The 2017 Venice Art Biennale: What You Need to Know

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 02:00
Venice Biennale

The 57th International Art Exhibition, or Biennale Arte 2017, is scheduled to open in Venice on May 13.

Titled “VIVA ARTE VIVA” and curated by Christine Macel, Chief Curator at the Musée d’art moderne at the Pompidou Centre, this year’s Biennale is “dedicated to celebrating, and almost giving thanks for, the very existence of art and artists, whose worlds expand our perspective and the space of our existence,” says Paolo Baratta, president of La Biennale di Venezia.

“Today, in a world full of conflicts and shocks, art bears witness to the most precious part of what makes us human,” says Christine Macel. “VIVA ARTE VIVA is an exclamation, a passionate outcry for art and the state of the artist. VIVA ARTE VIVA is a Biennale designed with artists, by artists and for artists.”

The exhibition features 85 participating countries, including four new entries: Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, Nigeria and Kazakhstan. As is tradition, the Pavilions will be set up at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and throughout the historic center of Venice.

There will be 120 participating artists from 51 countries. The exhibition’s route unfolds over the course of nine chapters or families of artists, beginning with two introductory realms in the Central Pavilion, followed by another seven across the Arsenale through the Giardino delle Vergini. “From the Pavilion of Artists and Books to the Pavilion of Time and Infinity, these nine episodes tell a story that is often discursive and at times paradoxical, with detours that mirror the world’s complexities, a multiplicity of approaches and a wide variety of practices,” says Macel.

A new event to watch out for is Open Table: each week on Friday and Saturday for the entire course of the six-month, artists will host a “Tavola Aperta,” meeting visitors over a casual lunch to talk about their work and practices. Open Table, which will be streamed live on La Biennale’s website, takes place in front of the Central Pavilion of the Giardini and in the new Sala d’Armi in the Arsenale.

The Artists Practices Project is a series of short videos made by the artists about themselves and their way of working. They will be on view in a new permanent space to be created in both exhibition venues. Starting this month, the videos are being uploaded on the Biennale’s website, for visitors who wish to get acquainted with the artists before heading to La Biennale.

Also, check out the Unpacking My Library project, where artists participating in the Biennale share their favorite books, both as a way to  “get to know the artists better and a source of inspiration for the public.” The list of books will be on view at the Central Pavilion and on the Biennale’s catalogue. The books themselves will be available for purchase at the Stirling Pavilion in the Giardini.

Tickets can be bought online, or directly in Venice, at the booths at the Giardini and Arsenale.

The Venice Biennale runs May 13-November 26, 2017.

Opening times: 10 am – 6 pm

Opening times: 10 am - 8 pm Arsenale venue only on Fridays and Saturdays until September 30th

Closed on Mondays (except on May 15th, August 14th, Sept. 4th, Oct. 30th and Nov. 20th)

More information is available on La Biennale’s website