Everything You Need to Know About the Venice Biennale 2017

Venice | © Livia Hengel
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Art & Design Editor
Updated: 5 October 2017
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Culture Trip’s Art & Design editors Freire Barnes and Rachel Gould round-up everything you need to know about this year’s 57th Venice Biennale, from the national pavilions to the must-see exhibitions and collateral events.

For over 120 years La Biennale di Venezia has set the benchmark for artistic trends. Exploring a variety of subjects and exhibiting hundreds of dynamic practices in national pavilions, this prestigious international event continues to captivate art audiences every two years in the inspiring setting of Venice. This year, the 57th International Art Exhibition, Viva Arte Viva, presents 120 artists, 86 national participations, and 23 collateral events until Sunday November 26, 2017 in the Arsenale, Giardini and locations throughout the watery city.

Things Get Interactive at This Year’s Venice Biennale

We can’t deny that the act of looking at art is an enjoyable pursuit. But actually being allowed to engage and become part of the work is something that everyone needs to try at least once in their lives. With an abundance of art to see in Venice this summer as part of the Biennale, we’ve rounded up the works that have to be experienced and touched.

Erwin Wurm, ‘Just about Virtues and Vices in General, 2016 – 2017’. Performative one minute sculpture, Austrian Pavilion
Photo: Daniele Nalesso © Bildrecht, Vienna 2017

The 10 National Pavilions You Can’t Miss at the Venice Biennale

As 87 national pavilions present work to over 500,000 visitors at the Giardini, Arsenale and numerous offsite locations, the Venice Biennale can seem overwhelming, so we’ve whittled down the choice to a manageable, yet enthralling pick of the ten best pavilions.

The 57th Biennale di Venezia
Photo Andrea Avezz˘. Courtesy la Biennale di Venezia

Geoffrey Farmer Considers the Fluidity of Identity for his Canadian Pavilion

The Canadian artist, Geoffrey Farmer has transformed his country’s national pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale into a watery spectacle.

Geoffrey Farmer, A way out of the mirror, 2017
© Geoffrey Farmer, Courtesy of the artist. Photo : Francesco Barasciutti

Why This Is the Most Fascinating Building in Venice

As the art world inaugurates the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale, Culture Trip takes a closer look at one of Venice’s most astounding sites.

© Matteo de Fina/Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 

Don’t Miss This Glassworks Exhibition in a 16th-Century Venetian Palace

Fondazione Berengo brings the Venetian tradition of glass art into the present day at Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti and the island of Murano.

Karen LaMonte, Nocturnes, 2017
© Karen LaMonte 2017. Photo Credit: Nicola Gnesi

Art Treasures Discovered in the Canals of Venice

Major new art project by Damien Hirst opens at the Pinault Collection’s two Venetian venues, Punta Della Dogna and Palazzo Grassi just ahead of the 57th Venice Biennale.

Photographed by Christoph Gerigk
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

The Art World Explores New Terrain on the Antarctic Biennale’s Maiden Voyage

15 carefully-selected artists from the Antarctic Biennale will showcase their work in the Antarctic Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale.

© robynm/Pixabay 

Cevdet Erek Explores Memory at the 57th Venice Biennale’s Turkish Pavilion

Since 2003, the Pavilion of Turkey has featured temporary exhibitions by Turkish artists during the prestigious Biennale di Venezia. This year, the pavilion features the site-specific installation of Cevdet Erek that explores complex poetic and political concepts.

Courtesy of IKSV

This Icelandic Artist Trolls the 2017 Venice Biennale

For the past 10 years, two fictional, technicolor trolls have become part of Egill Saebjörnsson’s artistic practice. As he represents Iceland at this year’s Venice Biennale the mountain trolls, Ugh and Bõögâr, have been wreaking havoc in the creation of the installation Out of Controll in Venice.

Ügh eating in Venice, Out of Controll in Venice, Icelandic Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2017
Courtesy the artist and i8 gallery

Thriving Political Satire By Finnish Artists at the 2017 Venice Biennale

At a time when the world seems more politically and socially divided than ever, many artists and writers are channeling their frustrations into satirical comedy to raise awareness of these issues. One particularly good example is Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen’s installation, The Aalto Natives for the Finnish pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale.

The Aalto Natives, 2017
© Finland’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2017 is commissioned by Frame Contemporary Art Finland, 13 May – 26 November 2017

South Korean Pavilion Explores National Identity at 2017 Venice Biennale

Featuring the work of Cody Choi and Lee Wan, The Republic of Korea’s National Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale illustrates the conflicts and dislocation in modern Korean identity in relation to the wider contemporary world.

Lee Wans, Proper Time: Though the Dreams Revolve with the Moon pictured with For a Better Tomorrow, 2017
© Lee Wan

Grisha Burskin, Recycle Group and Sasha Pirogova at the Venice Biennale

Theatrum Orbis, the Russian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale explores themes of power, virtuality and death through the works of celebrated and emerging artists and composers.

Russia Pavilion in the Giardini
Courtesy 57th Venice Biennale

Gyula Várnai at the Venice Biennale 2017

Gyula Várnai’s Peace On Earth! at the Hungarian Pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale is an exploration of utopias, their failures and their credibility.

Photograph courtesy of Rosta József – Ludwig Museum – Contemporary Art Museum, Budapest

Major Artists to Collaborate with Murano Glassmakers Alongside 2017 Venice Biennale

Ahead of the 57th Venice Biennale, 27 outstanding contemporary artists will collaborate with local Italian artisans to create new artworks in Murano glass – a historic Venetian tradition.

© sabinevanerp/Pixabay 

Check Out Street Artist Bambi’s Exclusive Pop-Up Show in Venice

Coinciding with the opening of the 57th Venice Biennale, street artist Bambi opens her first Italian show in the watery city.

Bambi, The Pope Gives Us Hope, 2017
© Bambi, courtesy the artist

The 57th Venice Biennale takes place at various locations in Venice from until November 26, 2017.

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