La Biennale di Venezia

May You Live In Interesting Times


Everyone will have noticed: it´s Venice Biennale-time! Like a multilinguial, many-voiced murmur the event by now spreads across the whole of the city. The title´s „Interesting Times“ - as a curse, as an invitation - are also reflected in the single exhibitions´ diversity. The world is no simple place, and at least at the Biennale the eurocentric times are passably over, or at least there are efforts in this direction. The tenedencies point definitely towards staging and spectacle; but there are also some discoveries in the field of painting, as for example the pictures by Nigeria born artist  Njideka Akunyili Crosby, or Kenyan painter Michael Armitage.

The sheer dimensions of the Biennale render a more detailed description rather useless or even impossible. Nevertheless, I´d like to exemplarily pick out two venues:

First, Dane Mitchell´s project „Post hoc“ for New Zealand. In specific locations throughout Venice poorly disguised „tree“ cell towers can be found. Next to these trees, visitors can - via an app – listen to an electronic voice reading a list of phenomena which no longer exist, be it supernovae, be it extinct mammals. The sender is placed in an echo-free chamber at the Palazzina Canonica, the former home of the Italian institute for marine research. At the same place, in the library which has been cleared for the exhibition, there is a printer simultaneously printing out the list as read by the voice – a neverending poem of the bygone and passed.

The second presentation is Laure Provost´s work „Deep see blue surrounding you / Vois ce bleu profond te fondre“ in the French pavilion. It begins with entering it by the back entrance or the cellar. Next comes a sea-like room - with, for instance, a glass octopus, but also with junk that floats around in the oceans - that seems like a gate or portal. Then one reaches the centre piece, a video, surreal and dreamy, also a little bit escapist, about which connects us, and separates us, in a fluidly global world.


Julia Maurer











1 – 3 Nordic Countries: Ane Graff, Ingela Ihrman, nabteeri, „Weather Report: Forecasting Future“

4 Schweiz: Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, „Moving Backwards“

5, 6 Niederlande: Remy Jungerman, „The Measurement of Presence“

7 Sun Yuan and Peng Hu, „Can´t Help Myself“, 2016

8 Teresa Margolles, „Muro Ciudad Juárez“, 2010

9 Frida Orupabo, drei Mal „Untitled“, alle 2019

10 Suki Seokyeong Kang, Installationsansicht

11 vorne Skulpturen von Carol Bove, hinten Bilder von Njideka Akunyili Crosby

12 – 15 Österreich: Renate Bertlman, „Discordo Ergo Sum“

16, 17 Rumänien: Belu-Simion F?inaru, Dan Mih?l?ianu, Miklós Onucsán , „Unfinished Conversations on the Weight of Absence“

18 Japan: Motoyuki Shitamichi, Taro Yasuno, Toshiaki Ishikura, Fuminori Nousaku, „Cosmo-Eggs“

19 – 21 Frankreich: Laure Prouvost, „Deep see blue surrounding you / Vois ce bleu profond te fondre“

22, 23 Tschechien und Slovakei: Stanislav Kolibal, „Former Uncertain Indicated“


Länderpräsentationen außerhalb von Giardini oder Arsenale

24, 25 Island: Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter, „Chromo Sapiens“

26, 27 Estland: Kris Lemsalu, „Birth V - Hi and Bye“

28 Blick in die mongolische Präsentation - Jantsankhorol Erdenebayar mit der Teilnahme traditioneller mongolischer Kehlkopfsänger und Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto), „A Temporality“

29, 30 Neuseeland: Dane Mitchell, „Post hoc“



31, 32 Kemang Wa Lehulere, „Dead Eye“, 2018

33 Michael Armitage, „The Paradise Edict“, 2019 (Öl auf Lubugo-Rinde)

34, 35 Ulrike Müller, „Container“, 2018-2019

36 – 38 Slavs and Tatars, Installationsansicht


39 Saudi Arabien: Zahrah Al Ghamdi, „After Illusion“

40 – 42 El Anatsui für Ghana