The Venice Biennale – Expect a Celebration of Art


The first Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition was held in the city of Venice in 1895 and returns this year for its 60th edition. Titled ‘Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere’, the Biennale commenced at the end of April and will continue until 24 November 2024 at the Giardini and the Arsenale.

This Year’s Exhibition Theme

Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, the exhibition is named after a series of works by the collective Claire Fontaine – bright neon sculptures which read ‘Foreigners Everywhere’ in many different languages. The phrase itself comes from a Turin collective, Stranieri Ovunque, who fought against racism and xenophobia in Italy. The theme reflects poignant ideas relating to the changeable nature of language, translation, nationality, and belonging, as explored by 331 artists and collectives. “This 60th edition of the International Art Exhibition is all there in the title,” says Biennale President Pietrangelo Buttafuoco. “Two powerful and ‘scandalous’ words”.

Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia © Claire Fontaine, Marco Zorzanello

What Not to Miss at the Biennale

Curated by Luca Cerizza (with the assistance of Francesca Verga), The Italian Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale features a large-scale installation and sound work by artist Massimo Bartolini. The project ‘Due qui / To hear’ is Bartolini’s second work for the Italian Pavilion, after he previously participated in 2013. Inviting viewers to move through the pavilion and garden, the work encourages you to encounter new environments and sounds in spaces that invite you to both move and rest.

Returning for its eighth edition, the Applied Arts Pavilion in the Sale d’Armi of the Arsenale is jointly presented by The Biennale and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The artist selected by Curator Adriano Pedrosa is Beatriz Milhazes, one of Brazil’s most important contemporary artists. Milhazes has created five large-scale paintings for the pavilion, drawing on the colour palettes and patterns of traditional woven textiles from different cultures.

There are also a host of fringe events – one not to miss is ‘Cosmic Garden’ by the Chanakya Foundation which is on display at Salon Verde - Art & Social Club on Calle della Regina. The exhibition presents work by acclaimed Indian artisans Madhvi Parekh and Manu Parekh in collaboration with Karishma Swali, Artistic Director of Mumbai’s Chanakya School of Craft – a non-profit institute that aims to emancipate women through craft. Paying homage to the plurality of India’s artisanal legacy and indigenous crafts, the presentation is curated by Paola Ugolini and Maria Alicata.

Applied Arts Pavillion © Andrea Avezzù

The Best Hotel Options for Visitors

Take the water bus from the Arsenale for 10 minutes to Zitelle on the Giudecca to find the breathtaking Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice. During your cultural stay you can set sail aboard Edipo Re, the yacht on which film director Pier Paolo Pasolini once sailed with opera star Maria Callas. You’ll explore Torcello with its 17th-century cathedral and Pellestrina, a tiny island between the southern Venetian Lagoon and the Adriatic Sea, before returning to the deck for dinner and drinks.

One of the city’s eight monumental palazzos on the Grand Canal, Aman Venice is half an hour away from the Arsenale if you take the water bus to San Silvestro. As a guest of the historic palazzo you can enjoy a private three-hour walking tour to discover the artisanal crafts of Venice – you’ll encounter Bevilacqua weavers creating textiles by hand and Orsoni artisans creating gold-leaf mosaics. 

Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel © Tyson Sadlo

Courtesy of AMAN. © Robert Rieger

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