Who's Coming to Venice Biennale 2019? All Confirmed Artists (Part VIII)

Top Lists

March 21, 2019

In less than two months, the city of Venice will become the mecca of contemporary art. An array of artists, curators, art historians, businessmen, celebrities and all the people interested in art will curiously wonder across the exhibition curated by Ralph Rugoff shattered across the floating city.

We already presented the first, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh round of participating national pavilions so this top list below features the latest group of the countries which will present themselves at the Venice Biennale 2019.

Featured image: Anatoly Shuravlev - Victory over the Future, 2009, Russian Pavilion. Image via Flickr.

Ghana – Felicia Abban, John Akomfrah, El Anatsui, Lynette Yiadomboakye, Ibrahim Mahama, Selasi Awusi Sosu

The Republic of Ghana will have its national pavilion at the Venice Biennale for the first time. The Ministry of tourism, art, and culture commissioned the project curated by Nana Oforiatta Aym and advised by one of the best known African curators Okwui Enwezor, who recently passed away.

The project title Ghana Freedom refers to the song composed by E.T. Mensah after the proclamation of the independence in 1957, meaning that it will explore the notion of gained freedom through the works of six artists. It will include large scale installations by Ibrahim Mahama and El Anatsui, representations of painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and prominent photographer Felicia Abban, as well as a three-channel film projection by John Akomfrah and a video sculpture by Selasi Awusi Sosu.

Featured image: John Akomfrah - Mimesis: Seven. Ambiguities of Colonial Disenchantment, 2018. Three channel HD colour video installation, 7.1 sound. 73 minutes © Smoking Dogs Films. Courtesy Lisson Gallery; Ibrahim Mahama - Non Orientable Paradise Lost 1667. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 2017. Photo © Ibrahim Mahama. Courtesy White Cube; Felicia Abban - Self Portrait IV.

Finland - The Miracle Workers Collective

Following up is the pavilion of Finland, where the project titled A Greater Miracle of Perception envisaged by The Miracle Workers Collective (MWC) will be presented. It gathers a group of multidisciplinary and multinational people such as writer Maryan Abdulkarim, filmmaker Khadar Ahmed, choreographer Sonya Lindfors, artist and activist Outi Pieski, visual artist and musician Leena Pukki, visual artist and activist Martta Tuomaala, just to mention the few.

The aim of the collective is to explore the miracle as a poetic vehicle suitable for expansion of perceptions and experiences. The exhibition will feature cinematic collaborations by the collective members, and a site-specific sculptural installation by Outi Pieski (focused on the transnationality of the Sámi people). The series of public events taking place in, Venice, Berlin, Karasjok and Helsinki during 2019 will extend the exhibition outside the constraints of the worlds best-known art event.

Featured images: Martta Tuomaala, FinnCycling-Soumi-Perkele! Volume 2, 2017, Installation. Courtesy the artist; Outi Pieski - Sweet Hat Mountain, 2018, lithography, printed in Tamarind Institute. Photo by EMMA and Ari Karttune.

Portugal - Leonor Antunes

At the upcoming Biennale, the Portuguese pavilion will feature the latest work of Leonor Antunes curated by João Ribas. The artist was selected by the curator via a competition promoted by the Directorate-General of Arts part of Ministry of Culture, the institution which commissioned the pavilion.

By explicitly referring to the architecture, design, and art of the 20th century, Leonor Antunes explores the function and the meaning of everyday objects and the sculptural potential of modernist forms.

For the upcoming exhibition, Antunes researched the Venetian architects and designers such as Carlo Scarpa, Franco Albini, and Franca Helg, as well as the post-war legacies of the patronage of Savina Masieri and architecture of Egle Trincanato

Featured image: Leonor Antunes - Discrepancies with C.P., 2018. Installation view at Museo Tamayo, Mexico City. Courtesy of the artist and Museo Tamayo. Photo: Nick Ash.

South Africa - Mawande Ka Zenzile, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Tracey Rose

South Africa’s Department of Art and Culture (DAC) announced recently that the country will be represented by painter Mawande Ka Zenzile, installation artist Dineo Seshee Bopape and performance artist Tracey Rose. All three artists are dealing with the post-Apartheid atmosphere and the issues which dominate the society. The project is titled The Stronger We Become and it will be curated by Nkule Mabaso and Nomusa Makhubu and their Natal Collective.

The majority of the biggest participants announced their chosen curators and artists for 2019 Venice Biennale by last summer, so the prolonging of South Africa’s announcement caused an impression that it might not be present at all in the Biennale.

