Venice Biennale and 2019 Basel Fair: variations on the same theme
Art Market | International biennials, which traditionally define prospective lines of creation and societal evolutions, are becoming increasingly similar to market places. Conversely, the major fairs, whose primary vocation is trading, navigate cultural waves.
In 2019, the international exhibition curated by Ralph Rugoff May You Live in Interesting Times at the Venice Biennale confirms this very current phenomenon.
The choice of artists by the American curator - director of the Hayward Gallery in London - focuses on young international creation that circulates in fairs, supported by renowned galleries : out of 79 invited artists, a majority are from the 30-50 years old age group (58), 13 are born between 1960 and 1969, 6 are born between 1950 and 1959, and 2 between 1940 and 1949. 38 nationalities are represented with the following breakdown by continent : 32% Europe, 24% Asia, 24% North America, 6% South America, 7% Africa, 6% Middle East and 1 Australian artist.
Through May You Live in Interesting Times, the positioning of Ralph Rugoff, a trained semiologist, takes on a resolutely sociological and political dimension; his wish being to let the works speak without a prospective reading line. Artistic proposals, sometimes literal, are presented, illustrating our society’s recurring questions : the perception of woman (Martine Gutierrez...), the mutant body (Nicole Eisenman, Mari Katayama and Antoine Catala...), war (Christian Marclay, Rula Halawani), environmentalism (Christine and Margaret Wertheim, Otobong Nkanga), the cultural environment (Haris Epaminonda), the black cause (Arthur Jafa, Henry Taylor, Njideka Akunyili Crosby...), virtual reality (Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster), data (Ryoji Ikeda), futuristic apocalyptic visions (Ed Atkins, Jon Rafman...). And also complex combinatorics (Alex da Corte, Stan Douglas), housing of the future (Tomas Saraceno)...
It should be noted that the biennials designed by Massimiliano Gioni Il Palazzo Enciclopedico in 2013 and Christine Macel Viva Arte Viva in 2017 proposed a path of discoveries and rediscoveries, showcasing alternatives to the market, defining prospects still ongoing today (reread the related analyzes). For example, artists Maria Lassning and Marisa Merz received the Golden Lion in 2013.
The general outline of May You Live in Interesting Times oddly echoes that of Unlimited at Art Basel, 15,000 square meters devoted to the presentation of specific projects and monumental works headed by galleries with significant budgets.
Publié le 25/06/2019
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