Who's Coming to Venice Biennale 2019? Confirmed Artists So Far (Part I)

Top Lists

May 12, 2018

The expectations rise as the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious visual arts manifestations on the global scale is once again being prepared. This spectacular event is the central one for practically any institution because of the national representations, as well as for independent factors such are gallerists, curators, various initiatives, and projects. It dictates not only the trend in the sense of themes and styles, but it also shapes the art market.

The previous edition, held in 2017, was severely critiqued due to the political vagueness, so the upcoming one, scheduled for 2019, is expected to offer a decisive curatorial concept which is going to be relevant to the art currents and will be socially and politically charged in a proper manner.

The American Ralph Ruggof, currently the Director of the famous Hayward Gallery in London, is appointed a curator of the 58th Venice Biennial. According to his previous achievements in domains of critical writing and contemporary curatorial practice, this established figure should bring an edgy and critically articulated concept, which is yet going to be revealed.

Nevertheless, the list of the artists and commissioners for the national pavilions is being confirmed, so we will be able to receive at least a glimpse of how the exhibition should look like.

Featured image: 54 Venice Biennale 2011 - Helm by Ettore Fieramosca for his hometown of Capua. Image courtesy of Nuovanno Carmela, via Wikimedia Commons.

Slovenia - Marko Peljhan

The Museum of Modern Art in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana has announced that Marko Peljhan is going to represent the national pavilion at the Biennial in 2019.

Namely, this peculiar artist has quite a career and his practice could be described as an experimental one. Since the mid-‘90s he has been active on the independent scene and is the founder of Projekt Atol, an arts and technology organization, as well as Ljudmila, one of the first media labs in Eastern Europe.

Throughout a number of multimedia project, Peljhan has explored the enticing tie between art and technology and is interested in geopolitical, cultural and natural aspects of the same.

Featured image: Marko Peljhan - [peljhan territories], via ladomir.net

Ireland - Eva Rothschild

After the participation of Jesse Jones at the 57th edition, an artist of the mid-generation, Dublin-based Eva Rothschild has been selected by Ireland’s Ministry of Culture as the representative of the national pavilion.

The minimalist approach and a general reminiscence of the 1960s Minimalism shape her practice and reveal an ongoing interest in the spatial issues and the representational limitations of the medium of sculpture.

The artist will release a new, immersive and environmental intervention, while the process will be curated by the director of the Void gallery in Derry, Mary Cremin.

Featured images: Eva Rothschild - Someone and Someone, displayed at Skulptur i Pilane in Sweden 2011, erected at Restad gård in Vänersborg, Sweden, 2012. Courtesy of the author Bengt Oberger

Australia - Angelica Mesiti

The independent panel of acclaimed art professionals has decided to select the artist Angelica Mesiti for Australia’s pavilion at the upcoming Biennial.

Known for her large video installations, she is going to present the works from 2012 and 2017 in order to form a new constellation based on the idea of auto-reflection. The work will be curated by the selector of the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, Juliana Engberg.

Interestingly so, the proclamation of Mesiti was followed by the controversy around the new selection model of the artists which has been announced last year.

Featured image: Angelica Mesiti - Relay League, 2017. Three-channel high definition digital video, sound 23 mins 42 secs. Production Still. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Allen, Paris

Finland - The Miracle Workers Collective

For the Biennial 2019, Finland has chosen The Miracle Workers Collective to represent the country. This initiative is formed by the artists, performers, activists, intellectuals, and filmmakers and is aimed at creating a multitude of hybrid forms.

Within the group are Curator Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Associate Curator Giovanna Esposito Yussif, spatial designer Lorenzo Sandoval, Associate Curator Christopher Wessels and artist and activist Outi Pieski.

The pavilion is thought of as a discursive space which will be used for various participatory situations and interventions. The mentioned members will be accompanied by the involvement of others such as visual artist and musician Leena Pukki and cinematographer Christopher L. Thomas.

Featured image: The Miracle Workers Collective - (from left) Outi Pieski, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Giovanna Esposito Yussif, Christopher Wessels and Lorenzo Sandoval, via frame-finland.fi

Austria - Renate Bertlmann

The Austrian pavilion will host the established artist of the feminist prominence Renate Bertlmann. She is known for a continuous exploration of the masculine and feminine principles and was related to the Vienna Actionist movement in the early 1970s. She is also a contemporary of the Valie EXPORT.

Throughout her several decades long career, Bertlmann has dealt with the issues of pregnancy, sexism and sexual violence and expressed them through various media, from painting to performance and film. The pavilion is going to be curated by Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein.

Featured image: Renate Bertlmann - Here rests my tenderness, 1976, via Wikimedia Commons

UK - Cathy Wilkes

The United Kingdom has announced that the Northern Irish artist Cathy Wilkes will represent their national pavilion.

The installations of hers are rather autobiographical and intimate and are recognizable due to the usage of mannequins, so their critical nature has contributed largely to the acknowledgment of Wilkes’s work in the light of this decision.

The artist is a familiar figure in contemporary art and was honored with the Maria Lassing prize in 2016, an award for the achievement of mid-career artists. The show will be curated by curator of international art at Tate Modern, Zoe Whitley who is going to offer new interpretations of her practice.

Featured image: Cathy Wilkes - Untitled, 2014, via artmuseum.pl

New Zealand - Dane Mitchell

The acclaimed artist Dane Mitchell, known for his spatial or sculptural interventions, is selected to represent New Zealand for the upcoming Biennial.

His purified, yet symbolically strong projects are a commentary on our perception of the spaces we use or inhabit.

For the Biennial, Mitchell is going to release the spatial installation followed by the broadcasts transmitted throughout Venice. The artist was selected by a panel of art professionals (including Simon Denny, Tobias Berger), and the pavilion is to be curated by Zara Stanhope and Chris Sharp.

Featured image: Dane Mitchell - Your Memory of Rain Encased (UV Released), 2010 (left), Your Memory of Rain Released, 2011 (middle), Your Memory of Rain Encased, 2011 (right). Courtesy the artist, Hopkinson Mossman and Govett-Brewster

Canada - Isuma

The National Gallery of Canada has selected the artist collective Isuma to represent the country at the Biennale 2019. Namely, it is a video production established in 1985 by the artists from the Inuit community, the indigenous people of the Canadian Arctic.

The collective has empowered their people through various programs and initiatives they have released over the years. The agenda to educate and maintain the heritage of Inuit was kept regardless of various pressures and socio-political changes.

The pavilion is located in the Giardini and is going to be curated by Catherine Crowston, Barbara Fischer, and several others.

Featured image: The Isuma collective - Left to right, Norman Cohn, Pauloosie Qulitalik, Lizzie Qulitalik, Mary Qulitalik, Rachel Uyarashuk, Jonah Uyarashuk, Zacharias Kunuk, on the set of Nunaqpa (Going Inland), 1990. Image courtesy of Pickles PR.

Follow These Artists

Cathy Wilkes