First Part of Exhibition in Arsenale, Venice Biennale 2015

The 56th international art exhibition, entitled All the World’s Futures , directed by Okwui Enwezor and organized by the Venice Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, also celebrates the 120th year since the first exhibition in 1895. The exhibition is, as always, staged in the two main historical sites, the Giardini di Castello and the Arsenale , but also involves prestigious venues throughout Venice, where the representatives of many nations are hosted and where exhibitions and collateral events are set up. All the world’s futures forms a large and unified exhibition path that is articulated from the Central Pavilion of the Gardens to the Arsenale, including the participations of 53 countries.

The Venice Biennale, which has always been a place of confluence of socio-political changes and fractures in the artistic, cultural, political and economic fields; since the first edition of 1895, when it opened in a scenario marked by mass movements born in response to the transformations triggered by the second industrial revolution. The great passages of the last two centuries: from industrial to post-industrial modernity, from technological developments to the digital era, from mass migration to “mass mobility”, from environmental disasters to genocidal wars, have produced ideas and reflections for generations of artists, directors, writers, musicians. But the fractures of our time, marked by the economic crisis, humanitarian catastrophes, social disparities and secessionist policies, are no less evident than those of the past.

Considering that a restless “age of anxiety” is underway, we will investigate how the tensions of the external world stimulate the sensitivity and expressive languages ​​of the artists. The main question posed by the exhibition is the following: how can artists, through images, objects, words, movements, actions, texts and sounds, gather audiences in the act of listening, reacting, getting involved and speaking, at the aim to make sense of the upheavals of this era? More briefly: how does art react to the current state of affairs?

This biennial therefore starts from the urgency of taking stock of the “state of affairs”. Recognizing the current complexity, the curator rejects an all-inclusive theme and proposes an exhibition that brings together a multiplicity of contents, both from a temporal point of view – with works from the past and present, many of which have been commissioned for this occasion – and language . The heart of this vision is the space of the Arena, in the Central Pavilion, which will be the scene of readings, performances, concerts and theatrical pieces, which will offer synchronic and diachronic visions of contemporary society.

The Exhibition in Arsenale
Initiated in 1980, the Aperto began as a fringe event for younger artists and artists of a national origin not represented by the permanent national pavilions. This is usually staged in the Arsenale and has become part of the formal biennale programme.

From 1999, the international exhibition were held both at the Central Pavilion and the Arsenale. Also in 1999, a $1 million renovation transformed the Arsenale area into a cluster of renovated shipyards, sheds and warehouses, more than doubling the Arsenale’s exhibition space of previous years.


Room 1

Human Nature / Life Death / Knows Doesn’t Know, 1983 (refabricated exhibition copy, 2015)
Eat Death (1972)
Raw War (1970)
Life, Death, Love, Hate, Pleasure, Pain, 1983
neon (exhibition copy)
by Bruce Nauman

Nymphéas, 2015
by Adel Abdessemed

Room 2
Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla

In the Midst of Things, 2015 – performance by a vocal octet (30’)

Untitled (TI1), 2015
Untitled (TI2), 2015
oil, charcoal and archival glue on polyester
by Daniel Boyd

Divine Mute, 1998
aluminum, brass, nickel, wood
The Last Trumpet, 1995
four brass Akrhaphones
Off Minor (from the series Black Beethoven) (2004)
Liquid Gardens (from the series The Principalities) (2012)
Muffled Drums (from the series Darkwater) (2003)
bass drums and mufflers
Matinée, 2007-2013
bronze, steel, hangers, burnt cork
Solemnis (from the series Black Beethoven) (2004)
by Terry Adkins

Amanda, 1981
Ida W.B., 1990
welded steel
Latent Combustion, #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, 2015
chainsaws, wood axe, black polyurethane, matt finish, steel chains
by Melvin Edwards

JingLing Chronicle Theater Project, 2010-2015
mixed media installation
by Qiu Zhijie

Labour in a Single Shot, 2011-2014
5-screen video installation, color, sound, approx. 450 films (approx. 1–2’ each)
By Antje Ehmann & Harun Farocki

Longing, 2014
16mm film, color, b&w, optical sound (20’)
by Raha Raissnia

Nuclear Telephone Discovered in Hell, 2003
Lethal Purpose, 1997
graphite and coloured pencil on paper
by Abu Bakarr Mansaray

that is the last item on this list: a glass of anger, 2015
various materials
by Thea Djordjadze

Cannone Semovente, 1965
wood, scrap metal, wheels
by Pino Pascali

Paperwork, and the Will of Capital, 2015
pigmented concrete press, dried plant specimens, archival inkjet prints, text on herbarium paper, and steel brace
by Taryn Simon

Also sprach Allah, 2008
black stone on carpet and video, color, sound
by Adel Abdessemed

