On 16th July 2018, the President of La Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta, and the curator of the 58th International Art Exhibition, Ralph Rugoff launched the Biennale Arte 2019, announcing its title and conceptual considerations.
The 58th International Art Exhibition will be titled May You Live in Interesting Times, after an ancient Chinese curse referring to periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil; "interesting times," exactly as the ones we live in today.
Ralph Rugoff explained his choice as follows:
"At a moment when the digital dissemination of fake news and 'alternative facts' is corroding political discourse and the trust on which it depends, it is worth pausing whenever possible to reassess our terms of reference. The 58th International Art Exhibition will not have a theme per se, but will highlight a general approach to making art and a view of art’s social function as embracing both pleasure and critical thinking. Artists who think in this manner offer alternatives to the meaning of so-called facts by suggesting other ways of connecting and contextualising them."
"May You Live in Interesting Times will aim to welcome its public to an expansive experience of the deep involvement, absorption and creative learning that art makes possible. This will entail engaging visitors in a series of encounters that are essentially playful, taking into account that it is when we play that we are most fully 'human.' This will mean tweaking aspects of the Exhibition format where possible to make sure they are sympathetically aligned with the character of the art being presented."
President Paolo Baratta stated:
"Through the appointment of Ralph Rugoff as Curator, we meant to contribute and give further formal clarity to the idea that we have nurtured in the last twenty years about the role of La Biennale and especially of the Art Exhibition."
From press information.
Photo Paolo Baratta & Ralph Rugoff: © Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia
Photo on top: © Haupt & Binder, UiU
MOCA Yinchuan, China, until 19 September 2018. Curator: Marco Scotini and team.
Photo tours and information: Contemporary arts, cultural heritage, archaeological sites
Starts 29 July in Japan, directed by Fram Kitagawa. About 360 works in an area of 760 sqm.