The 60th Venice Biennale. What to see?


The Venice Biennale 2024 is set to last from April 20th until November 24th

Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, the first curator from Latin America and the first to be openly queer, this year's 60th Venice Biennale will unfold the theme Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere, exploring the multifaceted nature of the stranger to highlight forgotten histories, marginalised practices and alienated biographies. “The expression Stranieri Ovunque – explains Adriano Pedrosa – has several meanings. 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 International Exhibition unites 332 artists and presents two sections: the Nucleo Contemporaneo and the Nucleo Storico. Its main focus is to spotlight artists from diverse backgrounds, giving space and visibility to previously marginalized groups, such as immigrants, expatriates, queer people, and indigenous individuals. As a guiding principle, the Biennale 2024 has favored artists who have never participated in the International Exhibition. Special attention is being given to outdoor projects, both in the Arsenale and in the Giardini, where a performance program is being planned with events during the pre-opening and closing weekend of the 60th Exhibition.


“The Italian straniero, the Portuguese estrangeiro, the French étranger, and the Spanish extranjero, are all etymologically connected to the strano, the estranho, the étrange, the extraño, respectively, which is precisely the stranger… According to the American Heritage and the Oxford Dictionaries, the first meaning of the word “queer” is precisely “strange”, 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 self-taught artist, the folk artist and the artista popular; the indigenous artist, frequently treated as a foreigner in his or her own land. The productions of these four subjects are the interest of this Biennale, constituting the Nucleo Contemporaneo, ” – explains Pedrosa.


“The Nucleo Storico gathering works from 20th century Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Much has been written about global modernisms and modernisms in the Global South, and a number of rooms will feature works from these territories, much like an essay, a draft, a speculative curatorial exercise that seeks to question the boundaries and definitions of modernism. We are all too familiar with the histories of modernism in Euroamerica, yet the modernisms in the Global South remain largely unknown. European modernism itself travelled far beyond Europe throughout the 20th century, often intertwined with colonialism, and many artists in the Global South traveled to Europe to be exposed to it,” – underlines Pedrosa. In the Central Pavilion three rooms are planned for the Nucleo Storico: one room is titled Portraits, one Abstractions and the third one is devoted to the the worldwide Italian artistic diaspora in the 20thcentury.

The Biennale also includes 87 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the city centre of Venice.



Amanda Ziemele presents “O day and night, but this is wondrous strange… and therefore as a stranger give it welcome” for the Latvian Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition. Throughout her practice, Amanda Ziemele has created painterly environments that are often choreographed across all parameters of a given space. In a subtle though bold act of subversion, she transforms the Latvian Pavilion’s interior into a living organism. Taming space and animating dimensions, Ziemele welcomes viewers into a polyphonic habitat of hospitality.

“At the confluence of absence and presence, daylight is an instrument inviting the viewer to a self-reflective journey through a world in disarray and with no measure, a displaced universe of mutual hospitality, a warped space where the other is a gift. This is Amanda’s version of a mature space, a counter-phantasmagoria, resisting exhaustion and fatigue, a space with an attitude, ready to think and host the irregular world of contemporary society. The healing – and the necessity of healing – is what Amanda’s project ultimately offers to us,” – Pavilion’s curator, Adam Budak emphasizes.

name: O day and night, but this is wondrous strange… and therefore as a stranger give it welcome
commissioner: Daiga Rudzāte
artist: Amanda Ziemele
venue: Arsenale 

Read the interview with Adam Budak, curator of Amanda’s Ziemele project for the Latvian Pavilion 

Edith Karlson. Hora Lupi, 2024. Works in progress. Photo: Anu Vahtra / Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art


