who take care of the seas and mountains in an eccentric way.
Arsenale, Castello, 2126/A (Campo della Tana)
May 13 – November 12
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday (except 15.05, 14.08, 04.09, 30.10)
Promoter: The Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao S.A.R. Government;
The Macao Museum of Art
 
 
Alberto Biasi, Sara Campesan, Bruno Munari e altri amici di Verifica 8+1
The Verifica 8 + 1 association was set up in April 1978 on the Venetian mainland as a meeting place for artists involved in a search for new languages. The exhibition project is focused on three significant members of the association: Sara Campesan, a founding member with a dynamic personality and a strong creative bent; Bruno Munari, the association’s putative father-figure; and Alberto Biasi, the founder of Programmed Art in Veneto. The exhibition includes works by the other founding members, and the selection of seven more artists who have held solo shows at the Centre, and who have been particularly active in the group. Thus the project includes a symmetrical balanced group of seven artists, founders of the Centre, in addition to the three personalities mentioned in the title, and seven masters who have held shows at Verifica 8 + 1.
Istituzione Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, galleria di Piazza San Marco, 71/c
July 28 – October 8
h 10.30 – 17.30 closed on Monday and Tuesday
Promoter: Associazione Culturale Ars Now Seragiotto
 
 
Body and Soul. Performance Art – Past and Present
In Body and Soul. Performance Art – Past and Present, eight performance artists—some historically renowned, others emerging—appear in live performances and in video or photographic documentation of their earlier actions. The pioneering figures VALIE EXPORT, ORLAN, Nicola L, and Carolee Schneemann have long used their bodies to express concerns related to gender, femininity, personal relationships, and politics. Their innovations were both formal and thematic, directly confronting mid-twentieth-century gender inequality and social repression.
The exhibition’s younger participants, building on that heritage, address the performance art canon itself (Derrick Adams), cultural fragmentation and multiple identities (Aisha Tandiwe Bell), paternity and the cycle of life (John Bonafede), and the contestation of social roles and dynamics of bodily expression (Katarzyna Kozyra).
Conservatorio di Musica "Benedetto Marcello", Palazzo Pisani, San Marco, 2810 (Campiello Pisani)
May 13 – November 26
h 14 – 19 closed on Sunday and Monday
Promoter: Rush Philantropic Arts Foundation
 
 
Catalonia in Venice_La Venezia che non si vede
Antoni Abad proposes a sensory interpretation of the urban space that is Venice, created in collaboration with a group of blind and visually impaired people. This collective of people uses the senses in a different way compared to the majority of the population and is able to reveal hidden aspects of the city. The catalyst for this socially engaged art project is a mobile application, BlindWiki, created especially for blind people, which allows to record and publish impressions of any location in the city, as well as listen to these recordings in situ.  Thus, the Catalan project is an eminently sensorial experience, where the collective intelligence reclaims universal accessibility and suggest alternative ways to occupy public space, both physical and digital.
Cantieri Navali, Castello, 40 (Calle Quintavalle)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday  (except 15.05, 14.08, 04.09, 30.10, 20.11)
Promoter: Institut Ramon Llull
blind.wiki/venezia
 
 
Doing Time
In Manhattan’s downtown art scene of the late 1970s and early 80s a young Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh made an exceptional series of artworks. He embarked on five separate yearlong performances. In each, he made a strict rule that governed his behaviour for the entire year. The performances were unprecedented in terms of their use of physical difficulty over extreme durations and in their absolute conception of life and art as simultaneous processes. Assembling many documents and artefacts into detailed installations, Doing Time counterpoints two of Hsieh’s most moving One Year Performances: the Time Clock Piece (1980-1981) and the Outdoor Piece (1981-1982). Together these two monumental performances of subjection mount an intense and affective discourse on human existence, its relation to systems of power, to time and to nature.
Palazzo delle Prigioni, Castello, 4209 (San Marco, Ponte della Paglia)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Taipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan
 
 
Fernando Zóbel. Contrapuntos
The exhibition provides an introduction and perspective on the work of Fernando Zóbel (1924-1984), who was born in Manila, studied at Harvard University, and lived in Spain. The exhibited paintings are a harmonious synthesis of Asian and Western painting techniques. Described as a transnational artist, Zóbel was a key figure in the modern art movement in the Philippines. He also formed close ties with Spanish artists in the 1950s to 1960s during the ascendancy of Spanish abstract painting. Focusing on the years 1956-1962, the show selects artist’s prime achievements, the Saeta and Serie Negra series. The exhibition also includes the sculptures of Pablo Serrano (1908-1985) who was also a proponent for abstraction in Spain. Fernando Zóbel. Contrapuntos is designed as an organic mise-en-scène, a contemplative, cerebral sphere rather than inanimate scenography. Artifacts, texts, music, and publications form part of a visual dialogue about how artistic practice could be reimagined as a lively form of contemporary expression.
Fondaco Marcello, San Marco, 3415 (Calle del Traghetto o Ca' Garzoni)
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Ayala Foundation/Ayala Museum
 
