59th Venice Biennale: the multifaceted dreams of a curator
It is true what the author of an article I read said about visiting the Venice Biennale in the middle of the summer: it is incredibly hot, the humidity is so high that is not possible to stop sweating and the crowd of people drowns you. On the first day, there was a strike on public transport, so I have walk between the maze of old and beautiful buildings and bridges for three kilometers, guided by an unassertive google map until I reach the Arsenale. When I arrived my feet hurt so much that I need it to seat one hour to start walking through the endless hall of the Arsenale.
Both the exhibitions: Giardini and Arsenale, were very well curated and structured, at least the ones proposed by the main curator (the Arsenale and the main pavilion). The quality of the works was very high, and the origin of the artists was very diverse. As maybe you know this edition was remarked by a majority of women in the selection of the artists. On one side, that gives the exhibitions, a different flavor, an environment of artworks built with high sensitivity and emotions. But for another, it reaffirms the inequality in the art world as an individual event, but I think if we summarize all the editions there will be a disbalance giving preference to men.
Personally, I was very happy, but not surprised to see the artworks of many Latin American artists. The inspiration for the concept for the exhibition was the book made by the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington „The Milk of the Dreams“. Leonora Carrington lived in Mexico until she died in the capital of this country. Then, surrealism was especially strong in Latinoamerica and many artists join to this artistic movement. But unfortunately, I could not see the major participation of artists who were really surrealist, but were more like an interpretation of the surrealism of the curator.
Here transcripted of the main concept of the Biennale by their curator:
“The Milk of Dreams takes its title from a book by Leonora Carrington (1917–2011) — Cecilia Alemani stated — in which the Surrealist artist describes a magical world where life is constantly re-envisioned through the prism of the imagination. It is a world where everyone can change, be transformed, and become something or someone else. The Exhibition The Milk of Dreams takes Leonora Carrington’s otherworldly creatures, along with other figures of transformation, as companions on an imaginary journey through the metamorphoses of bodies and definitions of the human.
Anyway, independent of the warmth and crowds, I really enjoyed the exhibitions and the artworks, the strong character, and diversity of emotions, materials, media, proposals, and ideas, were really amazing. Nevertheless, the proposals made by the pavillions were in their majority poor, it looks like the curators of the countries misunderstood the concept proposed by Ms. Alemani. Or because the politicians of the country were obligated to send artists with high-level networking and not the ones that count with artworks in coherence with the concept of the biennale.
Finally, I wanted to visit some of the satellite exhibitions. So it was like running a marathon between the crowds and searching the right direction without losing the way. I made to see some that were not really of good quality. The main ones (I mean the ones where you can see the publicity overall Venice) require buying an additional ticket and I thought that did not worth paying something additional to see the work of mainstream artists.