Top 3 Pavilions at the 2019 Venice Biennale
Which are the top 3 Pavilions at the 2019 Venice Biennale? Let’s discover them together!
A couple of weeks ago I took a flight from London for the opening of the Biennale and I spent a weekend in Venice. I told you about my visit and my impressions in another post, with some useful information on how to organize your tour.
The exhibition is organized every two years mostly in the Arsenale and the Gardens area with some national exhibitions also in the city centre. To access the two main places you pay for a ticket and you can decide whether to visit them the same day or on two different occasions, before closing in November.
Today I talk to you in detail about the three pavilions that I think are a must this year and why I liked them so much.
The suggestions that I give you are not in order of preference but related to the places where these three pavilions are located. So let’s get started!
Pavilion Turkey – Top 3 Pavilions at the 2019 Venice Biennale
The first one I fell in love with is the Turkish pavilion within the spaces of the Arsenale.
The exhibition was organized by the Istanbul Foundation for culture and arts with works by the artist İnci Eviner. “We, elsewhere” already tells a lot about what this fantastic Turkish woman artist wants to make us feel.
The interaction between people as a community and the spaces we occupy is the main theme. Spaces from where we decide or we are sometimes forced to move. Each place represents a memory for a single individual or an entire population. And memory is what allows us to remember places that sometimes disappear physically.
When we enter in the space where the artist welcomes us, we are captured by sounds, images and objects that seem abandoned but lived at the same time. Stairs, cracks in the wall and torn chairs tell us stories and people. While the manipulated images of men and projected animals make us immerse in memory. They are real images in the space but abstract because they are surrounded by nothing. Like on an empty canvas in which they are immersed in captivity. Many of the “sins” are harsh, not violent but very harsh.
It’s not clear if we are in the mind of a person, with up and downs, objects set aside and surreal images or if we are in a real place that has been rather abandoned.
Why I liked the Turkish Pavillion at the Biennale 2019
In my opinion, the choice of these artworks is a perfect match with the general theme of the Biennale “May you live in interesting times“. Visiting these spaces makes us think about our relationship with the objects that surround us and that are present in our lives but in particular on how we, as humankind, relate to them. We use them, we make them become part of our daily life, of our culture and then we are forced or we decide to leave them and they become places in our mind.
An exciting experience that captured me. I would return to Venice today only to wander again in this space.
Pavilion Italy – Top 3 Pavilions at the 2019 Venice Biennale
The second pavilion is located again in Arsenale. I liked it very much but has been receiving many conflicting reviews by the critics. It’s the Italian Pavillion. It is located at the borders of the exhibition in a space that is complex to manage because of its size. And the curators often relate in a difficult way with it.
In my opinion, this was not the case this year for the curator Milovan Farronato who chose three artists Chiara Fumai, Liliana Moro and Enrico David to represent Italy. And he also knew how to choose a theme within the main one, the labyrinth.
The exhibition idea is brilliant. From the moment you enter the pavilion the high walls leave us free to visit the place and get lost in art, turning on every corner depending on our choice. There are two entrances and for each one, the choice already begins in having to go to the right or to the left. This does not mean that you are not being guided. The choice of the three different artists and the presentation of their works is in itself a guiding tool in our hands.
You cross these streets and maze-like streets just like you cross the streets of Venice with their corners and bridges. Everyone can choose their own direction “Neither, nor” as the title of the exhibition also explains. Everyone is free to choose and live the work as he prefers. And through the labyrinth of the exhibition, you discover both new and famous works of the three artists. In fact, the curator’s choice was to retrieve unfinished or unpublished projects from the memory of these artists and to mix them to more famous works.
Why I liked the Italian Pavillion at the Biennale 2019
The labyrinth is made up of words, sculptures, installations, sounds and objects with which we interact and which change the space in which they are present, lending themselves to multiple interpretations. In this case, again, I think that I got caught by the pavilion for the coherent choice on the “May you live in interesting times” theme of the entire Biennale.
Pavilion Belgium – Top 3 Pavilions at the 2019 Venice Biennale
To visit my third favourite pavilion, we have to move and reach the Gardens site. Here, beyond the central space, a building is dedicated to each nation. Among the first ones, there is the Belgian Pavillion, which for me was a discovery.
A completely white space, made of cells like in a prison and lived by automata. The title of the exhibition of the two artists Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys “Mondo cane” is a clue but the tool to better understand the project is the booklet that is also a guide. Inside, in fact, we can find the short stories of each of the characters.
The central area is populated by calm automata, which carry out their activities with dedication. There is the artist, the baker, the knife grinder, the village priest and the elder lady. Each of them carries on his work in rhythm and interacts with others through movements and sounds. But what distinguishes them all is a sense of calmness.
On either side of the room, there are the outcasts inside cells with barriers. Other automata, each one with its own story to tell. The musketeer without money who, after the unsuccessful publication of his personal journal at 16 years old and love failure, finds himself having to interpret the role of the living statue to survive. Or the ventriloquist who people say to be a centenary and has always lived with his puppet, telling horror stories that really happened.
And finally, among all, there is the Mouse Woman, a character who stands alone behind bars. She announces herself with the beat of her rod. And the few people who managed to survive a meeting with her say that their heartbeat stopped at her sight. And they thought that the end had arrived.
Why I liked the Belgian Pavillion at the Biennale 2019
For me, this national pavilion is an endless journey into society. I found myself quietly reading all the stories, listening to the movements and sounds of each of these automata as if I was in the centre of a town square. Stories that make us think on how each of us is a unique human being who interacts in his own way with the community and how we all have stories to tell.
I hope that the review of these three pavilions of the 2019 Biennale has made you want to visit it as much as it made me want to come back right away!
Thank you very much and see you soon!
» Official website of the 58th Biennale of art in Venice: https://www.labiennale.org/en/art/2019
» Info tickets: https://www.labiennale.org/en/art/2019/information
» Info opening hours and venues: https://www.labiennale.org/en/art/2019/information