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Biennale di Venezia 2019: 5 must-see artworks

A small guide to explore all the artistic installation of the event

Biennale di Venezia 2019: 5 must-see artworks A small guide to explore all the artistic installation of the event

Saturday, May 11 began the Venice Biennale, an event that will last until November 24 catalyzing the attention of the international art world. This edition, the 58th, is entitled May You Live In Interesting Times, an ambiguous wish formula of Chinese origin with which the curator Rudolph Rugoff invites the public to reflect on a "dual" society, increasingly poised between reality and falsification. President Paolo Baratta wishes the same:

"The title of this exhibition can be read as a sort of curse, but it can also be an invitation to see and always consider the course of human events in their complexity, an invitation therefore that seems particularly important to us in times when too often prevails an excess of simplification, generated by conformism or fear. And I believe that an art exhibition is worthwhile to exist, in the first place, if it intends to lead us in front of art and artists as a decisive challenge to all the inclinations to oversimplification."

About 80 international artists will present their works to create an immense exhibition divided into two locations, the Arsenale (a former shipyard of the 12th century) and the Giardini, in the eastern part of the city. In addition to all these, there are dozens of events and parallel exhibitions scattered around the city. nss recommends 5 must-see art appointments during this Biennale.


“Sun & Sea (Marina)”

Artist:  Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė e Lina Lapelytė

Location: Padiglione Lituania, Marina Militare, Fondamenta Case Nuove 2738c, Calle de la Celestia, Castello

Rugile Barzdžiukaite, Vaiva Grainyte and Lina Lapelyte transform the interior of the Navy into a beach, a space of total relaxation full of people wearing swimsuits, surrounded by plastic bags, colorful towels and sunscreen. In the background, the sounds of laughter, games, the music of an ice cream van in the distance and the songs of the summer. Through this tableau vivant, poised between environmental and sound installation, the three artists tell how the human being and his actions are the main cause of climate change. The performance takes place every Saturday (until October 31), non-stop from 10.00 to 18.00. On the other days it is possible to listen to the opera and watch the empty beach.



Artist: Edmund de Waal

Location: Scuola Canton, Calle Orto 1191, and Ateneo Veneto, Campo San Fantin 1897, Venetian Ghetto

The ceramist Edmund de Waal stages a reflection on exile and language divided into two parts: an installation in porcelain, gold and marble inside a 16th century synagogue (Scuola Canton) in the ghetto, and a pavilion inside the Aula Magna of the 15th century Ateneo Veneto that will host about 2,000 books of exiled writers, from Ovidio to the present day. Visitable from 8 May to 29 September.


“Can’t Help Myself”

Artist: Sun Yuan e Peng Yu

Location: Padiglione centrale, Giardini

A large industrial robot placed inside a transparent cage moves relentlessly trying to stem a pool of blood red liquid, staging a hypnotic and infinite dance. Can't Help Myself is the first robotic work of art commissioned by the Guggenheim of New York for its permanent collection. The idea stems from the artists' conviction that "machines, which are now an integral part of our culture, constantly change and in this way accelerate the changes of mankind".



Artist: Virgil Abloh, Maarten Baas, Nacho Carbonell, Rick Owens e Michèle Lamy, Mathieu Lehanneur,…

Location: Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca’ d’Oro, Calle Ca’ d’Oro 3934

The Carpenters Workshop Gallery organizes an immersive exhibition of collector's design at the Giorgio Franchetti Gallery at Ca' d'Oro that mixes the remarkable collection of Italian masters in the fifteenth century building with the site-specific works of Studio Drift, Maarten Baas, Nacho Carbonell, Rick Owens and Michèle Lamy, Mathieu Lehanneur, Random International and others. Among the important names we highlight the participation of Virgil Abloh who arrives in Venice with his first collection of functional sculptures, inspired by the lagoon city and its high water. Visible from 8 May to 24 November 2019.


“Chromo Sapiens” 

Artist: Shoplifter

Location: Padiglione Islanda, Spazio Punch, Giudecca

Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir aka Shoplifter arrives in Venice and recreates in the Icelandic pavilion a colorful multisensory cave covered with hair (her obsession). In the background, the music of the heavy metal band HAM will take visitors on this psychedelic micro journey.