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Venice Biennale Highlights

  • Venice Biennale Highlights
May 12, 2015

The 56th Venice Biennale kicked off on Saturday May 9th, and one of the world’s most prestigious art events has opened its doors to visitors. We could say that Venice now is the world capital of culture. The Biennale features 89 national participants and 136 artists and groups, whose works will be exhibited in the historical Pavilions at the Giardini, Arsenale and the city of Venice. Maybe it is too early to speak about hits of the Biennale; however, it’s already possible to mention some of the highlights that will certainly attract special attention. We could hear some news about this year’s Biennale, and even to read some highlights. It’s not an easy job to highlight works from this international renowned event, since the vast majority of artists and their works are simply amazing. Nevertheless, we are going to stress out some of the hits of the Venice Biennale, and right at the beginning, an amazing work by British sculptor Kate MccGwire should be mentioned. In collaboration with the Berengo Glass Studio, MccGwire has sculpted a large-scale floor installation sculpture using Berengo black glass and crow feathers. This extraordinary work is called SIREN, where the crows (traditionally thought to be a bad omen) reflect the gothic theme of the show, inviting to an exploration of the effect that Gothic and medieval ideas have had on the modern conscience and contemporary art.

Kate MccGwire – SIREN, 2015, Venice Biennale 2015
Kate MccGwire – SIREN, 2015, Venice Biennale 2015

Venice Biennale 2015 Hits

Venice Biennale 2015 has already earned a reputation for including pointed work that addresses today’s most pressing social and political issues (check out our top 10 favorite politically charged art expressions of 2014). Well, you have to visit the Brazilian pavilion, not only because of its social and political theme, but because of the aesthetical and spatial solutions the artist conceptualized. Outside the Brazilian Pavilion, a pair of worn sneakers hang from a flagpole (by André Komatsu), invoking the street semiotics of drug use (which is a big problem in Brazilian society). Works on view include a video performance by Berna Reale, who carries the Olympic torch through the run-down, rat-ridden prisons and different parts of São Paulo referencing the mass protests against the country’s vast expenditure on the upcoming Olympics. The pavilion also shows the Antonio Manuel’s site-specific maze of makeshift, broken walls and a 1975 video by the artist exploring the violence that devastates marginalized groups of contemporary Brazilian society.

If you want to take a break from politically charged works, you should visit Norwegian pavilion and the amazing work by Camille Norment. The artist created a gorgeous sonic and architectural landscape of broken glass panes and giant microphone-like speakers that emit the soothing, penetrating drone of music composed on a glass harmonica. This work is entitled Rapture. Also, be sure to walk to the Romanian pavilion, where Adrian Ghenie has a tour de force presentation of some 20 paintings and drawings that take Charles Darwin as a prism through which to explore the loaded history of the 20th century.

Occupations Discoveries by Antonio Manuel at the Brazil pavilion (courtesy of
Occupations Discoveries by Antonio Manuel at the Brazil pavilion (courtesy of

Some More Hits of Venice Biennale

One of the hits of the 55th Venice Biennale is certainly Pamela Rosenkranz’s installation in the Swiss Pavilion. This amazing installation, which is undoubtedly deeply rooted in conceptual art, deals with the racial issues. Visitors will probably be left speechless during their visit to US pavilion, where an amazing multimedia installation was set by Joan Jonas. Apart from the national participant, there are many other amazing works in the Special Project section. This year’s special project involves the American artist Kara Walker, who was commissioned to create the staging, set and costume design for the new production of the opera titled Norma.

These are only few of the hits of the Venice Biennale 2015. Do you agree with our suggestions? If you want to comment, please visit our Facebook page!

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Featured Image: Adrian Ghenie’s installation Darwin’s Room for the Romanian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (courtesy of

All images used for illustrative purposes only.