This year’s Venice Biennale, one of the world’s most important contemporary art forums, is taking place in Venice from May 9 through November 22. The theme is ‘All the World’s Futures’. Okwui Enwezor, curator of the main exhibition, has assembled an eclectic range of artists whose work creates a ‘back-and-forth between past and future’.
A key reference is Walter Benjamin’s reading of Paul Klee‘s Angelus Novus (1920). In that picture, there isn’t a catastrophe that you can see, it’s more like a mental picture that Klee was constructing for us in terms of how one can think about history, and about the relationship between contemporary events and history, especially the history of progress, which is also accompanied by destruction… If I were to read the period between the last biennale and mine, I think it’s been a terrible two years. It’s been a terrible two years of accumulation, of escalation, of dissonance in every imaginable way and our inability to come to terms with the shape of the global transition has come to a point of intense conflict. There isn’t a singular thing that I can say that has shaped it, but really looking at what’s going on around us today.
From September 2-12 the Biennale will host the Venice film festival. For a list of films participating in this year’s competition see the program here.