 
Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice 2017
The Future Generation Art Prize @ Venice 2017 presents the fourth edition of the first global art prize with 21 artists from almost all continents and 16 different countries. Through the independent artists statements this exhibition engages with the complexities of the contemporary world and investigates the possibilities of art within it. Balancing between personal and collective, imaginary and real, familiar and uncanny, the show proposes a captivating journey through parallel realities where idiosyncratic experiences and global phenomena intersect.
Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Dorsoduro, 874 (Accademia)
May 12 – August 13
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: Victor Pinchuk Foundation
 
 
James Lee Byars, The Golden Tower
James Lee Byars (1932-1997) envisioned The Golden Tower as a colossal beacon and oracle that would bridge heaven and earth and unify humanity – a contemporary monument surpassing the grandeur of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The idea first began in 1990 and was developed with numerous conceptual studies throughout the artist’s career. Towering to a height of 20 meters, The Golden Tower is the artist’s largest and most ambitious work. Fabricated in 2017 with a team of Italian gilders, this installation of The Golden Tower is the first to fully realize the artist’s intentions of presenting the sculpture in a public space, and doubly significant given Byars’s deep connections to the city. Byars lived off and on in Venice beginning in 1982. He participated in four previous editions of Biennale Arte since 1980 and enacted numerous performances in Venice throughout his career.
Dorsoduro, Campo San Vio
May 13 – November 26
Promoter: Fondazione Giuliani
 
 
Jan Fabre – Glass and Bone Sculptures 1977 – 2017
The exhibition surveys Jan Fabre’s oeuvre from its beginning, leading viewers into a philosophical, spiritual and political contemplation of life and death through the lens of metamorphosis, as embodied in his works in glass and bone created in the period 1977-2017. The artist chooses glass for its real and metamorphical transparency, because it is a material that can be looked through. He uses it in different ways, as a transparent sheet/wall into which he can engrave or sculpt an ear in relief:  the orgn of hearing thus joining that for seeing. The use of bones marks a return to one of Fabre’s fundamental reference points, the tradition of the Flemish masters, who regularly used ground bone in their paintings. Thus the glass and bone works unite the artist’s artistic childhood with the history of old and modern art, in an ongoing reinterpretation of the relationship between past, present and future.
Abbazia di San Gregorio, Dorsoduro, 172
May 13 – November 26
h 11 – 19 closed on Monday
Promoter: GAMeC – Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo
 
 
Man as Bird. Images of Journeys
The exhibition invites the viewer to travel across multiple dimensions – space, time and individual experience – which may alter the perception of the world and the self. The initial morphology and structure of the images transform along the journey due to different viewpoints incorporated into the project. Like Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver or Lewis Carroll’s Alice, the viewer will experience unusual proportions and perspectives: the world transforms, the point of view changes, the real and the imaginary intertwine and no longer correspond to our perception. Along the journey, the angle of vision broadens through the bird’s-eye view to expanded vision linked to all other senses. Sound, tactile sensation, and haptic vision allow experiencing one more space - the space of memory, which foregrounds the individual journey through the self. The vanishing point converging the machine and the human eye, spaces of history and individual memory, is inside each of us, and the ultimate goal of this journey is to cognize oneself.
Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel, Cannaregio, 6071 (Calle fianco la Chiesa Santa Maria dei Miracoli)
May 13 – September 5
h 10 – 18 closed on Monday
Promoter: The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
 
 
Memory and Contemporaneity. China Art Today
What exactly is the significance of a reflection on contemporary Chinese art in the memory? Obviously, it is an important path leading us to realize the value of Chinese civilization. City of Beijing is the symbol to represent the diversity and richness of the Chinese Culture. And it is precisely in the capital city that the exhibition project Memory and Contemporaneity was born. In the context of the Forbidden City, one of greatest legacies of China’s history, it is currently opening a space of investigation where, starting from the Palace Museum’s collections and archives, a group of Chinese contemporary artists have been asked to reflect on contemporary art in relation to the cult of memory.
Arsenale Nord, Tese n. 98-99
May 13 – November 26
h 10 – 18 (Friday and Saturday until 30.09 h10 – 20) closed on Monday (except 15.05, 14.08, 04.09, 30.10, 20.11)
Promoter: The Palace Museum, Beijing
Artists
The artists selected for the main exhibition, VIVA ARTE VIVA
National Participations
Countries exhibited in their own pavilions at the 57th Intl. Art Exhibition
Collateral Events
Additional exhibitions and initiatives in Venice during the 57th Biennale