Featured image: Mawande Ka Zenzile - Sibhala sicima, 2016-17. Cow dung, earth, gesso and oil on canvas, 133 x 184cm. Image courtesy of Stevenson Gallery.

Russia – Alexander Sokurov and Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai

Next on our list is the Russian pavilion which is for the first time organized by an art institution - The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Under the curatorial supervision of Mikhail Piotrovsky, (the museum’s general director), the exhibition titled Lc. 15: 11-32 will refer to the Gospel of Luke and the parable of the prodigal son; it will feature an installation by the renowned Russian film director Alexander Sokurov and a contribution of theater artist Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai. Other artists participating in the exhibition, which will be held in the Giardini della Biennale, will be announced in May.

Featured image: Alexander Shishkin Hokusai - Untitled. Image via Curiator.

Israel - Aya Ben Ron

A multidisciplinary artist Aya Ben Ron (best known for exploring the concepts of caregiving and medical ethics through installations, videos, and site-specific projects) will represent Israel at the Venice Art Biennale 2019. The project titled Field Hospital X will be navigated by Avi Lubin, lecturer and curator of HaMidrasha Gallery in Tel Aviv.

The work will be focused on an imaginary hospital that treats the social evils in order to protect the values such as family, freedom, equality; the treatments will encompass video works by other artists.

Featured image: Aya Ben Ron – Rescue, video still, 2012. Image via creative commons

Kosovo – Alban Muja

The Pavilion of The Republic of Kosovo will feature a new project of Alban Muja under the title Family Album curated by Vincent Honoré.

Namely, it will explore the consequences of the armed conflict in the country marking the twentieth anniversary of its end. A selection of photos of child refugees that were published in newspapers and on web sites around the world will be a starting point of Muja’s narrative. By tracking down the subjects of the photographs, now adults, the artist tends to investigate the potential of these images and their role in media instrumentalization.

Featured image: Alban Muja - HOTel, 2014/2016. Installation, 2.5 x 10 m. Image courtesy of the artist

Montenegro – Vesko Gagovic

The Montenegrin pavilion will present the project Odyssey (The floating object) by artist Vesko Gagović, the curator Petrica Duletić, and the team of the Center for Contemporary Art of Montenegro, who is the executive producer of the presentation. Duletic stated:

The proposed project corresponds most fully to all the prominent tender criteria - from the relation between the proposals and the theme of the 58th Biennial, the merging of the form and content, the consideration of the setting in the existing architectural ambience as the place of articulation of content, the answers given to the technical parameters, the compliance of the budget to the quality of the previous artistic work of the author.

Featured image: Vesko Gagović in front of his works. Image via Café del Montenegro

India - Nandalal Bose, Atul Dodiya, GR Iranna, Rummana Hussain, Jitish Kallat, Shakuntala Kulkarni and Ashim Purkayastha

The last on our list is the pavilion of India. The National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi commissioned a project titled Our Time for a Future Caring curated by the private modern and contemporary art museum the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (the Pavilion’s Principal Partner). The works of seven established modern and contemporary artists belonging to different generations, such as Atul Dodiya Rummana Hussain Nandalal Bose, Shakuntala Kulkarni, GR Iranna, Jitish Kallat, and Ashim Purkayastha, will be featured.

The exhibition will focus entirely on the activity and historical significance of globally recognized activist Mahatma Gandhi, so the artworks are expected to refer directly to him and his engagement or to offer conceptual interpretations of his philosophical ideas and broader notions of social action and freedom. The India Pavilion will be a part of the country’s ongoing program honoring 150 years of this exceptional historical figure.

Featured image: Jitish Kallat - Covering Letter, 2012. Fogscreen projection installation. Image via Flickr.

Other National Pavilions

The 58th Venice Biennale has released the final list of the national exhibitors in 2019, bringing a total of 90 participating countries.


    The Future is Now / El futur és ara

    Commissioner: Eva Martínez, “Zoe”.

    Curators: Ivan Sansa, Paolo De Grandis.

    Exhibitor: Philippe Shangti.

    Venue: Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà, Castello 3701


    Find Yourself: Carnival and Resistance

    Commissioner: Daryll Matthew, Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts.

    Curator: Barbara Paca with Nina Khrushcheva.

    Exhibitors: Timothy Payne, Sir Gerald Price, Joseph Seton, and Frank Walter; Intangible Cultural, Heritage Artisans and Mas Troup.

    Venue: Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli, Dorsoduro 919

  • ARMENIA (Republic of)

    Revolutionary Sensorium

    Commissioner: Nazenie Garibian, Deputy Minister.

