Foreigners Everywhere: The official presentation of the 60th International Art Exhibition of Venice
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Foreigners Everywhere: The official presentation of the 60th International Art Exhibition of Venice

To be curated by Adriano Pedrosa, a Brazilian artist and former director of the São Paulo Museum of Art

Foreigners Everywhere: The official presentation of the 60th International Art Exhibition of Venice
By Redazione The Plan -

In a world “rife with multiple crises” that force people to relocate both inside and outside the borders of their own countries, we’re going to encounter foreigners wherever we go. But every person is a foreigner, with their own traditions and culture. Drawn from a series of works begun in 2004 by the Paris-born, Palermo-based Claire Fontaine collective, the title of the next Biennale Arte grew out of this vision of the world and of art: Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere. The event will be curated by Brazilian artist and former director of the São Paulo Museum of Art, Adriano Pedrosa.

The 60th International Art Exhibition will take place April 20 – November 24, 2024, with the vernissage scheduled for April 17–19, at the Giardini, Arsenale, and various other locations around Venice. The exhibited works and the event itself will reflect on this reality shared by so many people – artists and otherwise – with a particular focus on the experiences of the countries of the Global South, beginning with Brazil, the homeland of Pedrosa himself.

“The Biennale Arte 2024 will focus on artists who are foreigners, immigrants, expatriates, members of diasporas, émigrés, exiles, and refugees – especially those who have moved from the Global South to the Global North,” says the curator. He adds that the exhibition will view the figure of the foreigner as the stranger, the straniero, the estranho, the étranger. The exhibition will also focus on works by other artists in comparable circumstances: “Queer artists, who have moved within different sexualities and genders, often being persecuted or outlawed; outsider artists, who occupy the fringes of the art world, such as self-taught and folk artists; and indigenous artists, who are frequently treated as foreigners in their own land.” Works by these artists will form the fulcrum of the Art Biennale and its contemporary nucleus. But there will also be a historical nucleus, comprising 20th-century works from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Arab world. A section of this second nucleus will then be dedicated to “the worldwide Italian artistic diaspora of the 20th century,” continues Pedrosa. To those “Italian artists who moved abroad, pursuing their careers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and throughout Europe, and becoming part of their new local culture. These artists often played important roles in the development of the narratives of modernism beyond Italy.”

From this perspective, therefore, it’s possible to say that the expression Foreigners Everywhere has a double (at least) meaning: “First of all, it means that wherever you are, wherever you go, you will always encounter foreigners – they are/we are everywhere,” concludes Pedrosa. “Secondly, no matter where you are, you are always, truly, and deep down inside, a foreigner yourself.”

 

Statement by President Roberto Cicutto

Biennale Arte 2024 ©Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of Biennale di Venezia

“Changing the perspective from which we talk about contemporary art is what an institution with the international standing of La Biennale di Venezia must do,” says exhibition president Roberto Cicutto. “And not just from an aesthetic perspective, but also from a geographical one – just like in a film with a shot/reverse shot of the same scene.”

And it was from this perspective of a shot/reverse shot that Cicutto wanted to approach both the next Art Biennale and the current Architecture Biennale, curated by Lesley Lokko. “This is the 60th International Art Exhibition since it was first presented 128 years ago, and this is the first time it’s had a curator from a Latin American country,” continues Cicutto. The participation of South American artists in the Biennale has always been significant. But it’s a very different thing when they are invited by a curator whose roots are in the same culture and who’s developed a global outlook over the years. His work is also focused on artists who, despite coming from different cultures, have been able to maintain the feelings, features, and experiences of their native culture wherever they may be.”

 

Biennale College Arte

Biennale Arte 2024 ©Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of Biennale di Venezia

During the official presentation of the 60th edition of the exhibition, the new Biennale College Arte program was also announced, the second after its 2022 debut, which was curated by Cecilia Alemani. The call for applications opened today, June 22, and will remain open for five weeks through July 24, 2023.

The program is reserved for young – under 31 as at the application deadline – emerging artists from around the world who have already exhibited at one or more group exhibitions and at one or more solo exhibitions at recognized exhibition spaces in Italy or abroad.

In all, 12 projects will be selected, and the artists responsible will be invited to participate in a ten-day workshop in October 2023 in Venice. The workshop, comprising both group and one-on-one sessions, will be conducted by exhibition curator Adriano Pedrosa, the head of the Biennale Art Department, and a group of curators and artists, who will act as tutors and mentors for the group. At the end of the workshop, each artist will have three weeks to work on their projects and deliver a final proposal. Pedrosa will then select a maximum of four projects to receive up to 25,000 euros in funding for the realization of the work.

The works will finally be displayed at the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere.

 

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Credits

Location: Venice, Italy
Date: From April, 20th, to November, 24th
Curator: Adriano Pedrosa

Photography by Andrea Avezzù, courtesy of Biennale di Venezia

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