All the World's Futures
la Biennale di Venezia
56th International Art Exhibition

Curated by Okwui Enwezor

 

Giardini della Biennale and Arsenale, Venice, Italy
9 May to 22 November 2015

La Biennale di Venezia, 56th International Art Exhibition, titled All The World’s Futures has been variously remembered as one of the most conceptual or political editions of what is considered the world’s principal biennale. Some critics have pointed to the exhibition’s ostensible “darkness”, others have celebrated its exploration of what they termed the “global periphery”. In either reading, it was widely noted and celebrated that the Biennale had its first African artistic director, Nigerian born Okwui Enwezor. While avoiding a single overarching theme, the late Enwezor hinted at particular moments in history as inspiration, such as the Venice Biennale in 1974, when part of the exhibition was dedicated to Chile to protest the US-backed Chilean coup d’état of the democractic government the previous year. For Enwezor, it seems, art offered illumination on many things, saying: “Artists have a lot of meaning they produce that can allow us to look at the world in deeper, meaningful and more probing ways.” One of the most memorable aspects of All the World’s Futures, perhaps, was an epic live reading of all three volumes of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital within a multipurpose venue in the Giardini Central Pavilion, called The Arena. This provided a programme of events that presented various and diverse visions of modern society, and what it has the potential to become.

Installation view of Katharina Grosse, Untitled Trumpet, All the World’s Futures, Arsenale Corderie, la Biennale di Venezia, 56th International Art Exhibition, 2015. Photo by Rebecca Hodes.

Installation view of Mikhael Subotzky, Pixel Interface, All the World’s Futures, Arsenale Corderie, la Biennale di Venezia, 56th International Art Exhibition, 2015. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Installation view of Invisible Borders: The Trans-African Project, All the World’s Futures, Arsenale Corderie, la Biennale di Venezia, 56th International Art Exhibition, 2015. Photo by Lara Koseff.

Installation view of work by Adrian Piper, All the World’s Futures, Giardini Central Pavilion, la Biennale di Venezia, 56th International Art Exhibition, 2015

Detail of work by Nidhal Chamekh, All the World’s Futures, Arsenale Corderie, la Biennale di Venezia, 56th International Art Exhibition, 2015. Photo by Lara Koseff.

Detail of work by Nidhal Chamekh, All the World’s Futures, Arsenale Corderie, la Biennale di Venezia, 56th International Art Exhibition, 2015. Photo by Lara Koseff.

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