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Venice Biennale 2013
The city of love. The city of bridges. It’s a magical place at any time of the year, but visit
during its Biennale and Venice is also an intoxicating showcase of art from all corners of
the world, and in all its forms.
mid a packed global arts
calendar of exhibitions, fairs
and events, the Venice Biennale
remains the most prestigious,
and draws the art world’s attention more
than any other. It’s also the oldest. The first
International Art Exhibition of the City of
Venice (later to be called Venice Biennale)
was held in 1895, and its first year came
complete with its own scandal.
Giacomo Grosso’s painting Supreme
Meeting caused quite a stir because of its
risqué subject matter depicting a dead
man surrounded by nude female figures.
The Patriarch of Venice (later to become
Pope Pious X) requested that the piece
be removed from the exhibition, with
the effect that the following press frenzy
further f uelled the public’s curiosity. The
painting went on to win the prize assigned
by popular poll at the end of the exhibition.
WORDS Georgina Barker
More than a century and many scandals
later, this year’s 55th Venice Biennale is in
full swing. It started in June and takes over
the city until November 24, adding a festive
buzz to Venice’s magical and romantic air.
It’s fun, exciting and, with more than 150
artists from 37 countries featured in the
international exhibition, and 88 countries
exhibiting in the national pavilions and
other venues scattered around Venice, it
can be overwhelming.
From raining gold coins, a swinging
upside-down tree, suspended polystyrene
boulders and large, rough-hewn
sculptures of human figures, to video
projections of Japanese bondage, and
paintings of monstrous creatures and
hellish landscapes, it’s an artistic feast.
The sprawling international exhibition,
titled Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The
Encyclopedic Palace) and curated by
The Encyclopedic Palace, at the Biennale’s Arsenale venue.
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