Il Palazzo Enciclopedico. 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia.


Soon coming… photos and ramblings about my explorations of La Biennale di Venezia, in the scorching heat of summer walking through calli and bridges, smelling the summer fumes of the laguna!


La Biennale di Venezia opened on 1 June and will be running until 24 November 2013. It boasts 88 national pavilions in the main Arsenale and Giardini pavilions and around the city. Moreover, at this edition there are as many as 47 collateral events. A record number. Only by walking through a small part of Venice from Piazzale Roma not even reaching San Marco, turning every corner and across every bridge, there would be some sign indicating the nearby presence of a pavilion or an exhibition.


The title of the 55th Venice Biennale, Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), was chosen by curator Massimiliano Gioni, inspired by the utopian vision of Italian-American artist Marino Auriti who in 1955 filed a design with the U.S. Patent office , depicting his Palazzo Enciclopedico del Mondo (The World’s Encyclopedic Palace), an imaginary museum that was meant to house all worldly knowledge. Auriti created a model of a 136-story building to be built in Washington D.C., which would stand seven hundred meters tall and take up over sixteen square city blocks. The project was of course never built. It was a dream of an all encompassing knowledge that has been shared by many throughout the history of art and humanity, especially by those like Auriti: artists, designers, architects, scientists, prophets and others.


Massimiliano Gioni says about the exhibition:


Blurring the line between professional artists and amateurs, outsiders and insiders, the exhibition takes an anthropological approach to the study of images, focusing in particular on the realms of the imaginary and the functions of the imagination. What room is left for internal images — for dreams, hallucinations and visions — in an era besieged by external ones? And what is the point of creating an image of the world when the world itself has become increasingly like an image?


“Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace) investigates the desire to see and know everything: it is a show about obsessions and about the transformative power of the imagination.”

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