58th Venice Biennale 2019

Dear Diane, dear Shaded Viewers, I had the pleasure to spend some days in Venice for the official opening of the Biennale curated by Ralph Rugoff… And I’m happy to share with you some of the images I’ve taken.

I must admit that I’ve been lazy with my phone but nevertheless I hope you may enjoy them.

The general impression of the curated sector at the Giardini and l’Arsenale was good and interestingly open, ambiguous, both light and deep. Some might say it was lacking conceptual coherence but I’d disagree as the very different pieces worked well under the Biennale’s title: “May you live in interesting times”. A wish that ain’t positive nor negative. Perhaps both at the same time.

The golden Lion for best artist participation went to Arthur Jafa who presented the video “White Album”; several artists and pavilions also received special mentions. The jury acknowledged two artists for their contributions to the central exhibition. Teresa Margolles for her affecting installations about the plight of women who experience violence in her native Mexico. Also, Nigerian artist Otobong Nkanga received a mention for, as the jury stated, her “exploration across media into the politics of land, body, and time”.

As for the pavilions, the Golden Lion went to Lithuania and a mention for the controversial Belgium one that I personally didn’t like (as most of the people I talked to). The life-time Golden Lion was appointed to the artist Jimmie Durham.




Mario Canal

Arts writer and art curator. Spaniard from Madrid with Parisian accent. Used to steal my sister's magazines but fashion is elsewhere now. It's something else. Trying to figure this out while putting new creative projects together.