Chief curator at the French Pompidou Centre, Christine Macel, is this year's director at the Venice Biennial running the 13th May the the 26th November. Labelled Viva Arte Viva, the show is already conjuring images of vibrancy and togetherness. “Individualism and indifference” (The Art Newspaper) are the targets for the messages in the 120 artist deep show of talent. Perhaps dualistic in nature, the benefits of being individual and also not being different are well told, however the gist of this year's twist is that too much of a good thing can cause troubles and problems that transcend interpersonal realities.
Art is also there to transcend and bring awareness and empathic story telling through its imagery and presentation, and Christine is truly aware of this. She says, “For me, art has always been an activity of humankind that opens one’s self.” (TAN). She talks about the international reach of the Venice Biennial event and how the works will demonstrate their power no matter the origin of the spectator. Perhaps the iconography and cultural references will vary but the language of feeling is universally portrayed in images from any hand.
Christine has worked closely with the artists to ensure that each layout is represented to its best potential and with discussions of the messages involved, a plan that incorporates good flow has been delivered to really give the event the artist's stamp of approval that it deserves. In this way it's achieved a level of communication that many biennials perhaps lack. With each contribution standing alone, it can often feel like a patchwork quilt of tangents and ideas but with this event and its micro-managed and democratically inspired planning the vision of the curator is as prominent as that of the individual artists.
One particular group of artists from Kenya have only just made it to this year's event. Having been let down by their government and not given the money promised to fund their contribution, the Kenyan curator Simon Njami informed the Venice Biennial that their show would be cancelled. However, with the help of Venice based non-profit called Zuecca Project Space a floor at a local school was secured.
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