Ruth PatirMotherlandIsrael Pavilion at the 2024 Venice Biennale, 2024.
Photo: Matteo de Mayda, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia
Venice Biennale
April 20–November 24, 2024
Is the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale going to be remembered as a tipping, rather than a turning, point? This is the final edition of the most globally significant art event to be organized under the direction of Biennale director Roberto Cicutto. His recently appointed successor, Pietrangelo Buttafuco, a journalist known for his pronounced far-right leanings, will most likely steer future Biennale exhibitions in a different direction.

It is no secret that this edition has received a fair share of rather negative reviews. It might sound banal and perhaps even pedestrian to spell it out, but let’s acknowledge that the Biennale has now officially grown into an untameable monster. A matter of quantity over quality? Perhaps things are more complex. With its nearly ninety pavilions arranged over two main locations—the Giardini and the Arsenale—and a myriad of “collateral events” nestled among the most obscure calli of mazy Venice, it is safe to say that no living soul, perhaps not even the organizers, ever gets to see the totality of this event. It has simply become impossible. Colleagues and acquaintances confirm a pragmatic navigation plan widespread among visitors: day one for the Giardini, day two for the Arsenale, then anything they might stumble upon around the city while making their way, exhausted, to the Stazione S. Lucia as they attempt to escape this maddening, hyper-expensive tourist trap of a city.

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