Venice Biennale 2024

From an animatronic mouse chewing through a museum wall, to ethereal paintings made with sand and Venetian ‘Seed Beads’, we take a look at 2024’s Venice Biennale.

Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale encompasses a wide range of art forms, including visual arts, architecture, cinema, dance, music, and theatre.

Also known as La Biennale di Venezia, it is one of the oldest and most prestigious cultural events in the world. It's an international art exhibition that takes place biennially (every two years) in Venice, Italy. 

The central event of the Venice Biennale is the International Art Exhibition, commonly referred to as the Venice Art Biennale. In its 60th edition this year, the exhibition is titled ‘Foreigners Everywhere - Stranieri Ovunque’ and features curated exhibitions from countries around the world, each presenting works by selected artists. National pavilions represent many participating countries, showcasing contemporary art from their respective cultures.

In addition to the national pavilions, there are also collateral events and exhibitions held throughout Venice during the Biennale period which usually runs until November. Here are some of the highlights.

The Canadian Pavillion

Kapwani Kiwanga, an artist originally from Canada but now based in Paris, explores themes related to the African diaspora and challenges conventional artistic norms. In her installation "Trinket" at the Canada Pavilion, she utilised ‘conterie’, also known as Venetian seed beads, as the main medium. Kiwanga meticulously threaded thousands of these small glass spheres in various hues to produce a striking, collective impact. Through this process, she transforms these seemingly minor items into a grand and captivating spectacle.








The U.S Pavillion

In his exhibition titled "The Space in Which to Place Me," Jeffrey Gibson, a painter and sculptor based in New York, represents the United States, delving into themes of identity and Indigenous histories that have been central to his artistic journey spanning three decades. Within the pavilion, visitors encounter an array of sculptures, works on paper, videos, and multimedia paintings that pay homage to Gibson's Mississippi Choctaw and Cherokee heritage. Additionally, the exhibition features a dance program showcasing performers from the Colorado Inter-Tribal Dancers and Oklahoma Fancy Dancers. Notably, Gibson holds the distinction of being the first Native American artist to represent the United States with a solo exhibition at the Biennale.








The Palazzo Grassi

British artist Ryan Gander, known for his multidisciplinary artwork, has installed one of the most subtle and discreet artworks in this edition of the Biennale. Situated just above ground level in the Palazzo Grassi, the installation features a lifelike,  animatronic model of a mouse, which pokes its head out of a very small hole in the wall of this Venetian Classical-style building. Voiced by his daughter, the mouse muses about life, death, dreams and the ambition of humanity. As the exhibition draws on viewers will witness the mouse, trapped in an endless loop, slowly exhaust itself as the battery powering the little mouse inevitably runs dead.






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