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HAPPENINGText: Ilaria Peretti

Postponed by a year due to the continuing protraction of the pandemic that forced the whole world to slow down, the 59th edition of the Venice Biennale has opened the doors to the public on the 23rd of April, 2022.

Giardini of Biennale, Photo: Andrea Avezzu

The exhibition is curated by Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art since 2011, and in 2017 curator of the Italian Pavilion with the exhibition Il Mondo Magico. The title, The Milk of Dreams, is inspired by the fairy tale book by the surrealist artist Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), where a dreamlike, irrational and magical dimension leaves room for an imagination permeated by concepts of change, transformation, mutation.

The entire exhibition unfolds under the question “How is the definition of human changing?”, which sees in itself a reflection on our role on earth, our relationship to others and to nature, our responsibilities. Starting from this input, the curator has created five small thematic exhibitions, where historical works and works by contemporary artists, some specially produced for the Biennale, find space in three thematic areas: the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; the bonds that intertwine between bodies and the Earth.

View of the exhibition, Photo: Roberto Marossi

The exhibition includes more than two hundred artists from 58 nations and, for the first time in more than 127 years of the Biennale’s history, a majority of female artists and non-binary people is included, a choice that reflects a deliberate downsizing of the centrality of the role of male in the history of art. Painting, photography, graphic language are dominating, while the installation and sculptural dimension is reserved only for interventions of great visual impact such as large-scale earth blocks mixed with cassava flour, cacao powder, and spices by Delcy Morelos, Earthly Paradise (2022), or the garden of Precious Okoyomon.

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