Page 12 - La Biennale di Venezia 2022 issue of World of Art Contemporary Art Magazine
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Biennale Arte 2022  LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA

                                            STATEMENT BY
                                            CECILIA ALEMANI CURATOR OF
                                            59TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION
                                            THE MILK OF DREAMS

                                            TITLE AND THEMES
                                            The Milk of Dreams takes its title from a book by Leonora Carrington
                                            (1917–2011) in which the Surrealist artist describes a magical world where
         COURTESY LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA    life is constantly re-envisioned through the prism of the imagination. It is
                                            a world where everyone can change, be transformed, become something
                                            or someone else; a world set free, brimming with possibilities. But it is
                                            also the allegory of a century that imposed intolerable pressure on the
                                            very definition of the self, forcing Carrington into a life of exile: locked up
                                            in mental hospitals, an eternal object of fascination and desire, yet also
         Cecilia Alemani is an Italian curator   a figure of startling power and mystery, always fleeing the strictures of a
         based in New York. Since 2011, she   fixed, coherent identity. When asked about her birth, Carrington would say
         has been the Director & Chief Curator   she was the product of her mother’s encounter with a machine, suggesting
         of High Line Art, the program of public   the same bizarre union of human, animal, and mechanical that marks much
         art of the renowned urban park built   of her work. The exhibition The Milk of Dreams takes Leonora Carrington’s
         on an elevated railroad in New York.   otherworldly creatures, along with other figures of transformation, as
         In addition to commissioning and   companions on an imaginary journey through the metamorphoses of
         producing ambitious projects with   bodies and definitions of the human.
         some of today's most influential
         artists such as El Anatsui, John   This exhibition is grounded in many conversations with artists held in the
         Baldessari, Phyllida Barlow, Carol   last few years. The questions that kept emerging from these dialogues
         Bove, Sheila Hicks, Rashid Johnson,   seem to capture this moment in history when the very survival of the
         Barbara Kruger, Ibrahim Mahama,    species is threatened, but also to sum up many other inquiries that
         Faith Ringgold, Ed Ruscha, Nari Ward   pervade the sciences, arts, and myths of our time. How is the definition of
         and Adrián Villar Rojas, she also   the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant
         launched the High Line Plinth, a   and animal, human and non-human? What are our responsibilities towards
         new program of monumental works    the planet, other people, and other life forms? And what would life look
         inaugurated in June 2019 with Brick   like without us?
         House, a sculpture by the artist
         Simone Leigh and followed by Untitled   These are some of the guiding questions for this edition of the
         (drone) by Sam Durant. In 2017,    Biennale Arte, which focuses on three thematic areas in particular: the
         Alemani curated the Italian Pavilion   representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship
         at 57th International Art Exhibition of   between individuals and technologies; the connection between bodies and
         La Biennale di Venezia. Titled Il Mondo   the Earth.
         Magico (The Magical World), the
         exhibition featured new large-scale,   Many contemporary artists are imagining a posthuman condition that
         site-specific commissions by Giorgio   challenges the modern Western vision of the human being − and especially
         Andreotta Calò, Adelita Husni-Bey, and   the presumed universal ideal of the white, male “Man of Reason” − as
         Roberto Cuoghi.                    fixed centre of the universe and measure of all things. In its place, artists

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