Main outline of the 53rd International Art Exhibition

The President of the Venice Biennale, Paolo Baratta, along with the Director of the 53rd International Art Exhibition, Daniel Birnbaum, met today in Venice the representatives of the nations participating in the 53rd Exhibition, to be held between 7th June and 22nd November 2009 in the Giardini and Arsenale main venues (preview: 4th, 5th and 6th June), and elsewhere in Venice.

The President sent special greetings to the countries participating for the first time: Andorra, Gabon, Montenegro, Pakistan, Principality of Monaco, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates; greetings were extended to those countries that will take part again in the next Exhibition: Iran, Morocco, New Zealand and San Marino. For this edition, too, there will be selected collateral events, organised by international institutions, which will hold their exhibitions at the same time as the Biennale. The catalogue will be published by Marsilio. The Director, Daniel Birnbaum, is working on the 53rd Exhibition with the help of an international group of experts: Jochen Volz (artistic organiser), Savita Apte, Tom Eccles, Hu Fang, and Maria Finders (correspondents).

Inviting Daniel Birnbaum to indicate the main themes of his exhibition, President Baratta recalled that alongside the international exhibition, the Padiglione Italiano would also be opening its doors, organised by PARC – Department for the quality and safeguarding of the territory, architecture and contemporary arts at the Ministry for Cultural Affairs – for which the curators are Beatrice Buscaroli and Luca Beatrice.

Following on from the President, the Director of the 53rd International Art Exhibition, Daniel Birnbaum, outlined the salient points of his exhibition and indicated its title: Fare Mondi // Making Worlds // Bantin Duniyan // 制造世界 // Weltenmachen // Construire des Mondes // Fazer Mundos…

Birnbaum stressed that the 53rd Exhibition will not be divided into sections but instead weave a few themes into an articulated whole, and he pointed out three aspects in particular:

  • the proximity to the processes of production, which “will result in an exhibition that remains closer to the sites of creation and education (the studio, the workshop) than the traditional museum show, which tends to highlight only the finished work itself. Some of the works – declared Birnbaum – will represent worlds in the making. A work of art is more than an object, more than a commodity. It represents a vision of the world, and if taken seriously it can be seen as a way of worldmaking”
  • the relationship between some key artists and successive generations: “A number of historical reference points will anchor the exhibition. These artistic roots are still active, productive. They give energy to the branches of the tree of art, and perhaps also to that which emerges today, to the ‘sprouts’. I would like to explore strings of inspiration that involve several generations and to display the roots as well as the branches that grow into a future not yet defined”.
  • an exploration of drawing and painting, with respect to recent developments and the presence in the latest editions of the Biennale of many videos and installations: “the emphasis on the creative process and on things in the making will not exclude works in classical media”.