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Art lovers from around the world have been gathering at one of the largest and most prestigious art events in the world, held every other year since 1895. From 9 May through 22 November, approximately half a million visitors will be here to admire the works of 136 artists from 53 countries, including surprising newcomers such as Mauritius, Mozambique and Mongolia. The 56th Biennale in Venice is a cornucopia of world-class modern art.
Okwui Enwezor may not be a household name, but as chief curator this 51-year old Nigerian is the most important man of the 56th Biennale di Venezia – he is the first African to fill the position. Enwezor was involved in Documenta in Kassel and the Biennales in Johannesburg, Seville and South Korea, and is responsible for interpreting this year’s theme ‘All the World’s Futures’. He is in charge of bringing the most creative and progressive modern art from around the world to the Biennale.
The heart of the Biennale beats in 2 locations: the Giardini della Biennale (with its central pavilion and 29 country pavilions) and the Arsenal, the historic shipyard in Venice (with another 29 buildings). The largest pavilion belongs to Italy, with the host country displaying the work of 15 Italian artists under the name Codice Italia. Other country pavilions feature mostly solo exhibits. Australia is represented by sculptor Fiona Hall, while Norway presents the work of sound artist Camille Norment. Great Britain will display photographs and collages by Sarah Lucas; Japan features the incredible installations of Chiharu Shiota.
The 56th Venice Biennale will last from 9 May through 22 November 2015, and is open daily from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. An open ticket to the Giardini and Arsenal costs 23.50 euro and can be purchased atwww.labiennale.org
. Multiple-day tickets, tours and full event passes are only available on site.
Over the years, participating countries have commissioned top architects to design their national pavilions in Venice: the Belgian pavilion is by Léon Sneyers, the Swiss one is the work of Bruno Giacometti and Alvar Aalto designed the Finnish pavilion. The Dutch pavilion was designed by Gerrit Rietveld and inaugurated in 1954. Designed in his signature style, De Stijl, he created a box of blocks with open spaces and lots of daylight. The pavilion displays the installations by Herman de Vries, whose work has been bought by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the V&A in London and the MoMA in New York.
“Rietveld created the Dutch pavilion in the shape of a linear box of blocks with plenty of daylight”