Edith Karlson’s exhibition Hora lupi (hour of the wolf) will be showcased at the Estonian Pavilion during the 60th International Art Exhibition. Hosted at the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Penitenti, the exhibition explores primitive human urges in their banality and solemnity and questions the possibility of redemption in a world that is never worthy of it. Located in Cannaregio overlooking the district’s canal, the arresting interior of the church, which dates back to the 18th century, helps to build the emotional atmosphere of the exhibition. Here, everything is left unchanged, even the dust of the centuries past remains. Lying in abandonment, Karlson uses the space as a metaphor for being human, equally sad, and incomplete. Full of cracks and fissures, through which eventually, perhaps, a redeeming light will shine. The exhibition spaces are filled with clay and concrete sculptures that evoke the inevitable misfortune of being born, and the always-endeavouring nature of being human. The sculptures are inspired by the 14th century terracotta sculptures in St. John’s Church in Tartu, Estonia, most likely depicting townspeople of the time. It has been suggested that the sculptures are a memorial ensemble commemorating the victims of the plague. For Hora lupi, Karlson presents an existential narrative of the animalistic nature of humans. Depicting that the sincerity and bluntness of instinct can sometimes take a brutal and violent form, but also poetic and at times a little absurd, gentle, and melancholy. 

name: Hora lupi (hour of the wolf)
commissioner: Maria Arusoo
artist: Edith Karlson
venue: Chiesa delle Penitenti, Fondamenta Cannaregio 890

Read the interview with Edith Karlson about her project for the Estonian Pavilion 

Pakui Hardware, Inflammation, 2023. Photo: Ugnius Gelguda. Courtesy of the artists, Lithuanian National Museum of Art and Carlie / Gebauer, Berlin and Madrid


The immersive joint exhibition of Pakui Hardware and Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė addreses the ‘inflammations’ currently affecting humanity and the world. The large-scale exhibition depicts the “flaming” planet and the human bodies, a scorched landscape with plastic soil dunes, dreamlike arches of geological and pre-historical fossils, and inflamed artificial objects that resemble human organs. Through surreal artistic imagery, the creators use the metaphor of inflammation — which, medicinally, signifies a defensive reaction of the body to remove the harmful stimuli and induce healing — to reflect on the damage inflicted on humanity and the planet. Set within the Sant’Antonin church, the exhibition showcases also figurative paintings by the late Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė, who examined the connections between bodies and medicine already in the 1970s. In the kinetic installation of Pakui Hardware featuring paintings of M.T. Rožanskaitė, the human and planetary scale is merged, revealing how not only our body, but also the planet’s, is “on fire”.

name: Inflammation
commissioner: Arūnas Gelūnas
curator: Valentinas Klimašauskas, João Laia
artists: Pakui Hardware (Neringa Černiauskaitė and Ugnius Gelgua) and Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė
venue: Chiesa di Sant’Antonin, Salizada S. Antonin, 3477

Read the interview with the art duo Pakui Hardware about their project for the Lithuanian Pavilion

Pia Lindman, animation still from “Embodied wefts”, 2024. High-resolution animation, 4h 4min. Courtesy the artist.


Blurring the boundaries between art, architecture, and social commentary, the Pavilion of Finland for the collective project The pleasures we choose brings together three artists for whom art, life, and activism are intertwined. Following mercury poisoning, artist and healer Pia Lindman experiences heightened sensitivity of the nervous system and awareness of the micro-signals within her body. She translates these signals into visual images, melodies, words, and colours and incorporates them into artworks that enable her to explore the nuances of different environments and social situations. Often engaging with the intricate relationship between human presence and the environment, Vidha Saumya’s work challenges the norms of aesthetics, gender, academia and nation-state. Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen’s artwork brings to light the variety of forms of discrimination and violence that people with disabilities are subjected to. Her intricately fabricated realities celebrate a world in which a diversity of human bodies have won the right to choose a pleasurable life over mere existence.

name: The pleasures we choose
commissioner: Raija Koli, Frame Contemporary Art Finland
curators: Yvonne Billimore & Jussi Koitela
artists: Pia Lindman, Vidha Saumya, Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen
venue: Giardini


