Venezia, 22 June 2023 – The President of La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, and the Curator of the 60th International Art Exhibition, Adriano Pedrosa, today announce the title and theme of the Biennale Arte 2024, which will take place from 20 April to 24 November 2024 (pre-opening 17, 18, 19 April) at the Giardini, the Arsenale and various venues in Venice.
Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere, the title of the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, is drawn from a series of works started in 2004 by the Paris-born and Palermo-based collective Claire Fontaine. The works consist of neon sculptures in different colours that render in a growing number of languages the words “Foreigners Everywhere”. The phrase comes, in turn, from the name of a Turin collective who fought racism and xenophobia in Italy in the early 2000s: Stranieri Ovunque.
Adriano Pedrosa explains his choice: «The backdrop for the work is a world rife with multiple crises concerning the movement and existence of people across countries, nations, territories and borders, which reflect the perils and pitfalls of language, translation and ethnicity, expressing differences and disparities conditioned by identity, nationality, race, gender, sexuality, wealth, and freedom. In this landscape, the phrase Foreigners Everywhere has (at least) a dual meaning. First of all, that wherever you go and wherever you are you will always encounter foreigners—they/we are everywhere. Secondly, that no matter where you find yourself, you are always, truly, and deep down inside, a foreigner»
«(…) The Biennale Arte 2024 will focus on artists who are themselves foreigners, immigrants, expatriates, diasporic, émigrés, exiled, and refugees—especially those who have moved between the Global South and the Global North.»
«The figure of the foreigner is associated with the stranger, the straniero, the estranho, the étranger, and thus the exhibition unfolds and focuses on the production of other related subjects: the queer artist, who has moved within different sexualities and genders, often being persecuted or outlawed; the outsider artist, who is located at the margins of the art world, much like the autodidact and the so-called folk artist; as well as the indigenous artist, frequently treated as a foreigner in their own land. The production of these artists is the primary focus of this Biennale, and constitutes the International Exhibition’s Nucleo Contemporaneo. (…) The International Exhibition will also feature a Nucleo Storico gathering works from 20th century Latin America, Africa, the Arab world, and Asia. (…) In addition, a special section in the Nucleo Storico will be devoted to the worldwide Italian artistic diaspora in the 20th century: Italian artists who travelled and moved abroad developing their careers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, as well as in the rest of Europe, becoming embedded in local cultures—and who often played significant roles in the development of the narratives of modernism beyond Italy.»
«The Biennale itself – an international event with numerous official participations by different countries – has always been a platform for the exhibition of works by foreigners from all over the world. Thus, the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, will be a celebration of the foreign, the distant, the outsider, the queer, as well as the indigenous. We hope to welcome you all in Venice in 2024.»
For his part, President Roberto Cicutto stated: «Adriano Pedrosa is a Brazilian curator and the director of MASP, the São Paulo Museum of Art designed by the Italian-born architect Lina Bo Bardi. He has shown outstanding originality and innovation, anticipating themes and curatorial approaches later followed by other exhibitions around the world. I believe that changing the point of view from which to talk about contemporary art is what an institution with the international standing of La Biennale di Venezia must do. And this is not just an aesthetic point of view, but a geographical one as well, just like in film when you shoot a reverse shot of the same scene.»
«This is the 60th edition of the International Exhibition of Contemporary Art within a span of 128 years since the first, and there has never been a curator from a Latin American country. There has always been a significant participation of South American artists in the Biennale. But it is very different when they are invited by a curator who has roots in the same culture and has developed a global outlook over the years. His research is also focused on artists who, despite coming from different worlds and cultures, have been able to maintain the feelings, characteristics and experiences of their native culture wherever they may be.»
«It will be interesting to discover how many national pavilions will follow this theme and how they will address it. I am pleased that this Exhibition includes artworks created in the past century that are now considered to be points of reference for the new generations. And we will find many Italian artists within this movement.»
«Adriano Pedrosa will also direct the second edition of the College Arte, an activity inaugurated in 2022 with Cecilia Alemani that is very important to La Biennale.»
I am certain that the 60th International Art Exhibition and its curator will be able to move us and, as the curator of the 18th Biennale Architettura Lesley Lokko said, fill in those gaps in art history with many heretofore neglected artists.»
The 60th International Art Exhibition will present, as usual, the National Participations with their own exhibitions in the Pavilions at the Giardini and at the Arsenale, as well as in the historic centre of Venice.
Starting from June 22, the application form to submit projects’ proposals as a Collateral Event will be online. The selected projects – promoted by non-profit international organisations and institutions operating in the field of art – will be set-up in the city of Venice.
Press release from La Biennale di Venezia