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Italian Pavilion, Italy at 58th Biennale of Art

The Italian Pavilion, Italy at the Venice Biennale: the artists of the pavilion, the works, the times, the periods, the cost of the tickets and the exhibition venue.

Italian Pavilion, Italy Venice Biennale of Art
Italian Pavilion, Italy at Venice Biennale of Art - Giardini della Biennale, Castello - City of Venice

Exhibition in progress from 11 May to 24 November 2019

The 58th Biennale of Art will open to the public on 11 May 2019. But starting from a few days before the opening there will be the various openings and side events that always suddenly animate the Venetian artistic life. The title of the 58 edition of the Biennale d'Arte is May You Live In Interesting Times.

79 artists are invited to exhibit at the 58th Venice Biennale of Art, with a prevalence of women. Among them the 2 Italians Ludovica Carbotta and Lara Favaretto. The first will make a site-specific work in Forte Marghera, inside the building known as the Austrian Powder Mill.

Go to the page of the 58th Venice Art Biennale

Italian Pavilion, Italy at 58th Biennale Arte of Venice

Title of the Italian Pavilion is Neither, Nor. The Challenge to the Labyrinth.

Artists: Enrico David, Liliana Moro, Chiara Fumai.
Curator: Milovan Farronato.
Commissioner: Federica Galloni, Direttore Generale Arte e Architettura Contemporanee e Periferie Urbane, Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali.
Seats: Giardini Padiglione Italia, Tese delle Vergini all’Arsenale
Web: Padiglione Italia

Press Release

Neither. Nor. The challenge to the Labyrinth is the title of the exhibition, curated by Milovan Farronato, in which three Italian artists participate, with unpublished works and historical works: Enrico David (Ancona, 1966), Chiara Fumai (Rome, 1978 - Bari, 2017) and Liliana Moro (Milan, 1961).

Milovan Farronato explains: “Venice is a labyrinth that over the centuries has fascinated and inspired the imagination of many creative people, including Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino, the two greatest contemporary labyrinthologists according to the mathematician Pierre Rosenstiehl.

Venice, undisputed cartographic center of the Renaissance, is described by Calvino as a place where maps are always to be redone since the limits between land and water are constantly changing, making the spaces of this city dominated by uncertainty and variability. It is in this context of an unpredictable nature that Neither else or this emerges, an exhibition in which the exhibited works, in close dialogue with each other and with the setting up, continually generate new paths and new interpretations, branching out like a mycelium. "

"Italian creativity confirms its importance on the international scene with the Italian Pavilion project at the next Biennale Arte - declares the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities Alberto Bonisoli - which combines the novelty of the curator's vision with the skill of the artists and the quality of research. Italy is proud of its past, but knows how to interpret the spirit of the times with the experimentation and enhancement of the talents of contemporary art ".

"The work of the General Management - says the General Director and Commissioner of the Italian Pavilion Federica Galloni - is oriented to the enhancement and promotion of contemporary art and architecture, in line with what is happening in Europe. Culture and creativity play a decisive role in the growth of the individual. In this direction contemporary art contributes to improving the quality of life of the entire community of citizens by dealing with issues and common values in an extraordinary way and anticipating revolutions of thought and custom that are inevitably reflected in society."

The subtitle of the exhibition alludes to "The challenge to the labyrinth", a seminal essay by Italo Calvino of 1962, to which Né altro Né is inspired. In this text the author proposes a cultural work that is open to all possible languages ??and that feels co-responsible for building a world that, having lost its traditional points of reference, no longer asks to be simply represented. To visualize the tangled forms of contemporary reality, Calvino elaborates the effective metaphor of the labyrinth: an apparent tangle of lines and trends actually constructed according to strict rules.

Interpreting this line of thought in an artistic key, Nor does it actualize - starting from its title, which disorients through the rhetorical figure of the anastrophe - an artistic project of "challenge to the labyrinth" in which we understand Calvino's lesson, staging a non-linear exhibition path that cannot be reduced to a set of clean and predictable trajectories. The paths and interpretations offered to the spectator are multiple and generous, to which the exhibition entrusts the possibility of taking an active role in determining their own itinerary and thus confronting the outcome of their choices, contemplating doubt and indeterminacy as inescapable parts of knowledge.

"The curatorial commitment of this year - underlines the President of the Venice Biennale Paolo Baratta - seems to me evident and already constitutes a reason for interest; the artists present are really worthy of our attention. The idea of ??the labyrinth, which can lead to various ways and interruptions of paths to the difficult search for a way out, goes well alongside the idea of a Biennale in which they offer a myriad of opportunities to those who walk through it, with open doors and of places of desire, all fascinating and disorienting at the same time, in which getting lost is not the worst of sins. "

The calendar of cultural events includes a series of talks attended by the artists Enrico David and Liliana Moro and Prof. Marco Pasi. The film-maker Anna Franceschini is entrusted with the documentation of the exhibition, realized as an experimental short film with the title Bustrofedico, which will be presented in Venice at the end of the exhibition, produced by In Between Art Film and Gluck50.

As part of the exhibition, a program of educational activities will also be carried out aimed at young students of the dance academies and schools, promoted by the Directorate General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries of the MiBAC, which will be divided into a series of appointments, curated by Milovan Farronato, Stella Bottai and Lavinia Filippi, housed in the Pavilion.