    Curator: Susanna Gyulamiryan.

    Exhibitors: "ArtlabYerevan" Artistic Group (Gagik Charchyan, Hovhannes Margaryan, Arthur Petrosyan, Vardan Jaloyan) and Narine Arakelian.

    Venue: Collegio Armeno Moorat - Raphael Dorsoduro 2596

  • AZERBAIJAN (Republic of )

    Virtual Reality

    Commissioner: Mammad Ahmadzada, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

    Curators: Gianni Mercurio, Emin Mammadov.

    Exhibitors: Zeigam Azizov, Orkhan Mammadov, Zarnishan Yusifova, Kanan Aliyev, Ulviyya Aliyeva.

    Venue: Palazzo Lezze, Campo S. Stefano, San Marco 2949

  • BANGLADESH (People’s Republic of)


    Commissioner: Liaquat Ali Lucky.

    Curators: Mokhlesur Rahman, Viviana Vannucci.

    Exhibitors: Bishwajit Goswami, Dilara Begum Jolly, Heidi Fosli, Nafis Ahmed Gazi, Franco Marrocco, Domenico Pellegrino, Preema Nazia Andaleeb, Ra
    Kajol, Uttam Kumar karmaker.

    Venue: Palazzo Zenobio - Dorsoduro 2596

  • BELARUS (Republic of)

    Exit / Uscita

    Commissioner: Siarhey Kryshtapovich.

    Curator: Olga Rybchinskaya.

    Exhibitor: Konstantin Selikhanov.

    Venue: Spazio Liquido, Sestiere Castello 103, Salizada Streta


    How We Live

    Commissioner: Iaroslava Boubnova, National Gallery in Sofia.

    Curator: Vera Mlechevska.

    Exhibitors: Rada Boukova , Lazar Lyutakov.

    Venue: Palazzo Giustinian Lolin, San Marco 2893

  • CHINA (People’s Republic of)


    Commissioner: China Arts and Entertainment Group Ltd. (CAEG).

    Curator: Wu Hongliang.

    Exhibitors: Chen Qi, Fei Jun, He Xiangyu, Geng Xue.

    Venue: Arsenale

  • CUBA

    Entorno aleccionador (A Cautionary Environment)

    Commissioner: Norma Rodríguez Derivet, Consejo Nacional de Artes Plásticas.

    Curator: Margarita Sanchez Prieto.

    Exhibitors: Alejandro Campins, Alex Hérnandez, Ariamna Contino and Eugenio Tibaldi.

    Venue: Isola di San Servolo

  • DOMINICAN (Republic)

    Naturaleza y biodiversidad en la República Dominicana

    Commissioner: Eduardo Selman, Minister of Culture.

    Curators: Marianne de Tolentino, Simone Pieralice, Giovanni Verza.

    Exhibitors: Dario Oleaga, Ezequiel Taveras, Hulda Guzmán, Julio Valdez, Miguel Ramirez, Rita Bertrecchi, Nicola Pica, Marraffa & Casciotti.

    Venue: Palazzo Albrizzi Capello, Cannaregio 4118 – Sala della Pace


    khnum across times witness

    Commissioner: Ministry of Culture.

    Curator: Ahmed Chiha.

    Exhibitors: Islam Abdullah, Ahmed Chiha, Ahmed Abdel Karim.

    Venue: Giardini


    Interesting State

    Commissioner: Elder de Jesús Súchite Vargas, Minister of Culture and Sports of Guatemala.

    Curator: Stefania Pieralice.

    Exhibitors: Elsie Wunderlich, Marco Manzo.

    Venue: Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello (first floor), Cannaregio 4118



    Commissioner: Ministry of Culture and Communication.

    Curator: Giscard Bouchotte.

    Exhibitor: Jean Ulrick Désert.

    Venue: Circolo Ufficiali Marina, Calle Seconda de la Fava, Castello 2168

  • IRAN (Islamic Republic of)

    of being and singing

    Commissioner: Hadi Mozafari, General Manager of Visual Arts Administration of Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Curator: Ali Bakhtiari.

    Exhibitors: Reza Lavassani, Samira Alikhanzadeh, Ali Meer Azimi.

    Venue: Fondaco Marcello, San Marco 3415


    The Open Shadows of Memory

    Commissioner: Henri Nkoumo.

    Curator: Massimo Scaringella.

    Exhibitors: Ernest Dükü, Ananias Leki Dago, Valérie Oka, Tong Yanrunan.

    Venue: Castello Gallery, Castello 1636/A


    Pacific Time - Time Flies

    Commissioner: Pelea Tehumu, Ministry of Internal Affairs.

