The Giardini exhibition – 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019

Place: Venice, Country: Italy

Antoine Catala, It's Over, Giardini exhibition, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 Inexhibit

Antoine Catala, It’s Over, Giardini exhibition, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019. Photo ©  Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit

Venice Art Biennale 2019, “May You Live in Interesting Times” – the Giardini exhibition 

The second part of ‘May You Live in Interesting Times’ is installed at the Giardini della Biennale.
Raph Rugoff, the curator of year’s Venice Art Biennale, divided the exhibition into two “proposals”, indeed – “Proposta A” at the Arsenal, and “Proposta B” in the Giardini’s Central Pavilion.
We invite you to also read our article on the Arsenale exhibition here.

Giardini Central Pavilion exhibition plan 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019

Plan of the Giardini Central Pavilion exhibition; image courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

Below, you’ll find our, very personal, selection of the most interesting works on view at the Giardini exhibition.


Ryoji Ikeda, Spectra III, 2008-2019
To walk through the “Kubrick-style” corridor by Ikeda, installed at the beginning of the Central Pavilion’s exhibition, is an intense experience. Its dazzling white illumination, almost unbearable without sunglasses on, symbolizes the blizzard of data pervading out time. An over-saturated space which generates a sort of sensory tabula rasa which disorients us.

Ryoji Ikeda, Spectra III, installation, Giardini exhibition, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 Inexhibit

Ryoji Ikeda, Spectra III. Photo ©  Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit

Sun Yuan e Peng Yu, Can’t help myself, 2016
An impressive installation featuring an anthropomorphic industrial robot programmed to execute 32 complex movements inspired by those of human beings. The machine moves nimbly within its fenced room, revolves, and extends its arm to check and collect obsessively a red fluid continuously flowing on the floor away from it; for the artists, the liquid is a metaphor of the art that refuses to be classified and pigeonholed. The work was originally created for the exhibition “Tales of Our Time” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Can't help myself, robotic arm, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 Inexhibit 2

Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Can't help myself, robotic arm, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 Inexhibit

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, Can’t help myself. Photos ©  Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit

Zanele Muholi, Somnyama Ngonyama series, Hail the dark Lioness, 2012 – ongoing
The self-portraits of Zanele Muholi, who define herself a visual activist rather than an artist, are provocative photographic works; she never looks directly at the camera lens; yet, the contrast between the exaggerated black tone of the skin and the extreme definition of the body adornment defies and frustrates the viewer’s gaze.

Zanele Muholi, Somnyama Ngonyama series, Hail the dark Lioness, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 Inexhibit

Zanele Muholi, Somnyama Ngonyama series, Hail the dark Lioness. Photo ©  Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, And we begin to let go, 2013; 5 Umezeby Street, New Haven Enegu, 2012; Mama, Mummy and Mamma (Predecessor #2) 2014.
Domestic interior depictions and large-size portraits in which fragments of newspapers, family photos details, and Nigerian lifestyle magazines are assembled and layered to make complex textures. Overall, Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates what she describes as “a transcultural space, a kind of no man’s land”.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, paintings, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 Inexhibit

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, And we begin to let go; 5 Umezeby Street, New Haven Enegu; Mama, Mummy and Mamma (Predecessor #2). Photo ©  Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit

Gabriel Rico, II (from the series More robust nature …More robust Geometry) / Fauna II / Venticuatro, 2018
Mexican artist Gabriel Rico collects different kinds of objects – taxidermied stuff, wood fragments, stones, and industrial products – to create sculptural works that address the relationship between architecture, environment and the future ruins of civilization.

Gabriel Rico, II series More robust nature ...More robust Geometry, Fauna II, Venticuatro, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 Inexhibit

Gabriel Rico, (left to right) II from the series More robust nature …More robust Geometry, Fauna II, Venticuatro. Photo ©  Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit

Shilpa Gupta, Untitled, 2009
Shilpa Gupta’s art looks at the physical and ideological existence of boundaries, revealing their arbitrary and repressive functions. Her works explore the interstitial zones between nation states, ethnic and religious divides, and structures of surveillance.
“Untitled” is a mechanical residential gate, the type installed in front of private driveways; this one, however, with its exaggerated spikes and protruding metal frame, swings back and forth of its own accord, hitting the gallery wall aggressively, eventually cracking and breaking it.

Shilpa Gupta, metal gate, Giardini exhibition, 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 Inexhibit 2

Shilpa Gupta, Untitled (metal gate). Photo ©  Riccardo Bianchini / Inexhibit

 


58th Venice Biennale of Art 2019 | May You Live in Interesting Times

58th Venice Biennale of Art 2019 | May You Live in Interesting Times

58th Venice Biennale of Art 2019 | May You Live in Interesting Times


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