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News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

On being on the move

by Joerg Bader

On being on the move
It would seem that the topic of the “nation” has by no means been exhausted – and this is true of the Venice Biennial, too. Nationality continues to play a major role in answering the questions of who is allowed membership and who is condemned to remain on the move. Examples from the Roma Pavilion and the disturbing photographic oeuvre of Hsieh Chun-Te from Taiwan show this most clearly.

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Head for the caravanserai

by Joerg Bader

Head for the caravanserai
Mike Nelson has assembled a labyrinth in the British pavilion. It could be the product of our fantasy or equally exist in Istanbul – and it certainly undermines our notions of time, place and action.
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News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Overpainting the feuilleton

by Joerg Bader

Overpainting the feuilleton
In the Belgian pavilion Angel Vergara takes on electronic media and the newstreams they produce. As a painter, employing a range of painting styles, he seeks to defend himself against the flood of moving images.
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News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Slings, slings over all

by Barbara Basting

Slings, slings over all
Seldom was there are clearer art divide at the Venice Biennial than that this year between the advocates and the opponents of Christoph Schlingensief’s German pavilion, on which the chiseled “Germania” has been painted over with the words “Egomania”, alluding to a Schlingensief film of 1986.

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Resistance – liquefied or solidified?

by Barbara Basting

Resistance – liquefied or solidified?
“Crystal of Resistance” is the title artist Thomas Hirschhorn has given to his work for the Swiss pavilion at the Biennial. But what exactly is the deal with this crystal and resistance?

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

We are leaving the American sector...

by Joerg Bader and Thomas Wagner

We are leaving the American sector...
The Giardini are bursting with people, outside the pavilions there are long queues, and in the Arsenal you have to push to move. Even days before the official opening of the Art Biennial not only critics and journalists, but also any number of collectors, gallerists, museum folk, artists, functionaries and art lovers with deep pockets. And it was no easy matter to find each other if you wanted to meet up. Two of our authors tried to connect using text messaging. The result was a document of constant endeavor.

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Beyond fear and Africa

by Thomas Wagner

Beyond fear and Africa
The 54th Art Biennial will open on June 4 in Venice. Even today, with artistic horizons having expanded on a huge scale and the Biennial taking the form of spectacle and event, it is still an important source of inspiration – not primarily, but also for design. Which is why we will be reporting in the coming weeks on the Biennial's main exhibitions and country pavilions.

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

In the here and now or Returning to the space

by Thomas Wagner

In the here and now or Returning to the space
In several of the pavilions and works of the 54th Venice Art Biennial we can see a return from the image to the space and thus to the incompressible here-and-now.
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News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Politics as singing class

by Joerg Bader

Politics as singing class
In no less than three country pavilions, artists use opera and song as a means of discussing and criticizing the state of the world. In the Icelandic pavilion this takes the form of a criticism of European immigration policies, in the Hungarian pavilion music represents a metaphor for the crisis in post-communist Hungary, while in the Dutch pavilion opera acts as a model for teamwork in the nation.
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News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Venezia, Piazza Tahrir

by Barbara Basting

Venezia, Piazza Tahrir
At previous biennials, you could have safely passed up visiting the Egyptian pavilion, as all they staged were pro-regime shows that did not seem to fit in an artistic context. However, following the unrest in the Middle East, a revolution is also taking place in the Arab art world – as Ahmed Basiony's videos demonstrate.

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

The Last Supperhero: Tintoretto

by Annette Tietenberg

The Last Supperhero: Tintoretto
Already ahead of the show, the decision by Biennial Director Bice Curiger to incorporate a 16th-century Venetian artist into her exhibition concept sparked controversy. The news that three paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto would be on display in the Giardini alongside the latest productions from the studios and galleries in Berlin, London, New York, Sydney and Shanghai gave rise to amazement, admiration and indignation. And now the time has come: Contemporary art is no longer alone in the Padiglione Centrale. Is this bridging of several centuries a clever move by the curator? Or an embarrassing genuflection to the superiority of history?

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

American gym session

by Thomas Wagner

American gym session
Outside the US pavilion the tank tracks rattle. No worries. Venice hasn’t been occupied by the US Army. Rather, outside and inside the pavilion artist duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla explore the interrelationship of body, politics and power.

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Along for the ride

by Annette Tietenberg

Along for the ride
Markus Schinwald imagines being the forger of images that never existed. The portraits in prim living-room size on display in the Austrian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennial all come from the 19th century. And he simply added what they lacked in order to offer a contemporary image of man, that prosthetic God. Using retouched strings, fabric, rings and chains, the bodies are readied for the salon. Just as in Schinwald's videos, subsequent corrections and smoothly incorporated adjustments do not prevent the human figures strangely floating through time and space, bereft of bonds.

News & Stories | 54th Venice Art Biennale – presented by Ligne Roset

Distributing pigeons in the park!

by Thomas Wagner

Distributing pigeons in the park!
Clattering tank tracks, any number of pigeons and a church for a dead artist: the Venice art biennial is once again a spectacular show. But this time much is far too sensitive, dripping in pathos and, despite there being several good pieces, essentially too harmless. Which begs the question: where is the international art world heading?
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