    Curators: Kautu Tabaka, Nina Tepes.

    Exhibitors: Kaeka Michael Betero, Daniela Danica Tepes, Kairaken Betio Group; Teroloang Borouea, Neneia Takoikoi, Tineta Timirau, Teeti Aaloa, Kenneth Ioane, Kaumai Kaoma, Runita Rabwaa, Obeta Taia, Tiribo Kobaua, Tamuera Tebebe, Rairauea Rue, Teuea Kabunare, Tokintekai Ekentetake, Katanuti Francis, Mikaere Tebwebwe, Terita Itinikarawa, Kaeua Kobaua, Raatu Tiuteke, Kaeriti Baanga, Ioanna Francis, Temarewe Banaan, Aanamaria Toom, Einako Temewi, Nimei Itinikarawa, Teniteiti Mikaere, Aanibo Bwatanita, Arin Tikiraua.

    Venue: European Cultural Centre, Palazzo Mora, Strada Nuova 3659


    Saules Suns

    Commissioner: Dace Vilsone.

    Curators: Valentinas Klimašauskas, Inga Lāce.

    Exhibitor: Daiga Grantiņa.

    Venue: Arsenale


    Holding Up a Mirror

    Commissioner: Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohamed Najib Dawa, Director General of Balai Seni Negara (National Art Gallery of Malaysia), Ministry of Tourism,
    Arts and Culture of Malaysia.

    Curator: Lim Wei-Ling Esme.

    Exhibitors: Anurendra Jegadeva, H.H.Lim, Ivan Lam, Zulkifli Yusoff.

    Venue: Palazzo Malipiero - 2nd floor, Campo San Samuele, San Marco 3198, Venice

  • MOZAMBIQUE (Republic of)

    The Past, the Present and The in Between

    Commissioner: Domingos do Rosário Artur.

    Curator: Lidija K. Khachatourian.

    Exhibitors: Gonçalo Mabunda, Mauro Pinto, Filipe Branquinho.

    Venue: Palazzo Mora, Strada Nova, 3659

  • SAN MARINO (Republic of)

    Friendship Project International

    Commissioner: Vito Giuseppe Testaj.

    Curator: Vincenzo Sanfo.

    Exhibitors: Gisella Battistini, Martina Conti, Gabriele Gambuti, Giovanna Fra, Thea Tini, Chen Chengwei, Li Geng, Dario Ortiz Tang Shuangning, Jens W. Beyrich, Xing Junqin, Xu de Qi, Sebastián.

    Venue: Palazzo Bollani, Castello 3647; Complesso dell’Ospedaletto, Castello 6691


    After Illusion بعد توهم

    Commissioner: Misk Art Insitute.

    Curator: Eiman Elgibreen.

    Exhibitor: Zahrah Al Ghamdi.

    Venue: Arsenale

  • SEYCHELLES (Republic of)


    Commissioner: Galen Bresson.

    Curator: Martin Kennedy.

    Exhibitors: George Camille and Daniel Dodin.

    Venue: Palazzo Mora, Strada Nova, 3659

  • SYRIAN ARAB (Republic)

    Syrian Civilization is still alive

    Commissioner/Curator: Emad Kashout.

    Exhibitors: Abdalah Abouassali, Giacomo Braglia, Ibrahim Al Hamid, Chen Huasha, Saed Salloum, Xie Tian, Saad Yagan, Primo Vanadia, Giuseppe Biasio.

    Venue: Isola di San Servolo; Chiesetta della Misericordia, Campo dell'Abbazia, Cannaregio


    The Revolving World

    Commissioner: Vimolluck Chuchat, Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture, Thailand.

    Curator: Tawatchai Somkong.

    Exhibitors: Somsak Chowtadapong, Panya Vijinthanasarn, Krit Ngamsom.

    Venue: In Paradiso 1260, Castello


    The Shadow of Dream cast upon Giardini della Biennale

    Commissioner: Svitlana Fomenko, First Deputy Minister of Culture.

    Curators: Open group (Yurii Biley, Pavlo Kovach, Stanislav Turina, Anton Varga).

    Exhibitors: all artists of Ukraine.

    Venue: Arsenale

  • VENEZUELA (Bolivarian Republic of)

    Metaphore of three windows

    Venezuela: identity in time and space

    Commissioner/Curator: Oscar Sottillo Meneses.

    Exhibitors: Natalie Rocha Capiello, Ricardo García, Gabriel López, Nelson Rangelosky.

    Venue: Giardini

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