Special Venice Biennale 2015
Founding Director of Delfina Foundation, London
It was a romantic getaway – young but doomed love. Must have been around 2002. Solidarity. During the 55th Venice Biennale, massive protests started in Istanbul with a brutal police response. Artists and curators who were in Venice for the biennale's opening staged demonstrations in support of their colleagues and communities in Turkey. While Turkey's local media ignored the protests, the biennale became a platform to capture the world's media attention. Coincidentally, Turkey's Pavilion presented a solo work by Ali Kazma called Resistance, which subtly looked at similar political issues to those erupting in Gezi Park. The Armenian Pavilion I visit biennales mainly to support artists who have participated in our programmes at Delfina Foundation. Armenia's first pavilion is in a symbolic year for the country as it commemorates 100 years since the Armenian genocide. The exhibition features Hrair Sarkissian, Hera Büyükta çıyan, and Rene Gabri & Ayreen Anastas, among others.
Armenian Pavilion Armenity Curator: Adelina Cüberyan von Fürstenberg Mekhitarist Monastery Island of San Lazzaro degli Armeni www.armenity.net Opening May 6, at 6 pm May 6–October 18.
The Iranian Pavilion Since Iran is often depicted as being 'unneighbourly' by the press, I am very curious about its pavilion which will explore connections with Central and South Asia. Six former residents are in this group show: Rashad Alakbarov, Reza Aramesh, Mahmoud Bakhshi, Moakhar, Babak Golkar, Babak Kazemi, and Farhad Moshiri. The Great Game - Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iraq, Central-Asian Republics: art, artists, and culture from the heart of the world. Curators: Marco Meneguzzo, Mazdak Faiznia Calle San Giovanni 1074/B, Cannaregio
All the World's Futures I am excited to visit “All the World's Futures”, the main exhibition, not only because it features four of our former resident artists (Jumana Emil Abboud, Ala' Younis, Mika Rottenberg, Sonia Boyce) but also because it attempts to present a more nuanced and global perspective of the role of art today, which hasn't been called into question in previous editions. Piccolo Mondo This quirky dance bar is the oldest in Venice and often has an eccentric cast of characters. During the biennale, the art world descends on this dive for some late night and often sweaty dancing.
Dorsoduro, 1056/a Tel 041-5200371 piccolomondo.biz North Cannaregio A wonderful neighbourhood to experience living among the locals. Although it's away from the tourist sites, the Arsenale and Giardini can be reached in just 2-3 vaporetto stops going northeast and avoiding the busy Canal Grande. Scuola Grande di San Rocco This building features over 50 Tintorettos, reminding us that 'site-specific art' is not only a contemporary term.
Campo San Rocco, 3052 30125 San Polo scuolagrandesanrocco.it