The Venice Art Biennial 2019 has opened its doors to the public this Saturday and what I wouldn't give to visit it. Not just this year, but generally speaking, sometime.
For those of you who may not be familiar with it:
The Venice Biennale (/ˌbiːɛˈnɑːleɪ, -li/; Italian: La Biennale di Venezia [la bi.enˈnaːle di veˈnɛttsja]; in English also called the "Venice Biennial") refers to an arts organization based in Venice and the name of the original and principal biennial exhibition the organization presents. The organization changed its name to the Biennale Foundation in 2009, while the exhibition is now called the Art Biennale to distinguish it from the organisation and other exhibitions the Foundation organizes.
The Art Biennale, a contemporary visual art exhibition and so called because it is held biennially (in odd-numbered years), is the original biennale on which others in the world have been modeled. The Biennale Foundation has a continuous existence supporting the arts.
This year the Golden Lion for the best pavilion has been for Lithuania by the "Sol y Mar" facility, an artificial beach inside the Arsenal's historic building.
The central exhibition is spread over the old Venetian shipyards and in the Giardini. One of the most shocking facilities is perhaps "Barca nostra ", a ship from Libya that sank in 2015, with more than 700 immigrants and refugees aboard. The Swiss artist Cristoph Büchel's project echoes again this drama, one of the worst shipwrecks of the 21st century.
And it really does have a haunting appeal to it.
"I think it is a good thing that the ship is here, as it should be regarded as a reminder of our present. It is not something that no longer exists, something that can be ignored but something that can happen again and unfortunately occurs almost every day in the Mediterranean," laments Carlotta Sami, regional spokesperson for UNHCR in southern Europe.
Special mention for the Mexican Teresa Margolles has re-envisioned the city's canals as a large concrete wall with concertinas to question the public about the divisions and violence that exists in the world.
The Israeli pavilion takes the appearance of an ER in which the visitor can see with despair that there are still 200 numbers ahead in the waiting room…
If you are lucky enough to be in Venice you will have the chance to visit the Venice Biennial until the 24th of November.