The Venice Biennale is the oldest international exhibition of visual art, officially opened under this name on May 11, 2019. On that occasion, more than 80 artists exhibited their works within the Arsenal and the central pavilion of the Giardini. It is interesting that during the Biennale, the whole of Venice is a large exhibition space, a city that is completely turned towards the Biennale and, above all, fine arts. Living an interesting life and time is a period during which Venice reads and breathes with its visitors. Through this content, numerous questions of humanity and the position of man in modern times have been asked and raised. Living in interesting times highlights the potential of art as a way to examine things that are unknown or inaccessible to us, where, according to Ralph Rugoff: "Art cannot solve the problems of humanity, but it can be a guide to life in today's world. The key task of art is to tirelessly ask questions. ”
Only the Biennale began with the Vernissage, pre-opening from May 8 to 10, during which various performances could be seen (as well as the award-winning Lithuanian Pavilion of the 58th Biennale called Sun and Sea). Most of the authors presented at this Biennale are younger generations, up to 40 years of age, which makes it important to hear in art the younger generations who set the basis for future times and new Biennales. We can expect and new times in art.
Among the Pavilions, Algeria, Ghana, Madagascar and Pakistan presented themselves for the first time, and the Dominican Republic and Kazakhstan had independent Pavilions for the first time.
And what did this Biennale bring us new and interesting?
Interactive performances, from different parts of the world initiate the audience to participate. A large number of Pavilions were designed to stop visitors, not only from taking photos, but also from imagining themselves in front of the works presented at the Biennale, such as Sun Yuan and Peng Yu "Can't Help Myself" - an industrial robot:
The vast majority of countries have introduced multi-week quarantines and locks, bans on going out and insisting on working from home, and robotics to protect the population. There was a period of complete isolation on the planetary level. In his announcement of the 58th Biennale and its concept at the opening, Ralph Rugoff said: At a time when the digital dissemination of fake news and 'alternative facts' is corroding political discourse and the trust it depends on, it is worth pausing whenever possible. Reconsider our reference terms. Were these the words of the prophets or the presuppositions of the new times that are emerging, not only in the world, but in art, as a prophetic activity? Artist lives interesting times, all his life, no matter how much is creative.
The Venice Biennale, as one of the most important events in the field of contemporary art, raises issues that provoke and awakens a sense of presence, awareness and vigilance. To live in interesting times, which the artistic director Ralph Rugoff conceived at the 58th Venice Biennale, is both a question and an answer at the same time.Living in interesting times? Yes, we live in interesting times. The end of the 58th Biennale was greeted by a great flood of general insecurity, instability and crisis. Where is the position of the artist in all this? On the one hand, each of them had enough time and space to stay at home and create. However, the market fell silent. In the long run, the possibility of exchanging content, which is necessary for good and stable art, as well as the possibility of selling works, has been abolished. Even those created before the Covid, but also during the state of emergency. Artists and art can survive crisis were during crisis economically dependent on the help of the state or non-state funds. Those who are constantly on the market in the fight against themselves, creative impulses, the market, customers, critics ... found themselves in an even more difficult position (which was hard to imagine that it exists before all this, but it exists).
And what does the Biennale in 2022 bring us?
After a three-year break, at a time when the world is recovering from one crisis and trying to protect itself from another crisis, the question arises, what happened to artists and art in a period of three years? What changes have taken place, thoughts and creative directions? Did the period of The Milk of Dreams for society, art and artists come after interesting times? We are currently in 2022 in terms of time and space, but maybe that is also a dream? That is why the upcoming Biennale introduces us to The Milk of Dreams, whose name, this year's artistic director, Cecilia Alemani, took over from the surrealist Mexican painter and writer Leonora Carrington. This dream we are living is an imaginary journey in which we can become anyone and anything today, and be anywhere. The formula of humanity has shifted to another track, and organisms and the spiritual entity are getting new transformations. Were the Biennales created for us, an alienated audience that wanders with reflections on digital screens to shake us with questions about what kind of world we actually live in? Every Biennial introduces new questions, and ours is - where are we between the Biennales? It's as if the door to the world of spectacle is opening. But what I'm afraid of is that we actually live that world every day, one way or another. Perhaps the work presented by the Japanese artist of amputated limbs Mary Katayama at the 58th Biennial of Rappers for Metamorphoses of Body and Spirit is filled with questions: Who am I? What am I? Who would you like to be? Doubt and disbelief lead to re-examination, which becomes a necessary need identical to the need for food, drink or sex.
Today we all play Squid Game with consumer zeal in a whirlwind of hopelessness and existential insecurity while the refrain of a song echoes in our ears: ... And what do we do now? ...These, as well as many other questions, will be answered at the 59th Venice Biennale of Art. We will find out how interesting the times we live in are in the continuation of the journey on The Milky Way of Dreams.