The Danish Pavilion presents Rise of the Sunken Sun, a photography exhibition by Greenlandic artist Inuuteq Storch, curated by Louise Wolthers. This marks the first time that the Danish Pavilion has showcased a major exhibition by an artist from Greenland, as well as its first presentation dedicated to photography. Storch’s exhibition for the Danish Pavilion delves into the concept of engaging in a decolonial process, emphasising the pursuit of visibility, with a sensitive awareness of the complexities within national, cultural, and personal identities. In the artist’s own words, the essence of his project for the Biennale Arte 2024 is to “to tell the Greenlanders’ visual history, not seen through the visitors’ eyes, but through the Greenlanders’ own.” His work examines the expansiveness of Greenlandic identity, seamlessly merging historical and family photographs with contemporary snapshots of everyday life. Storch’s presentation consists of hundreds of photographs taken on various cameras. Each image uniquely tells a story about Greenlandic life and identity, both historically and today.

name: Rise of the Sunken Sun
commissioner: Danish Arts Foundation
curator: Louise Wolthers
artist: Inuuteq Storch
venue: Giardini

The artists, participating in the German pavilion: Ersan Mondtag, Yael Bartana, Jan St. Werner, Robert Lippok, Michael Akstaller, and Nicole L’Huillier.


Under the title Thresholds, the German Pavilion narrates history and the future from various artistic positions. The artistic contribution to the Pavilion approaches thresholds, steps, and boundaries through three scenarios. In the first scenario, Yael Bartana enters the threshold of a present perceived as catastrophic – a world on the brink of total destruction. In search of a way out, she imagines possibilities of future survival through a multifaceted work poised between dystopia and utopia. In the second scenario, Ersan Mondtag develops a space that contrasts the monumental character of the pavilion with a fragmentary, seemingly minor narrative. By creating a theatrical cosmos of representation and remembrance, Mondtag sets rigid national historiographical constructs in motion. The third scenario builds a bridge to another location outside the giardini: the island of La Certosa. Artists Michael Akstaller, Nicole L’Huillier, Robert Lippok and Jan St. Werner jointly create a resonant space in a natural setting on La Certosa. Their work contrasts the monumentality of the German Pavilion while emphasizing the idea of passage through a threshold space.

name: Thresholds
commissioner: Ellen Strittmatter, Head of Art Department, ifa
curator: Çağla Ilk
artists: Yael Bartana, Ersan Mondtag
venue: Giardini
second venue: At La Certosa island, Michael Akstaller, Nicole L’Huillier, Robert Lippok and Jan St. Werner will create ‘a resonance chamber in nature’ 

Julien Creuzet


France has named sculptor Julien Creuzet for its pavilion in Venice. Deploying plastics and rope in his work, the artist often explores his own French-Caribbean identity. ‘His singular work and his gift for oral literature feed on creolization by bringing together a diversity of materials, stories, shapes and gestures. The questions raised by his works will find, at the French Pavilion in Venice, a particularly important resonance with those of our time,’ pavilion organisers said in a statement. ‘Julien Creuzet was also chosen for the horizons he draws, going beyond the opposition between identity and universality, demonstrating that in the folding of art, the poetic and artistic echoes always trace responses that are as beautiful, joyful and restorative as they are unexpected.’ The references that he draws from different geographies, around the Caribbean, Latin America and West Africa, have their echoes on the European continent and in Venice. Building bridges between apparently distinct cultures, Julien Creuzet’s organic perspective identifies the deep wellsprings of our humanity. 

name: Attila cataract your source at the feet of the green peaks will end up in the great sea blue abyss we drowned in the tidal tears of the moon
commissioners: Institut français
curators: Céline Kopp, Cindy Sissokho
artist: Julien Creuzet
venue: Giardini

Picture credit: Open Group (Yuriy Biley, Pavlo Kovach, Anton Varga), Repeat after me, 2022, Video, © Open Group (video still)


