Page 12 - La Biennale di Venezia issue of World of Art Magazine
P. 12


         The International Jury                Regarding this, we have discussed our relationship with the market, but
                                               again, a partial vision of the Exhibition might consider it a high-society
         The Board of Directors of La Biennale di   inauguration followed by a line six months long for “the rest of the world.”
         Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta has   Others might consider the six-month-long Exhibition the main event and
         appointed, upon recommendation by     the inauguration a by-product. Moreover, the visitors of the Biennale,
         the Artistic Director Ralph Rugoff, the   who are actually a community in themselves, are statistically tourists (a
         International Jury of the 58th International   tautology in a small city) and thus... we are suspected of compliance with
         Art Exhibition (11 May > 24 November 2019)   selling strategies.
         composed of the following members:
                                               For this short-lived criticism, let me recount a short story we were told in
         Stephanie Rosenthal (Germany), President   our childhood: the story of the old father, the young son, and the donkey
         of the Jury, is the Director of Gropius Bau   going to town.
         in Berlin, one of Germany’s leading public   The old man rides the donkey and the people passing by say “look at
         galleries for contemporary art. She has   that selfish man, he lets the child walk on this horrible path, look at his
         curated many major monographic and    poor little feet.” The father reacts, they switch places, and a new group
         international group shows, and served as   of passers-by say “look at that selfish boy, full of energy but he leaves
         Artistic Director of the 20th Biennale of   to his poor old father the fatigue of walking.” They feel a bit humiliated
         Sydney in 2016.                       and decide to both ride the donkey together and the comment is
                                               “barbarians, that’s a true exploitation of animals!” Finally, they decide to
         Defne Ayas (Turkey/The Netherlands) is   both dismount, just in time to hear “look at those two idiots, they have a
         currently serving as Curator at Large at   donkey and they’re walking!”
         the V-A-C Foundation in Moscow. She was
         director of Rotterdam’s Witte de With Art   In short, our mission is simple, albeit not easy: to offer artists a place
         Center for Contemporary Art (2012–2017)   where they can dialogue as freely as possible and offer visitors an intense
         where she commissioned and organized   encounter with art.
         group exhibitions and monographic shows.
         Prior to that, Ayas acted as the curator of the   During these years, we have increased the number of visitors and found
         Pavilion of Turkey in the 56th International Art   a new partner. Over the course of the past years, the double cost of
         Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.  transportation in the lagoon obliged us to ask for additional support, and
                                               our expressions of gratitude and our wall labels included many market
         Cristiana Collu (Italy) is general director of   participants. The increase in the number of our visitors has allowed us
         the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e   to considerably cut back on this practice, as you can see in the drastic
         Contemporanea, Rome. Beforehand, she   reduction in our expressions of gratitude, both when
         was director of the Museo di arte moderna   presenting the works and in the catalogues, with the exception of a few
         e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto since   “special” presences (characterized by the high cost of their realization
         2012. She previously directed the MAN_  and/or transportation). Our visitors have become our main partner; more
         Museo d’Arte of the Province of Nuoro.  than half of them are under 26 years of age. Calling notice to this result
         Sunjung Kim (Korea), is President of the   seems to me the best way to celebrate the twenty years which have
         Gwangju Biennale Foundation. For many   passed since 1999.
         years she was the director of Art Sonje
         Center, one of Seoul’s leading contemporary   We want to offer them an open gym, where they can feel involved in
         art spaces, where she initiated the Real DMZ   encounters with the works and the artists, in the direct discovery of the
         Project, working with international artists in   “other” which the work of art offers. To us, it is important that, when
         Korea’s demilitarised zone.           entering the exhibit, the “public” becomes “visitors,” who then become
                                               “viewers” of the works. First, the necessary disorientation, then the
         Hamza Walker (USA) having spent over   involvement, followed by the discovery; it is almost a fencing drill.
         two decades curating shows at Chicago’s   To share this direction is one of the reasons we have asked Ralph Rugoff
         Renaissance Society, he is currently Executive   to collaborate with us on this twentieth anniversary.
         Director of LAXART, a long-standing non-
         profit art space in Los Angeles. Walker is the   More than ever, the process of expanding our eyes and our minds is
         recipient for the 1999 Norton Curatorial Grant   facilitated if it takes place in an environment in which people can breathe
         and the 2004 Walter Hopps Award. He was   independence and trust, and creating trust is a long-term concern.
         also awarded the 2010 Ordway Prize for his
         work as both a curator and essayist.                        Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale di Venezia

         12      WORLD of ART
   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17