The Diaries, 1981-2015
three hundred and twenty-eight notebooks, three vitrines of oak, oak veneer on chipboard, and glass
by Peter Friedl

Latent Images, Diary of a Photographer, 2009-2015
177 days of performances, 354 books, timeline shelves
A daily performance is held in the ARENA, where actors read the entire book. In the exhibition in the Arsenale, another book is available to the visitors
by Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige

Room 3

Untitled Trumpet, 2015
acrylic on fabric, soil and aluminum debris
by Katharina Grosse

Room 4

Ashes (2002 – 2015)
by Steve McQueen

My Epidemic (Small Bad Blood Opera), 2015
installation: fabric, ink, paint, metal, speakers, amplifiers, videos, LED screens, audio track 29’58”
by Lili Reynaud Dewar

Zwischen Lagos und Berlin, 2015
fifty drawings, gouache, pen and pencil on paper
by Karo Akpokiere

Graphic Performatives, 2014-2015
charcoal on paper
by Olga Chernysheva

Sanguinetti Breakout Area, 2015
detourned Sanguinetti papers, photographs and publications sourced at Yale University’s Beinecke Library; breakout area furniture (based on Guy Debord’s ‘A Game of War’); a display vitrine; and a mural of a letter from Bill Brown to Sanguinetti
by Samson Kambalu

Frequencies (an archive, yet possibilities) (2013 – 2015)
by Oscar Murillo

A Morning Breeze, 2015
mixed media installation, posters, digital slide projection on table
by Petra Bauer

Petersburg Underground, 2015
thirteen color photographs mounted on ragboard, C-prints hand printed from large format negatives
by Liisa Roberts

Zepheth, Whale Oil from the Hanging Gardens to You, Shell 3, 2015
by Ayoung Kim

The Laguna’s Tribute (A Corner Speaker in Venice), 2015
street performance at sunset, posters, flyers, soapbox cast in bronze
by Saâdane Afif

Qiu Notes on the colorful Lantern Scrolls, 2010-2015
ink on paper
by Qiu Zhijie

Gone Are the Days of Shelter and Martyr, 2014
wood, wind, concrete, slate, metal, video
by Theaster Gates

Zaum Tractor, 2013
two-channel HD video, stereo sound (26’)
by Sonia Leber & David Chesworth

Exquisite Cacophony, 2015
single channel HD video, color, sound (35’)
by Sonia Boyce

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Fara Fara, 2014
two-channel video installation, digitized 35mm film and archive VHS material, color, sound (13’)
by Carsten Höller & Måns Månsson

The Anti-Clock Project, 2015
white plastic and resin 3D print model, drawings, text, photographic print
De quoi rêvent les martyrs 2 (2012)
De quoi rêvent les martyrs 2, drawing 1 (2012)
by Nidhal Chamekh

Penal Colony, 2014-2015
thirty five charcoal drawings on paper
by Madhusudhanan

Room 5
Eduardo Basualdo

Amenaza (2015) and Alba (2015)
plastic, graphite, metal, wood / metal, wood
Cómo volver a casa, 2015
graphite on paper on metal and wooden table
Grito, 2015
graphite on paper, metal
by Eduardo Basualdo

Games Whose Rules I Ignore, 2015
mixed media sculpture, video, color, sound
by Boris Achour

Installation (2015)
by Newell Harry

Bending Over Backwards for Justice and Peace (2015)
Forgive Them (left) and The Caged Bird’s Song (2015)
by Chris Ofili

The Bell, 2014-2015
war waste metal sculpture, two-channel HD video, color, sound (19’ 39”, 5’ 52”, approx. 20’)
by Hiwa K

The Other Memorial, 2015
by Sammy Baloji

The Probable Trust Registry: The Rules of the Game (2013)
by Adrian Piper

Room 6
Christian Boltanski

Animitas (2014)
full HD video, color, sound (24 hours)
by Christian Boltanski

Now, 2015
multiple channel HD video installation, color, five sound tracks mono and stereo
by Chantal Akerman

Ballad of the lady who lives behind the trees (2005 – 2014)
by Jumana Emil Abboud

Black is Rectangular, 2013
One Day Two Moments, 2015
Murmur, 2015
acrilic on canvas
by Ji Dachun

Veduta dell’installazione
mixed media
Oblivion, 2010-2012
fabric, ceramics, metal, stone, lead, two boxes, glass, chalk
Nevel (Fog), 2010
metallic paint, silver and aged silver metallic papers, metal, chocolate fish mould, lead, mica, wire, lion’s fang, battery, metal beads, earring buttons, glass, bird’s skull, glasses, tiger teeth, chain, one leporello book, one notebook
by Ricardo Brey