Repeat after Me II is an audiovisual video installation created by the Ukrainian Open Group collective. The group’s work is based on exploring interaction between people and contextual spaces, creating the so-called open situations. Performativity and cooperation with viewers and participants are important parts of their work. They have tackled the subject of war on several occasions, ever since the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation began their military operations in the southeast of Ukraine in 2014. Open Group’s projects are created through a long process, and their works’ themes are always intersecting. Repeat after Me II is a collective portrait of witnesses of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The videos presented were created in 2022 and 2024. All the protagonists are civilian refugees speaking of the war through the sounds of weapons they remember, then inviting the audience to repeat after them. The artists use the karaoke format. Yet here the accompaniment is not hit songs, it is shots, missiles, howling, and explosions, and the lyrics are descriptions of deadly firearms. This is the soundtrack of the war.

name: Repeat after Me II
commissioner: Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz
 Marta Czyż
artists: Open Group: Yuriy Biley, Pavlo Kovach, Anton Varga
venue: Giardini 

From Katya Buchatska's project "Best Wishes"


The Ukraine Pavilion will present a group exhibition Net Making. The exhibition title refers to the practice of citizens of all ages and backgrounds meeting to weave camouflage nets, which has become a symbol of the collective resistance of everyday Ukrainians. "Work" by Oleksandr Burlaka is a traditional embroidered home-woven fabric, which serves as a background for a personal narratives about war events in other artworks of the project. Katya Buchatska's project "Best Wishes," based on collaboration with 15 neurodiverse artists, explores the transformation of language in life-threatening conditions through a reimagining of clichéd greetings and wishes, which often are empty conventions rather than genuine necessities. The duo of Revkovskyi and Rachynskyi will present the project "Civilians. Invasion" — an archive of found videos shot by ordinary citizens before and after the Russian occupation of Ukrainian territories. Lia Dostlieva and Andrii Dostliev will showcase an ironic exploration of stereotypes and expectations from refugees titled "Comfort Work," for which the duo engaged Ukrainian communities across Europe. The curatorial team emphasizes that all these works reinforce each other and are less about being artworks themselves. Rather, they are manifestations of the reality that speaks for itself. 

name: Net Making
curators: Viktoria Bavykina and Max Gorbatskyi.
venue: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi, building A, 1st floor

Jeffrey Gibson, PEOPLE LIKE US, 2019. Photo Courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co.


Artist Jeffrey Gibson will represent the United States Pavilion at the 60th edition of the Venice Art Biennale. Celebrated for an artistic practice that combines American, indigenous, and queer histories with influences from music and pop culture, Gibson creates a dynamic visual language that reflects the inherent diversity and hybridity of American culture. His work, characterized by vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and textual elements, prompts contemplation on identity, empathy, and the pursuit of democracy and freedom for all. For the U.S. Pavilion, Gibson will activate the interior and exterior of the U.S. Pavilion with a series of new and recent works that invite reflection on individual and collective identities including sculpture, paintings, multimedia works and a site-specific installation activating the pavilion’s courtyard. The exhibition’s title, the space in which to place me, is inspired by a poem by Oglala Lakota poet Layli Long Soldier, titled Ȟe Sápa. 

name: the space in which to place me
commissioners: Kathleen Ash-Milby, Louis Grachos, Abigail Winograd
curators: Kathleen Ash-Milby and Abigail Winograd
artist: Jeffrey Gibson
venue: Giardini


The artist Ruth Patir will represent Israel; her project, entitled the Fertility Pavilion, focuses on contemporary motherhood; the pavilion curators are Mira Lapidot and Tamar Margalit. The Israeli pavilion at the Biennale has already been the target of an open letter calling for the exclusion of Israel from the Biennale signed by thousands of artists and cultural workers. The letter was issued at the end of February by a group called the Art Not Genocide Alliance. Italy’s culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, called it “shameful” and expressed “deepest solidarity and closeness” to the state of Israel, its artists and its citizens. The Biennale said in a statement that “all countries recognised by the Italian Republic may autonomously request to participate” and it would not heed “any petition or call to exclude the participation of Israel or Iran”.

name: The Fertility Pavilion
curators: Mira Lapidot and Tamar Margalit
artist: Ruth Patir
venue: Giardini  


Maurizio Cattelan, along with eight more artists, has been invited to create installations for the Holy See Pavilion. The exhibition is set to be installed in an unexpected location, the Women’s Prison of the Island of Giudecca, under the title With my eyes. The title emphasizes the importance of responsibly perceiving and constructing our social, cultural, and spiritual co-existence, especially in an age dominated by digital communication technologies that risk distancing us from reality. In this context, the Pavilion highlights the significance of direct, personal engagement with reality, as opposed to remote and metaphorical views. It draws parallels between religious and artistic experiences, both valuing the total and anti-conformist implications of the observer. 

name: With my eyes
commissioner: Cardinale José Tolentino de Mendonça, Prefetto del Dicastero per la Cultura e l’Educazion della Santa Sede
curators: Chiara Parisi and Bruno Racine
participants: Maurizio Cattelan, Bintou



Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (after François Gérard), 2023| oil on canvas © Ewa Juszkiewicz, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech


Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, with the support of Almine Rech Gallery presents the solo exhibition Ewa Juszkiewicz: Locks With Leaves And Swelling Buds. Curated by Guillermo Solana, this exhibition will present new paintings from Ewa Juskiewicz’s series of concealed portraits, alongside emblematic works that have entered prestigious public and private collections. The faces of the subjects never appear because they are sometimes covered by lush floral compositions, other times by dry leaves, intricate hairstyles, carefully folded fabrics. The final effect is attractive and disturbing at the same time.

what: Ewa Juszkiewicz: Locks With Leaves And Swelling Buds
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Palazzo Cavanis, Fondamenta delle Zattere


Still from Self-Portrait as a Coffee-Pot, Episode 5: As If, 2022, HD Video, 27 min 29 sec © William Kentridge. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2024. Courtesy the artist, Goodman Gallery and Hauser & Wirth


For his new exhibition at Arsenale Institute for Politics of Representation in Venice, South African artist William Kentridge, renowned for his animated drawings for projection, as well as his sculpture, theater and opera productions over the last forty years, collaborates with curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, friend and author of the foundational monograph on his work published in 1998, to premiere his intriguing new nine-episode video series, ‘Self-Portrait as a Coffee-Pot.’ This exhibition of thirty-minute episodes by Kentridge that were primarily created as a series for online viewing, is an experiment in embodiment and phenomenological experience in the digital age, and a reflection on what might happen in the brain and in the studio of an artist, today.

what: Self-Portrait as a Coffee-Pot
when: 17 April – 24 November 2024
where: Arsenale Institute for Politics of Representation

Exhibition view at macLYON, France, 2018-2019. Photo: Blaise Adilon ©Bernar Venet, ADAGP Paris, 2024


Bernar Venet – 1961… Looking forward! focuses on Venet's early works in tar and cardboard, demonstrating his early artistic experimentation with these new materials. Also on display from 1963-65 are some of his most iconic works, including his ‘Tar paintings’ and the seminal ‘Tas de charbon (Pile of coal)’, the world’s first artwork created without a set form. These works laid the foundations for a revolutionary body of work that remains relevant today and is fundamental to the understanding of contemporary art. The exhibition has been curated by Prof. Dr. Beate Reifenscheid, Director of the Ludwig Museum in Koblenz and takes place at the historic Sala Sansoviniana in the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, located on Piazza San Marco.

what: Bernar Venet – 1961… Looking forward!
when: 20 April – 16 June 2024
where: Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana on Piazza San Marco

