The Biennale 2022 has been long awaited. As if it were a symbol of a rebirth, after years of darkness.
A real event, therefore, that the curator Cecilia Alemani has chosen to call The Milk of Dreams. A title that is inspired by a storybook by Leonora Carrington where the surrealist artist describes a magical world in which life is reinvented thanks to the imagination.
A tribute to the ability to evolve, therefore, but dominated by the female presence (especially black) and marked by the presence of 81 national pavilions distributed between Arsenale and Giardini.
How to visit the 2022 Biennale?
But how to approach the most extreme contemporary art without losing your soul? First of all, forgetting Raphael, Michelangelo and Masaccio for a day and totally letting go of your instincts. Then, avoiding thinking "I could have done this too" because, even having been able to do it, you have not done it or thought of it before the artist.
Finally, avoid moving like Alberto Sordi and Anna Longhi in the episode "Smart holidays" even if the temptation is sometimes unstoppable, the writer knows it well.
La Biennale 2022 is a compendium of the major current issues
The Biennale has always been a compendium of the most current themes of our time. Crossing the various pavilions, topics such as war, racism, identity, technology, sustainable development resurface.
The central exhibition, divided into five small thematic exhibitions where works from yesterday and today intersect, gathers them all. Micro-exhibitions that look like constellations, where works, but also found objects, artifacts and documents are collected to address fundamental issues such as the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between human beings and technologies; the links that intertwine between bodies and the Earth.
Biennale 2022: the pavilions not to be missed (and what we will find there)
The theme of black femininity is celebrated in the US Pavilion by Simone Leigh, the first black woman to represent the States United, with the Sovereignty project. Born in Chicago in 1967 to Jamaican parents, the artist exhibits sculptures in ceramic, bronze and raffia.
Another pavilion to be marked with the red circle is that of France, where Zineb Sedira, the first Arab artist of Berber-Algerian origins to represent the transalpine country. In Laguna she stages Les rêves n'ont pas de titre, an intense reflection on the political power of cinema through a comparison between Italian and French filmography.
We then move on to Belgium and the artist Francis Alÿs. This time, the former Antwerp architect presents a new work from the Children's Games film series, created in collaboration with children from Iraq, Congo, Hong Kong and Belgium (as well as new paintings) .
An obligatory visit also to the Germany space, where the history of the pavilion and its evolution over time is told. All this, seasoned with a pinch of humor. At least this is expected when dealing with Maria Eichhorn, whose poetics has always been a balanced mix of conceptualism and humor.
From Germany to England, where Her Majesty's pavilion is entirely dedicated to the Sonya Boyce project entitled Feeling Her Way. It is a large multimedia installation, consisting of videos, sounds, wallpapers and sculptures, which addresses Brexit and the various ways in which divisions can be overcome.
Also interesting is the proposal of Iceland, where the Perpetual Motion by Sigurður Guðjónsson - gigantic multisensory sculpture, made up of a six-meter vertical screen - offers the public a poetic investigation of materiality at the limit of the boundaries of perception.
Finally, the proposal of Malta should also be followed, which offers a personal interpretation of The Beheading of St. John the Baptist by Caravaggio, kept in Valletta.
Visitors are pushed to cross the space where they experience the brutality of the ascetic's execution. A project on violence and on pain as topical as ever in which the kinetic installation of Sassolino Archangel creating drops of molten steel that rain down from above on seven pools of water he takes us to the heart of the torture.
The Italian Pavilion at the 2022 Biennale
And what about Italy? It deserves a separate chapter. The History of nights and fate of comets project, curated by Eugenio Viola, presents for the first time in the history of our pavilion a single artist: Gian Maria Tosatti.
The one signed by the 47-year-old Roman is a environmental installation unveiled as a theatrical piece divided into a prologue and two acts. Each one deals with a crucial issue and the relationship between too often opposing poles: man and nature, sustainable development and the territory, ethics and profit.
Cover: Padiglione di Malta, Arcangelo Sassolino, Diplomazija Astuta. Ph. Agostino Osio, Alto Piano