Venice Biennale 2015 does not make a pretty picture

“All the World’s Futures” is the theme of the 2015 Venice Biennale proposed by its curator Okwui Enwezor, whose day job is director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich. The selection of Fiona Hall as the Australian representative in Venice has prompted spirited discussion here, but how are other artists responding to Enwezor’s theme?  War, terror, government surveillance, and ecological degradation are prominent in their responses. The pictures below are not pretty. 

The NORDIC pavillion at the Giardini. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
The NORDIC pavillion at the Giardini. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
The BELGIAN space at the Arsenale at the 56 Venice Biennale Art on May 8, 2015 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
The BELGIAN space at the Arsenale at the 56 Venice Biennale Art on May 8, 2015 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Awakening/Getty Images)
A man watches the video installation 'Factory of the sun' by German artist Hito Steyerl. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
A man watches the video installation ‘Factory of the sun’ by GERMAN artist Hito Steyerl. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
Visitors look at 'The portrait of Sakip Sabanci' by TURKISH artist Kutlug Ataman. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
Visitors look at ‘The portrait of Sakip Sabanci’ by TURKISH artist Kutlug Ataman. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
A visitor looks at 'Speculating on the Blue' an installation by KOSOVO artist Flaka Haliti. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
A visitor looks at ‘Speculating on the Blue’ an installation by KOSOVO artist Flaka Haliti. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
A visitor walks on glass ceiling at the pavilion of RUSSIA (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
A visitor walks on glass ceiling at the pavilion of RUSSIA (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
The EGYPT pavillion at the Giardini. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
The EGYPT pavillion at the Giardini. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
The KOREA space at the Arsenale. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
The KOREA space at the Arsenale. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
The SWISS pavillion at the Giardini. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
The SWISS pavillion at the Giardini. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
A visitor looks at a creation by RUSSIAN artist Irina Nakhova. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
A visitor looks at a creation by RUSSIAN artist Irina Nakhova. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
The SWISS pavillion at the Giardini. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
The SWISS pavillion at the Giardini. (Photo by Awakening/Getty)
Visitors look at 'The Key in the Hand' a piece by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
Visitors look at ‘The Key in the Hand’ a piece by JAPANESE artist Chiharu Shiota. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
Visitors look at 'The portrait of Sakip Sabanci' by TURKISH artist Kutlug Ataman. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
Visitors look at ‘The portrait of Sakip Sabanci’ by TURKISH artist Kutlug Ataman. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
A visitor walks through the 'Occupations/Discoveries' a brick walls, ciment and paint installation by BRAZILIAN artist Antonio Manuel. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
A visitor walks through the ‘Occupations/Discoveries’ a brick walls, ciment and paint installation by BRAZILIAN artist Antonio Manuel. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
ARGENTINIAN sculptor Juan Carlos Distefano poses at the Pavilion of Argentina. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)
ARGENTINIAN sculptor Juan Carlos Distefano poses at the Pavilion of Argentina. (Photo by Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty)

Featured image: A visitor looks at an untitled painting by Australian artist Fiona Hall at the Pavilion of Australia in Venice on May 6, 2015 (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

One response to “Venice Biennale 2015 does not make a pretty picture

  1. Umm… yes but what does Simon Denny’s work actually do rather than shift some “important” looking visuals from one context to another? We learn nothing new about the NSA or Snowden instead we see a hipster making his work look somehow Post Digital and cool. I dunno one looks at this Venice Biennale looks only like more contemporary art. Suppossedly its about “War, terror, government surveillance, and ecological degradation are prominent in their responses. The pictures below are not pretty.”

    I beg to differ the pictures are of totally bog standard and mostly quite bad art. Art we are told is “concerned” but in reality yet again commodifies the world’s problems into art. The same thing for 40 years. Denny’s work is not about survalliance its about the use of such fears to actually say nothing at all. There is risk in any of this work or it wouldn’t be allowed to be shown unlike Snowden’s work!! I suspect the wildly middle to upper class will never change.

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Newsletter Signup