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June 01, 2011

Venice: The 54th International Art Biennale

By Departures Dispatch | Arts + Culture


The Venice Biennale is called the Olympics of art for a reason: it happens every two years, the focus is on exhibition and celebration rather than commerce, and participants from all over the world are invited to create a "pavilion" of art to represent their country. On June 4, the exhibition kicks off when a record-breaking 89 nations will uncover their pieces housed within the city's Giardini and Arsenale pavilions. The U.S. pavilion, named "Gloria" referring to the glory of god and the glory of military battles, features six new works by artistic duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, including an overturned 60-ton army tank that now functions as a treadmill. Countries participating for the first time will be Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and Andorra, while Iraq, India, and Congo are a few of the countries returning after extended absences. In the main space is "ILLUMInations," the special exhibition by this year's curator, Switzerland's Bice Curiger, who amassed works by 83 international artists that highlight the endeavors of a globalized world. Also, iPhone users should download Christie's free Biennale app, which visitors can use to locate specific pavilions and get suggestions of stops to make along one's way through the city. On view through November 27; .

Photo Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia