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Art & Culture

A Grand Global Celebration of Diasporas at Venice Biennale 2024

  • Marilyn Walters
  • |
  • August 4, 2023
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  • 3 minute read
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A Grand Global Celebration of Diasporas at Venice Biennale 2024

The Venice Biennale 2024 exhibits ‘Foreigners Everywhere,’ celebrating diverse artists who’ve journeyed through life and art in a world of borders. 

Key Takeaways
  • Adriano Pedrosa, the first Latin American curator of the Venice Biennale, reveals 'Foreigners Everywhere' as the theme for 2024.
  • The event emphasizes the experiences of diasporic artists who traverse cultures and boundaries.
  • Pedrosa's concept innovatively explores modernism beyond the Euroamerican perspective, gaining applause from the Venice Biennale president.

Venice Biennale 2024: Celebrating Artistic Diasporas with ‘Foreigners Everywhere’

The iconic Venice Biennale is known as the globe’s premier recurring art festival, bringing art enthusiasts and creators together in a cultural spectacle. In the upcoming 2024 edition, the Biennale takes an exciting turn, shifting its focus to the celebration of outsiders and foreigners.

A New Take: Embracing ‘Foreigners Everywhere’

As the time ticks down to the Biennale’s opening in April 2024, the artistic director of Museu de Arte de São Paulo and the event’s curator, Adriano Pedrosa, took center stage at a recent press conference to unveil the theme, ‘Foreigners Everywhere.’ This reference to a 2004 artwork by Claire Fontaine pays homage to diverse languages, colors, and the Italian anarchist group Stranieri Ovunque.

Pedrosa, a native of Rio de Janeiro, is a trailblazer, being the first Latin American curator for the Venice Biennale, a position historically held by European men. Known for his innovative exhibitions at MASP that rewrite art history with a focus on race, gender, and sexuality, Pedrosa promises to bring this transformative energy to the Biennale.

The ‘Foreigners Everywhere’ exhibition aims to underscore a rich multiplicity of races, genders, nationalities, and experiences. Pedrosa says it is a “celebration of the foreign, the distant, the outsider, the queer, and the indigenous.”

The Venice Biennale 2024 exhibits ‘Foreigners Everywhere,’ celebrating diverse artists who’ve journeyed through life and art in a world of borders. 

Artists: Navigators in a World of Borders

According to Pedrosa, artists have been explorers and travelers under diverse circumstances, often moving across cities, countries, and continents. Since the late 20th century, this phenomenon has amplified, contrasting with growing restrictions on human movement. Hence, the Biennale Arte 2024 will spotlight those artists who identify as foreigners, immigrants, expatriates, diasporic, émigrés, exiled, or refugees, especially those traversing between the Global South and the Global North.

Pedrosa’s Biennale seems to extend the progress made by Cecilia Alemani in 2022. Alemani’s edition, ‘The Milk of Dreams,’ foregrounded female and nonbinary artists, a move that shook up the traditional art world.

An Inclusive History of Modernism

The 2024 edition will feature a ‘Nucleo Contemporaneo’ and a ‘Nucleo Storico,’ sections devoted to new and old works. Pedrosa aspires to expand the understanding of modernism beyond Europe and North America, arguing that modernism in the Global South has been unjustly ignored. He proposes a close examination of the “worldwide Italian artistic diaspora in the 20th century” and a renewed appreciation of local and indigenous influences on modernism.

Venice Biennale president, Robert Cicutto, has praised Pedrosa’s concept as a potentially groundbreaking approach to the 128-year-old art exhibition. He expresses confidence in the curator’s ability to fill gaps in art history and inspire audiences globally.

As the Venice Biennale approaches, we look forward to Pedrosa’s ‘Foreigners Everywhere’ – an exhibition that promises to transport us through a riveting journey of diverse experiences and expressions, revealing the intertwined threads of humanity and art.

Marilyn Walters

Marilyn Walters

Marilyn is a seasoned journalist known for her investigative reporting and insightful analysis. Her relentless pursuit of truth and dedication to journalistic integrity have established her as a respected voice in today's dynamic news landscape.

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