Venice Biennale 2019

African Perspectives at Venice 2019

The 58th International Art Exhibition will take place from 11 May to 24 November 2019. Here are some ideas where to go to get an impression of contemporary art from Africa and its Global Diaspora.

John Akomfrah. Mimesis: African Soldier, 2018.
Three channel HD colour video installation, 7.1 sound Dimensions variable. Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, New Art Exchange, Nottingham and Smoking Dogs Films, with additional support from Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo © IWM / Film © Smoking Dogs Films

John Akomfrah. Mimesis: African Soldier, 2018. Three channel HD colour video installation, 7.1 sound Dimensions variable. Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, New Art Exchange, Nottingham and Smoking Dogs Films, with additional support from Sharjah Art Foundation. Photo © IWM / Film © Smoking Dogs Films

The 58th Venice Biennale is entitled “May You Live in Interesting Times” and is curated by Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery in London. The Exhibition will develop from the Central Pavilion (Giardini) to the Arsenale, and will include 79 artists from all over the world.

The list includes 13 artists of African descent: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Michael Armitage, Stan Douglas, Anthea Hamilton, Arthur Jafa, Kahlil Joseph, Otobong Nkanga, Frida Orupabo, Tavares Strachan, Julie Mehretu, Zanele Muholi, Henry Taylor, and Kemang Wa Lehulere.



The Venice Bienale includes 91 National Participations in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice. From the African continent Egypt, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa and Zimbawe, and for the first time Ghana and Madagascar present their own pavilions. Brazil, Dominican Republic, Finland, Great Britain, and Netherlands also show African perspectives in their exhibitions.



Commissioner: José Olympio da Veiga Pereira, Fundação Bienal de São Paulo.
Curator: Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro. Exhibitor: Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca.
Venue: Giardini

DOMINICAN (Republic)*
Naturaleza y biodiversidad en la República Dominicana

Commissioner: Eduardo Selman, Minister of Culture. Curators: Marianne de Tolentino, Simone Pieralice, Giovanni Verza. Exhibitors: Dario Oleaga, Ezequiel Taveras, Hulda Guzmán, Julio Valdez, Miguel Ramirez, Rita Bertrecchi, Nicola Pica, Marraffa & Casciotti.
Venue: Palazzo Albrizzi Capello, Cannaregio 4118 – Sala della Pace

khnum across times witness

Commissioner: Ministry of Culture. Curator: Ahmed Chiha.
Exhibitors: Islam Abdullah, Ahmed Chiha, Ahmed Abdel Karim.
Venue: Giardini

FINLAND (Alvar Aalto Pavilion)
A Greater Miracle of Perception

Commissioner: Raija Koli, Director Frame Contemporary Art Finland.
Curators: Giovanna Esposito Yussif, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Christopher Wessels. Exhibitors: Miracle Workers Collective (Maryan Abdulkarim, Khadar Ahmed, Hassan Blasim, Giovanna Esposito Yussif, Sonya Lindfors, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Outi Pieski, Leena Pukki, Lorenzo Sandoval, Martta Tuomaala, Christopher L. Thomas, Christopher Wessels, Suvi West).
Venue: Giardini

Ghana Freedom

Commissioner: Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Curator: Nana Oforiatta Ayim.
Exhibitors: Felicia Abban, John Akomfrah, El Anatsui, Lynette Yiadom Boakye, Ibrahim Mahama, Selasi Awusi Sosu.
Venue: Arsenale

Cathy Wilkes
Commissioner: Emma Dexter. Curator: Zoe Whitley. Exhibitor: Cathy Wilkes.
Venue: Giardini

Epic Memory

Commissioner: Susan Mains. Curator: Daniele Radini Tedeschi.
Exhibitors: Amy Cannestra, Billy Gerard Frank, Dave Lewis, Shervone Neckles, Franco Rota Candiani, Roberto Miniati, CRS avant-garde.
Venue: Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello (first floor), Cannaregio 4118

The Open Shadows of Memory

Commissioner: Henri Nkoumo. Curator: Massimo Scaringella. Exhibitors: Ernest Dükü, Ananias Leki Dago, Valérie Oka, Tong Yanrunan.
Venue: Castello Gallery, Castello 1636/A

I have forgotten the night

Commissioner:  Ministry of Communication and Culture of the Republic of Madagascar. Curators: Rina Ralay Ranaivo, Emmanuel Daydé.
Exhibitor: Joël Andrianomearisoa.
Venue: Arsenale

MOZAMBIQUE (Republic of)
The Past, the Present and The in Between

Commissioner:  Domingos do Rosário Artur. Curator: Lidija K. Khachatourian.
Exhibitors: Gonçalo Mabunda, Mauro Pinto, Filipe Branquinho.
Venue: Palazzo Mora, Strada Nova, 3659

The Measurement of Presence

Commissioner: Mondriaan Fund. Curator: Benno Tempel. Exhibitors: Iris Kensmil, Remy Jungerman. Venue: Giardini

SEYCHELLES (Republic of)

Commissioner: Galen Bresson. Curator: Martin Kennedy.
Exhibitors: George Camille and Daniel Dodin.
Venue: Palazzo Mora, Strada Nova, 3659

SOUTH AFRICA (Republic of)
The stronger we become

Commissioner: Titi Nxumalo, Console Generale. Curators: Nkule Mabaso, Nomusa Makhubu. Exhibitors: Dineo Seshee Bopape, Tracey Rose, Mawande Ka Zenzile.
Venue: Arsenale

ZIMBABWE (Republic of)
Soko Risina Musoro (The Tale without a Head)

Commissioner: Doreen Sibanda, National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Curator: Raphael Chikukwa.  Exhibitors: Georgina Maxim, Neville Starling , Cosmas Shiridzinomwa, Kudzanai Violet Hwami.
Venue: Istituto Provinciale per L’infanzia “Santa Maria Della Pietà”. Calle della Pietà Castello n. 3701 (ground floor)


* The Dominican Republic participates for the first time with its own pavilion at the Biennale Arte and had already participated in previous editions as part of the IILA.




The African Art in Venice Forum 2019
07 May – 09 May 2019

AFRICOBRA: Nation Time
Ca’ Faccanon, San Marco, 5016 (Poste Centrali)
11 May – 24 November
Promoter: bardoLA

Future Generation Art Prize 2019 @ Venice
Università IUAV di Venezia, Ca’ Tron, Santa Croce, 1957
11 May – 18 August
Promoter: PinchukArtCentre; Victor Pinchuk Foundation

Politics of Space by Arts & Globalization Platform
The former church Chiesa ss Cosma e Damiano, Campo San Cosmo 624 30133, Giudecca, Venice
May 11 from 10:30am-7:30pm



Mozambique: Exploring the in Between
Akka Project, Venice, Italy
06 May 2019 – 24 November 2019

Njideka Akunyili Crosby: The Beautyful Ones
Victoria Miro, Venice, Italy
08 May 2019 – 13 July

Palazzo Mora , Palazzo Bembo , Giardini Marinaressa
Venice, Italy
11 May – 24 November 2019





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