A day in Venice: what to see Biennale and events
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A day in Venice: what to see at the current exhibitions and over the final days of the Biennale

From Palazzo Grassi to Zattere, our selection of exhibitions and events

A day in Venice: what to see Biennale and events
By Redazione The Plan -

If you only have a day in Venice, you need to choose what to see carefully, with the City of Canals currently home to countless new exhibitions, events, and tours. Obviously, there’s the Architecture Biennale, which closes on November 21, with its numerous installations and artworks. This year, though, it seems to me that it’s a little light on for more concrete offerings. But that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. In this guide, I’ve listed what I believe you should see if you have very little time available, from sculptures by Peju Alatise in the Corderie area of Arsenale, to the Denmark Pavilion, which you cross on a suspended walkway over an artificial river.

But besides the Biennale, there are many interesting exhibitions happening now, including Alice in Doomedland in Palazzo Bonvicini, Hypervenezia in Palazzo Grassi, Stop Painting at Fondazione Prada, and Non-Extractive Architecture at Zattere, all of which I report on below, along with other highlights.


Palazzo Bonvicini – ALICE IN DOOMEDLAND

To February 27, 2022 || Open every day, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., free entry

The story of Alice in Wonderland has been revisited by artists Didier Guillon, Isao and Stephanie Blake, and Venetian Silvano Rubino. And they’ve turned Palazzo Bonvicini into a playground, where adults and children alike are invited to explore various installations that reflect on the space between dreams and reality, the search for the ego, and the dialogue with the unconscious. Abandoning earthly logic, the four artists take us on a journey into Alice’s fairytale world, each through their own personal artistic language.


Palazzo Grassi – HYPERVENEZIA

To January 9, 2022 || Open every day except Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

A meticulous mapping of Venice at fast shutter speed, Hypervenezia is a photography project that Mario Peliti began in 2006 with the aim of collecting as many photos as possible of Venice in the early years of the millennium. The project, on show in Palazzo Grassi, forms a walking tour of the city through images, from San Marco to Dorsoduro, all without a person in sight. At present, the collection has over twelve thousand photos; the aim is to reach twenty thousand by 2030.

Peliti, who came to the island at a young age to study, has recorded a Venice that’s in the process of becoming, one that’s hidden from the ordinary visitor. And he’s captured it in all its authenticity and entirety. The Venice Urban Photo Project brings together the impressions of someone who thought they knew the city but then went even deeper. Its images of normally inaccessible places even surprise local visitors. The exhibition is one of various events and exhibitions dedicated to Venice’s 1600th anniversary.


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Punta della Dogana – Bruce Nauman: CONTRAPPOSTO STUDIES

To January 9, 2022 || Open every day except Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

American artist Bruce Neuman has been experimenting with different forms of contemporary art since the 1960s. Punta della Dogana is hosting a series of his video installations in which the body and the exploration of sound are the key themes.

The artist’s private studio becomes the performance space, a place to experiment with his own body, explore its surface, and move freely with simple or mechanical actions. Nauman provokes, unnerves, and surprises visitors with this series of video installations, which also look at classical statuary and the Greek concept of counterpose.


V-A-C Zatter – Non-Extractive Architecture

To January 31, 2022

Is it possible to design without destroying? This exhibition tries to answer this question through contributions from academics, designers, materials scientists, philosophers, and planners. Defined by its curator, Joseph Grima, as “a work in progress,” it’s a space that’s constantly evolving in which we can rethink the way we do architecture today.


GAD – The Space We Live In

To December 31, 2021

A review of twelve exhibitions, an extensive program of talks and performances at the Giudecca Art District. Through the lens of contemporary art, this series of events and exhibitions looks at the spaces we live in, intended in the sense of the physical places we occupy and where we engage in relationships with people and nature. To keep up-to-date with upcoming events, visit the website.


Palazzo Mora (European Cultural Center) – TIME, SPACE, EXISTENCE 

To November 21, 2021 || Open every day except Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., free entry 

This exhibition is one of the many collateral events being held around Venice as part of the 2021 Architecture Biennale. The focus here is on the concept of spatiality and our contemporary way of life. Time, Space, Existence presents answers to the question posed by this year’s Biennale – How will we live together? – through research and experimental studies, including urban transformations, case studies, and projects by talented young architects concerned with architectural sustainability. The Center is also hosting the Pakistani Pavilion.


Fondazione Prada – STOP PAINTING

To November 21, 2021 || Open every day except Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Against the background of change brought about by digital technology, new social movements, and other cultural phenomena, artist Peter Fischli has depicted a series of ruptures in the history of painting over the last 150 years. The event is divided into ten sections that, beginning in the past, question the future of painting. Is painting really destined to die? Will digital technology give it a shot in the arm or be the cause of its demise?


Dorsoduro – Museum Mile 

This online cultural journey celebrates #venezia1600 by passing through eight centuries of Venetian art (and not only) in the Dorsoduro district. The main local museums are involved, including Gallerie dell’Accademia, Palazzo Cini Gallery, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and Punta della Dogana. 

The event will take place every first Thursday of the month on the social media pages of the respective museums, which will each examine the architectural, historical, and artistic identity of the city. And don’t forget that visitors who buy a ticket to any one of the participating museums (or is a member) are entitled to a discount on the entry price to the other institutions.

Courtesy of laBiennale

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