Yes, the Biennale is back, and you have until 24 November to explore the delights of a vast range of international art, alongside the beauty of Venice.
The 2019 Biennale opened on 10 May, and the glimpses I’ve seen in the media so far mean that I have to get there again this year. The supportive hands rising out of the Grand Canal were one of the particularly memorable pieces for me, in the 2017 displays. And this year, Lorenzo Quinn is back with more hands, Building Bridges. This time he has created six pairs of giant hands, representing friendship, wisdom, help, faith, hope and love, which have been erected across the entrance to the Arsenale.
Needless to say, there is plenty more to see in the 2019 festival, much of which is controversial and generating responses at the extremes of joy and despair; and love and hate.
The much coveted Golden Lion has been awarded to the Lithuanian pavilion, which features a giant beach scene that is slowly consumed by pollution. The tourists lounging on the beach sing an almost hour-long opera, and judging by the reviews I’ve read this is a not-to-miss artwork. You can watch a very short clip here.
On the not-so-loved list of entries, is the Swiss-Icelandic artist, Christoph Büchel’s, Barca Nostra, the shipwrecked fishing boat that sank in the Mediterranean in 2015, drowning hundreds of migrants who were being trafficked from Libya to Europe. The wreck has been fished out of the sea and is on display as part of Biennale 2019.
For a more detailed overview of this year’s displays, click here. Add to that the wonderful settings of some of the pavilions ( I adore the Arsenale), the beauty of Venice as a whole, and the tasty Italian food and wine, and the Biennale should be high on your 2019 to-visit-list.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 16 May 2019
Posted as part of Cee’s B&W