The Italian Pavilion was also created thanks to the support of Gucci and FPT Industrial, main sponsor of the exhibition, and to the contribution of the main donor Nicoletta Fiorucci Russo. A special thanks also to all the other donors, whose names appear in the colophon, who gave the project a fundamental contribution; thanks also to the technical sponsors Gemmo, C & C-Milano who generously contributed with their supplies and Select Aperitivo.

The Italian Pavilion will be inaugurated on the occasion of the painting of the 58th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia 2019 (8, 9 and 10 May). The opening to the public is scheduled from Saturday 11 May to Sunday 24 November 2019.


After participating twice in the Venice Biennale's International Art Exhibition - with Francesco Bonami in 2003 and Massimiliano Gioni in 2013 - Enrico David (Ancona, 1966) represents Italy for the first time this year. His artistic practice has a close connection with memory and the past, both in content and in form.

Through his works David stages personal and collective memories, expressing a wide range of emotional states and recovering traditional techniques. His work reflects a cultural baggage with Italian traits both in aesthetic and historical-artistic references and in the choice of some typical materials of artisan manufacture. However his imagination is full of suggestions matured over the years, starting from the training that took place mainly in London, where he still resides today.

The human figure is one of the recurrent themes of David, who elaborates it and gives it back as a testimony of continuous transformations, through different expressive means including sculpture, painting, drawing, tapestry weaving and installation. His sexless anthropomorphic figures and his configurations are born of intuitions and evolve in a process of inclusive synthesis that goes beyond individual boundaries and becomes a recognizable and collectively shared trace.

The images that populate the plastic and pictorial world of Enrico are resigned, unbuttoned, twisted, grotesque, limping, sometimes monstrous and armed with instruments that are incomprehensible to us, which sometimes split and repeat themselves so much that they form so much labyrinth of content and form.

Together with the presentation of some historical works, which will be revisited and updated for Venice, the selection of works on display focuses on new productions. From anthropomorphic figures in natural bronze scale to small objects and paintings, all these works are conceived by David specifically for this exhibition itinerary. David also responds directly, with a sculpture, to an intervention by Chiara Fumai.


Disappeared at just 39 years in August 2017, Chiara Fumai was an important artist admired both in Italy and abroad for having developed a dedicated feminist reinterpretation of the Western historical canon that has always been based on patriarchal values. Although prematurely ceased, his career had a profound influence on successive generations, visible above all in these last years of rekindled and widespread interest in magical practices and profane cults in relation to feminist discourse.

With his work, Fumai has carried out a rigorous investigation, from personal, passionate and non-academic tones, focused on historical and fictitious historical events and characters, representative of the marginalization suffered by women over the centuries in various situations and contexts from the culture to religion and politics.

His research, not only critical but also, always profoundly proactive, was actualized in the present above all through performative works, often in lesson format, staged by the artist herself. With its collages, environments and impersonations, Fumai brought to light and gave voice to figures of opposition to the dominant culture, such as the feminists Carla Lonzi and Valerie Solanas, the medium Eusapia Palladino, the dogaressa Elisabetta Querini Valier, and other women, often forgotten, marginalized, or villipese like the circus Zalumma Agra. The use of the word - written, pronounced, embroidered, sometimes encoded in magical seals - was key to Fumai: from the threat to apology, from the wish to the spell, the symbolic and representative value of the verb became an essential instrument for the annunciation, emancipation and practical realization of a modus operandi alternative to patriarchal oppression.

For the Italian Pavilion, a new production of Fumai will be presented exclusively and as an absolute preview. This unpublished work will be accompanied by works from the past selected with the precious help of The Church of Chiara Fumai, an organization of which I am among the founders, chaired by Chiara's mother, Liliana Fumai, and directed by Francesco Urbano Ragazzi.


Invited to participate in the ninth edition of Documenta in 1992, Liliana Moro proposed to install a Fiat Cinquecento which, perpetually in motion, tried in vain to tow the heavy structure of the Fredericianum - seat of the exhibition in which the works of the major representatives were exposed of Arte Povera. Although unrealized, the project lives today in the form of collages and remains representative of this artist's attitude towards the past: the work of Liliana Moro takes charge of the story and takes it further. An operation that, according to the artist herself, makes use of precisely that stylistic "subtraction of weight" celebrated by Calvino in the first of his American Lessons, La Leggerezza (1985).

Working with different materials and in different scales, Liliana Moro has an aptitude for essentiality. Not to be confused with a minimal style, its clear and precise approach leads to the creation of seemingly simple gestures which, as such, open up to a myriad of different interpretations. Poetic but not romantic, Moro brings into play contents and objects of common use not so much to illustrate them as to revisit their original function and invite us to go beyond what is visible.

An important thread in his research is the use of space in its formal, conceptual and semantic declinations: for example through interventions in public space, or by altering the scale relationships between objects, to arrive at the intrinsic spatiality of many of his works, which often establish mechanisms of relationship with the spectator such that an active action, like lowering or ascending, becomes implicitly necessary to the experience.

For the Italian Pavilion, some historical works will be presented alongside new productions, including not only new commissions but also existing and never exhibited works, accumulated by the artist in his studio over the years. This constellation brings together the foundational moments of the artist's research and its development, giving visibility to the visceral coherence over a long time of its process.

Hours: Gardens from 10.00 to 18.00. Arsenale from 10.00 to 18.00 (from 10.00 to 20.00 on Friday and Saturday until September 30th). Closed on Mondays (except May 13, September 2, November 18).
Tickets: please visit the official website. On the web € 21.50 until 31 March 2019.
Phone: +39.041.5218711; fax +39.041.5218704
Web: Biennale of Venice

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