The Venice Biennale organisers have postponed both the Art and Architecture events for up to two years. La Biennale di Venezia took this unprecedented action in response to the COVID19 pandemic. The announcement was made today, May 18th, 2020. The 17th International Architecture Exhibition – How Will We Live Together? – curated by Hashim Sarkis, which was to take place in Venice from August 29th through November 29th 2020, has been rescheduled for Saturday, May 22nd to Sunday, November 21st 2021.
The perseverance of all the Participants deeply moves me during the last three months – Hashim Sarkis
Consequently, the 59th International Art Exhibition, curated by Cecilia Alemani, which was to take place in 2021, has in turn been postponed to 2022. It will last seven months and will be held from Saturday, April 23rdto Sunday, November 27th.
Cecilia Alemani was recently appointed as the Director of Visual Arts for the 59th Venice Biennale. The Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, made the decision at a meeting in January. She is one of only five women to be selected as Artistic Director and the first Italian woman.
Sonia Boyce OBE RA was recently announced as the artist to represent the UK at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2021. This will give her two years to prepare for her solo exhibition. Ms Boyce OBE RA came to prominence as a critical figure in the burgeoning Black-British art scene of the early 1980s. She was one of the youngest artists of her generation to have her work acquired by Tate, featuring deeply personal reflections on race, class and gender in Britain.
The decision to postpone the Biennale Architettura to May 2021 is an acknowledgement that it is impossible to move forward – within the set time limits – in the realisation of such a complex and worldwide exhibition, due to the persistence of a series of objective difficulties caused by the effects by the health emergency underway.
The current situation, up to now, has definitely prejudiced the realisation of the Exhibition in its entirety, jeopardising the realisation, transport and presence of the works and consequently the quality of the Exhibition itself. Therefore, after consulting with the Curator Hashim Sarkis and in consideration of the problems, the invited architects, Participating Countries, institutions, Collateral Events are facing, thanking all of them for their efforts so far, La Biennale has decided to postpone the opening date of the Biennale Architettura to the year 2021, extending its duration back to the customary six months, from May 22nd to November 21st.
THE EVENTS IN 2020
All other events remain confirmed: the 77th Venice International Film Festival directed by Alberto Barbera from September 2nd to 12th; the 48th International Theatre Festival directed by Antonio Latella from September 14th to 24th; the 64th International Festival of Contemporary Music directed by Ivan Fedele, from September 25thto October 4th; the 14th International Festival of Contemporary Dance directed by Marie Chouinard from October 13th to 25th.
“The last few days – declared President Roberto Cicutto – have clarified the real state of the situation we are all facing. With the utmost respect for the work done by all of us, the investments made by the Participants, and considering the difficulties that all countries, institutions, universities, architectural studios have met together with the uncertainty of the shipments, personal travel restraints and Covid-19 protective measures that are being and were be adopted, we have decided to listen to those, the majority, who requested that the Biennale Architettura be postponed. I have received many messages asking for a postponement to 2021.
We now plan to open the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in May 2021 and allow it a longer life until November, as it was before the pandemic. Nevertheless, Architecture will be in Venice this Fall organising several events keeping at the centre of the stage the question, more relevant than ever, of How will we live together?.”
“The perseverance of all the Participants deeply moves me during the last three months – stated Curator Hashim Sarkis. I hope that the new opening date will allow them first to catch their breath, and then to complete their work with the time and vigour it truly deserves. We did not plan it this way. Neither the question I asked How will we live together? Nor the wealth of ways in response to it, were meant to address the crisis they are living, but here we are. We are in some ways fortunate because we are well equipped to absorb the immediate and longer-term implications of the crisis into the Biennale Architettura 2021. The theme does also provide us with the possibility to respond to the pandemic in its immediacy. This is why we will return to Venice in the coming months for a series of activities devoted to the Architecture.”
The 59th La Biennale di Venezia is the oldest Art Biennial art exhibition in the world and is highly anticipated by the visual art establishment.
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