Queer, outsider, folk, and indigenous artists, who often find themselves relegated to the fringes of the art world, will be the focus of Biennale Arte 2024, scheduled for April 20 – November 24, 2024, in Venice. The event is titled Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere.
The 60th International Art Exhibition of Venice will be held in the Giardini and Arsenale venues, and encompass 90 national pavilions, 332 exhibiting artists, and 30 parallel events.
Biennale Arte 2024 was presented in detail by curator Adriano Pedrosa, the director of Museu de Arte de São Paulo, and Roberto Cicutto, outgoing president of the Venice Biennale, who’s now passing the baton to Pietrangelo Buttafuoco after his four-year term.
"The expression 'Stranieri Ovunque' - explains Adriano Pedrosa - has several meanings. First of all, that wherever you go and wherever you are you will always encounter foreigners—they/we are everywhere. Secondly, that no matter where you find yourself, you are always truly, and deep down inside, a foreigner".
The opening ceremony will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2024, at Ca’ Giustinian, the home of the Venice Biennale. As usual, the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement will be presented during the ceremony. The winners at this edition are Anna Maria Maiolino, a Brazilian artist who’s Italian by birth, and Nil Yalter, a Turkish artist who lives in Paris.
The title Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere is from a series of works that the Claire Fontaine Collective has been producing since 2004. The works are neon sculptures in various colors bearing the words “Stranieri Ovunque” in different languages, an expression which, in turn, was taken from the Turin-based collective of the same name that fought against racism and xenophobia in Italy in the early 2000s.
The Italian word straniero, the Portuguese estrangeiro, the French étranger, and the Spanish extranjero stem from the words strano, estranho, étranger, and extraño, respectively, that is, outsider. Biennale Arte 2024, the first to be curated by a Latin American artist, will therefore be giving a voice to artists who are foreigners, immigrants, expatriates, exiles, and refugees. Following on from Biennale Architettura 2023, curated by Lesley Lokko, migration and decolonization will be the key themes.
As always, the centerpiece of the event will be the Curator’s International Exhibition, which this year will be divided into Contemporary Nucleus and Historical Nucleus. Contemporary Nucleus will include a special section in the Corderie venue dedicated to the Disobedience Archive, a project by Marco Scotini who, since 2005, has been developing this video archive focused on the relationships between art practices and activism. Historical Nucleus will comprise 20th century works from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Arab world.
The exhibition will include 90 national pavilions in the Giardini and Arsenale areas, and in the old center of Venice itself. Benin, Ethiopia, East Timor, and Tanzania will all be debuting at the Biennale Arte, while Nicaragua, Panama, and Senegal are taking part in the event in their own pavilions for the first time.
The Italian Pavilion, presented at the Tese delle Vergini in Arsenale with the backing of the Italian Ministry of Culture, will be curated by Luca Cerizza. It will feature the project Due qui / To Hear by artist Massimo Bartolini, which includes contributions created specifically for the event by musicians and writers.
"In a personal level, I myself feel implicated in many of the themes, concepts, motifs and framework of the exhibition. I have lived abroad and have been fortunate to travel extensively during my lifetime. Yet often I have experienced the treatment reserved to a Third World foreigner - although never a refugee, and in fact holding one of the highest ranking passports form the Global South according to the Henley Passport Index. I also identify myself as queer- the first openly queer curator in the history of the Biennale Arte. Moreover, I come from a context in Brazil and in Latin America where the indigenous artist and the artista popular play important roles; although they have been marginalized in art history, they have recently become to receive more attention. Brazil is also home to many diasporas, a land of foreigners as it were: besides the Portuguese who invaded and colonized the country, it is home to the largest African, Italian, Japanese and Lebanese diasporas in the world".
Location: Venice, Italy
Date: From April, 20th, to November, 24th
Curator: Adriano Pedrosa
Please refer to the individual images in the gallery to look through the photo credits