Souvenirs for the Landlocked, 2015
mixed media installation
by Meriç Algün Ringborg

Indoor Flights, 2015
by Ernesto Ballesteros

The AK-47 vs The M16, 2015
fused AK-47 and M-16 projectiles encased in ballistics gel with metal stand and LED light fixture, single channel HD video, color, silent, approx. 12’
by The Propeller Group

Room 7
Helen Marten

Lunar nibs, 2015 and On aerial greens (haymakers), 2015
On aerial greens (haymakers), 2015
part 1: lacquered hardwood, steel, shoe soles, rubber, cast rubber, cast resin, stitched fabric, pipe tubing, galvanized cardboard, string, stamped baking paper, limes, marbles, embroidered fabric
part 2: screen printed suede, leather and PVC, hard thrown glazed ceramic, lacquered hardwood, Formica, cast resin, cast rubber, woven straw
Night-blooming genera, 2015
spun aluminium, airbrushed steel, welded steel, lacquered hardwoods, stitched fabric, hand-thrown glazed ceramic, leather, glass, feathers, acid etched concrete
by Helen Marten

Slavery, The Prison Industrial Complex, 1981-2013
photographs, archival pigment prints
by Keith Calhoun & Chandra McCormick

Factory Drawing Drawn In Situ, 2010-2015
B1 and B2 pencil on Cartridge, Sketch paper 180gm
The Tree Feller
by Joachim Schönfeldt

Crush Art, 2003-2008
sixteen B&W photographs mounted on white Sintra
by Chris Marker

Trident, 2015
aluminum semi-trailer
by Gedy Sibony

Untitled, 2015
paper construction
Empire Medley, 2015
two prints on aluminum plate, two pianos, score (16’)
by Kay Hassan

Blind Spot, 2014-2015
acrylic spray on C-print, pen on paper
by Mykola Ridnyi

From the Horde to the Bee, 2015
10.496 page printed documents, tables, banknotes, time-lapse camera
by Marco Fusinato

Untitled, 2014
ink and collage on color photograph
by Huma Bhabha

Who is building the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, 2015
by Gulf Labor Coalition

Nightmare? (2015)
Slip (left) and Suspended (right) (2015)
True Value (2015)
Three Figures (2014)
by Lorna Simpson

STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1, 2015
mixed media installation, sound
STAGED: Three Deuces, 2015
mixed media installation, recorded sound
by Jason Moran

To Protect and Serve (left) and Boy Predator Bo… (2012)
Fairy Godmother (Pinocchio’s Half Sister) (2014)
by Lavar Munroe

The Throne of Non Slavery, 2014
The Throne of Non Slavery, 2014
The Knowledge Throne, 2014
The Throne That Never Stops In Time,, 2014
decommissioned welded arms
by Gonçalo Mabunda

The Syrian Project, 2012-2015
ink and oil on vellum and paper
by Tiffany Chung

Untitled (from the series Torção) (2015)
by Sônia Gomes

Venice Biennale 2015
The 2015 Art Biennale closes a sort of trilogy that began with the exhibition curated by Bice Curiger in 2011, Illuminations, and continued with the Encyclopedic Palace of Massimiliano Gioni (2013). With All The World’s Futures, La Biennale continues its research on useful references for making aesthetic judgments on contemporary art, a “critical” issue after the end of the avant-garde and “non-art” art.

Through the exhibition curated by Okwui Enwezor, La Biennale returns to observe the relationship between art and the development of human, social and political reality, in the pressing of external forces and phenomena: the ways in which, that is, the tensions of the external world solicit the sensitivities, the vital and expressive energies of the artists, their desires, the motions of the soul (their inner song).

La Biennale di Venezia was founded in 1895. Paolo Baratta has been its President since 2008, and before that from 1998 to 2001. La Biennale, who stands at the forefront of research and promotion of new contemporary art trends, organizes exhibitions, festivals and researches in all its specific sectors: Arts (1895), Architecture (1980), Cinema (1932), Dance (1999), Music (1930), and Theatre (1934). Its activities are documented at the Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts (ASAC) that recently has been completely renovated.

The relationship with the local community has been strengthened through Educational activities and guided visits, with the participation of a growing number of schools from the Veneto region and beyond. This spreads the creativity on the new generation (3,000 teachers and 30,000 pupils involved in 2014). These activities have been supported by the Venice Chamber of Commerce. A cooperation with Universities and research institutes making special tours and stays at the exhibitions has also been establihed. In the three years from 2012-2014, 227 universities (79 Italian and 148 international) have joined the Biennale Sessions project.

In all sectors there have been more research and production opportunities addressed to the younger generation of artists, directly in contact with renowned teachers; this has become more systematic and continuous through the international project Biennale College, now running in the Dance, Theatre, Music, and Cinema sections.