The 59th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia has officially opened its doors to the public on the 23rd of April, 2022. Titled "The Milk of Dreams”. the exhibition is welcoming more than 210 artists from 58 countries, to showcase over a thousand artworks and installations that promote art, science, research, and ecological transition from the environmental humanities.
This year's exhibition is curated by Cecilia Alemani and organized by the Biennale di Venezia under the chairmanship of Roberto Cicutto. The theme is based on a book of the same title by Leonora Carrington which describes a magical world where life is constantly rethought through the prism of imagination. 80 National Participations will display their work across the Central Pavilion, the Giardini and the Arsenale, including 5 first timer participations: the Republic of Cameroon, the Sultanate of Oman, Namibia, Nepal, and Uganda.
Read on to discover the first look at architectural interventions and national pavilions taking place at the 2022 Venice Art Biennale.
Hanji House Pavilion / Stefano Boeri Architetti
Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, the Hanji House pavilion is a site-specific project made in dialogue with the Chun Kwang Young: Times Reimagined exhibition, which features 40 large-scale mulberry-paper reliefs, sculptures, and installations created by the Korean artist Chun Kwang Young, at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac, in Venice. Installed in the Palazzo’s gardens, the Hanji House is a wooden rendition of ‘paper-tree architecture’, inspired by the playful practice of “Hanji”, the name given to a traditional Korean paper-made technique deriving from mulberry which folds paper based on simple geometric modularity. The structure is made of a combination of four pyramids on the top of a parallelepiped, creating a rhombus in the middle. Inside the pavilion, a real-time interactive art installation by media artist Calvin J. Lee transforms triangular hanji packages into virtual form.
Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol / Chilean Pavilion
The Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol Pavilion is a collective project led by curator Camila Marambio that explores the conservation and visibility of peatlands, an overlooked type of wetland that is considered to be the most efficient natural ecosystem for accumulating carbon in the atmosphere. It tells the story of how these important ecosystems around the world occupy a fundamental place in indigenous cultures, especially in the context of climate change. Presented by the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Chile, the installation is the work of a multidisciplinary team of sound artist Ariel Bustamante; art historian Carla Macchiavello, filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor, and architect Alfredo Thiermann, to name a few, along with the Wildlife Conservation Society-Chile, the Karukinka Park of Tierra del Fuego and the Selk'nam Hach Saye Cultural Foundation.
Dixit Algorizmi – The Garden of Knowledge / Uzbekistan Pavilion
Debuting at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, the Art and Culture Development Foundation (ACDF) of the Republic of Uzbekistan is presenting Dixit Algorizmi – The Garden of Knowledge. Curated by Space Caviar and Sheida Ghomashchi, the pavilion presents a reflection on the seminal work of Muhammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, a scientist and polymath responsible for the introduction of Hindu-Arabic numerals to Europe. Al-Khwārizmī’s most significant research took place at the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, which was considered as a place of gathering and exchange, centered around formal gardens planned in the Islamic tradition. The pavilion will reference this Islamic tradition of the garden as a place of gathering and exchange, and question the myths and narratives of modern technologies, "using the lens of contemporary artistic practices to explore their forgotten roots and overlooked resonances with distant places, times, and cultures".
The pavilion features polished aluminium floors, reflective surfaces, and symmetries that recall the geometrically-planned gardens - specifically the reflective pools of water at the heart of traditional Islamic gardens. The space also has a botanical arrangement of dried Sea Lavendar hanging like clouds, a flower both native to Uzbekistan and references the color purple, prominent in Uzbeki architecture. In parallel to the public program hosted in the pavilion, Velocity0, a sound installation by Uzbek musician Abror Zufarov and artist and composer Charli Tapp will serve as a hub for international composers, inviting them to experiment with Velocity0’s algorithm, through a dematerialized platform called The Program.