56th edition of the Venice Biennale to launch

The build up to the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale – the International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia to give its full name – is hotting up with the famous expo a few days away from opening on May 9th.
Occurring a month earlier than previous incarnations, the major contemporary art exhibition is entitled All the World’s Futures and is curated by Okwui Enwezor, one of the most influential people in the art world.
It’s a time for celebration as 2015 marks 120 years since the inaugural expo of 1895 launched. A total of 89 countries will be represented, with Grenada, Mauritius, Mongolia, Republic of Mozambique, and Republic of Seychelles exhibiting for the first time.
In his foreword to the Venice Biennale, its president Paolo Baratta said: “The world before us today exhibits deep divisions and wounds, pronounced inequalities and uncertainties as to the future. Despite the great progress made in knowledge and technology, we are currently negotiating an ‘age of anxiety’.
“And once more, the biennale observes the relationship between art and the development of the human, social, and political world, as external forces and phenomena loom large over it. Our aim is to investigate how the tensions of the outside world act on the sensitivities and the vital and expressive energies of artists, on their desires and their inner song.”
Some of the highlights of the event include the Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui being honoured with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for his elevation of contemporary African art; the exhibition Looking Ahead: The Evolution of the Art of Making; and the Biennale Sessions, which continues to cement itself as a permanent and prominent feature.
Mr Enwezor echoed Mr Baratta’s analysis of where we find ourselves, adding that All the World’s Future is focused on delivering new insight into the relationship that art and its proponents have on the zeitgeist of today. However, it isn’t just anchored on one, overarching theme – instead, it is “informed” by numerous “intersecting filters”.
He continued: “These filters are a constellation of parameters that circumscribe multiple ideas, which will be touched upon to both imagine and realise a diversity of practices. In 2015, the 56th International Art Exhibition … will employ the historical trajectory of the biennale itself, over the course of its 120 years existence, as a filter through which to reflect on both the current ‘state of things’ and the ‘appearance of things’.”
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