Nine art superstars (including Maurizio Cattelan) will talk about the latest in the Giudecca women's prison: and the Vatican Pavilion becomes the most awaited of the Biennale

For many it will be the unmissable pavilion of the entire Biennale. More than the American one, more than the Italian one. We are talking about the representation of the Vatican which this year has chosen to focus all its attention on the last, the forgotten. In perfect Pedrosa style.

It will be set up in the Giudecca women's prison, it will be titled "With my eyes" and will feature nine superstars of today's art, starting with that Maurizio Cattelanwho 23 years ago presented in these parts a life-size resin model ofPope John Paul II hit squarely by a meteorite. It was a scandal which, however, apparently did not prevent the Paduan artist from being chosen to represent the Holy See in the Lagoon.

Discover all the pavilions of the 2024 Biennale

Read also: What the 2024 Art Biennale will be about

Curated by Chiara Parisi, director of the Center Pompidou-Metz, and Bruno Racine, director of Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana, the pavilion is inspired to a fragment of poetry that takes up an ancient sacred text and an Elizabethan poem.

Alongside Cattelan, Bintou Dembélé, Simone Fattal, Claire Fontaine, Sonia Gomes, Corita Kent, Marco Perego & Zoe Saldana, Claire Tabouret (the latter protagonist of a beautiful solo show at Palazzo Cavanis in Venice for two years).

Read also: Adriano Pedrosa is the curator of the 2024 Art Biennale

"With my eyes" will do everything possible to encourage the construction of a culture of meeting and taking care of others, the nerve centers of Pope Francis' magisterium: « From this desire - they explain from the Holy See Press Office - are born interweaving stories that may often seem foreign to us, but which in reality concern everyone, because they tell of the same hunger for love, the same desire for life, for affection, the same restlessness of meaning, everything that art has always tried to reflect and represent."

Read also: 5 artists to keep an eye on at the 2024 Art Biennale

The project will therefore range between workshops and installations, dance and cinema, performance and painting, thus generating a positive (and unprecedented) energy capable of overturning both artistic and prison conventions.

How? Every artist will put their own spin on it.

La Tabouret, for example, will present portraits of the prisoners as children: each of them will symbolize dignity, identity and beauty, making art a means of personal rediscovery. Cattelan will sign a large external work, on the façade of the Chapel, with a strong emotional impact.

The dancer Bintou Dembélé will instead propose a choreography created specifically for the inmates which will celebrate their resistance and independence.

While director Marco Perego and Hollywood star Zoe Saldana will bring to the screen a short film shot inside the prison which will accompany visitors on an introspective tour, in search of meaning depth of freedom.

Last note, anything but secondary: on Sunday 28 April Pope Francis will personally visit the exhibition. He will be the first pontiff in history to visit the Venice Biennale.