Christoph Büchel, The Diamond Maker, 2020 – . Photo : Photo Michael Huwiler


Venice's historical palazzo Ca’ Corner della Regina (the home of Fondazione Prada) will host a thought-provoking project titled Monte di Pietà by Swiss artist Christoph Büchel. Building upon the rich historical tapestry of Ca’ Corner della Regina, this project weaves together spatial, economic, and cultural narratives. Central to this exploration is the concept of debt as both a societal foundation and a wielder of influence. Through diverse of historical artifacts, contemporary artworks, and immersive installations, the project delves into the multifaceted nature of debt and its role in shaping societies. Christoph Büchel‘s contribution, “The Diamond Maker,” serves as a reflection of this investigation. By transforming his entire body of work into lab-grown diamonds, Büchel encapsulates the essence of wealth and its evolution over time.

what: Monte di Pietà 
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Fondazione Prada, Ca' Corner della Regina, Calle Corner, 2215

Render of ‘Impact Glass’, 2024. courtesy of Dave Bruel 


Belgian contemporary artist Arne Quinze and American music producer Swizz Beatz have joined forces to present an immersive show blending Quinzećs site-specific sculptures and soundscapes by Swizz Beatz. Overtaking the historic 16th-century church, San Francesco della Vigna, the show Are We The Aliens_ represents a complex, immersive, intersensory experience reexamining and questioning the role of humanity within nature.

what: Are We The Aliens_ 
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: San Francesco della Vigna, in Campo San Francesco, Castello, Venice

Philippe Halsman, Jean Cocteau, New York, 1949 © Philippe Halsman / Magnum Photos 


The Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents Jean Cocteau’s The Juggler’s Revenge. This exhibition focuses on the versatility – or juggling dexterity – that has always characterized Cocteau’s artistic language and for which he is often criticized by his contemporaries. The exhibition gather over one hundred and fifty works in an impressive variety of media. These include drawings, graphics, jewelry, tapestries, historical documents, books, magazines, photographs, documentaries, and films directed by Cocteau, which trace the development of this multifaced artist’s unique and highly personal aesthetics, alongside the highlights of his tumultuous career.

what: The Juggler’s Revenge
when: 13 April – 16 September 2024
where: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Dorsoduro 701

Image courtesy of Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger


The Arena for a Tree installation by Klaus Littmann debuts in Venice during the opening of the 60th International Art Exhibition. Positioned against the historical Arsenale Nord, this temporary installation serves as a sanctuary for a single focal point: a tree. Arena for a Tree traverses as a traveling art piece, emphasizing themes of nature, sustainability, and climate change. Venice marks its final destination, notably incorporating water as a significant environmental element for the first time. By showcasing living trees in iconic urban settings, the artwork prompts public contemplation on the pivotal role of trees in the global ecosystem and the imperative to preserve them. 

what: Arena for a Tree
when: 16 April – 31 July 2024
where: Arsenale Nord

Otobong Nkanga, Unearthed – Sunlight, 2021 (detail) © Otobong Nkanga, Kunsthaus Bregenz. Courtesy the artist. Photography by Markus Tretter


The Victor Pinchuk Foundation and the PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv, present an official collateral event titled From Ukraine: Dare to Dream. The exhibition marks a continuation of PinchukArtCentre’s proactive engagement with Ukrainian art on a global and national stage since the outbreak of war in 2022. Starting with the notion of the world at an inflection point – when storms and climate change ravage lands far and wide, and political extremes are seizing momentum – the exhibition asks: ‘Can we imagine tomorrow? Do we have the courage to dream?’ At a crucial moment where the future is hidden, fundamental changes are on the horizon. From Ukraine: Dare to Dream weaves a tapestry of stories and hopes grown within the shadows of global conflicts through the work of 22 international artists and collectives, including Allora & Calzadilla and Otobong Nkanga.

what: From Ukraine: Dare to Dream
when: 20 April – 1 August 2024
where: Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Dorsoduro 874

Title image: The Sun Will Be Shining, a 2022 work by Jeffrey Gibson. Photo: Max Yawney

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