Amongst others the selection includes Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Arthur Jafa, Kahlil Joseph, Julie Mehretu, Zanele Muholi, and Henry Taylor
The 58th Venice Biennale is titled “May You Live in Interesting Times” and is curated by Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery in London. The 2019 Venice Biennale is May 11-Nov. 24, 2019.
The Exhibition will develop from the Central Pavilion (Giardini) to the Arsenale, and will include 79 artists from all over the world. Announced today, the list includes 13 artists of African descent, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Michael Armitage, Arthur Jafa, Kahlil Joseph, Tavares Strachan, Julie Mehretu, Zanele Muholi, Henry Taylor, and Kemang Wa Lehulere.
In addition, there are 90 countries participating. Each is programming a national pavilion with artists representing their home country.
Four countries will be participating for the first time at the Biennale Arte: Algeria, Ghana, Madagascar, and Pakistan. The Dominican Republic and the Republic of Kazakhstan for the first time at the Biennale Arte with its own national pavilion.
British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye is designing Ghana’s inaugural pavilion where work by internationally recognized artists Felicia Abban, John Akomfrah, El Anatsui, Ibrahim Mahama, Selasi Awusi Sosu, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye will be on view. Titled “Ghana Freedom,” the exhibition is curated by filmmaker Nana Oforiatta Ayim and Okwui Enwezor, artistic director of 56th Venice Biennale, is serving as a strategic advisor.
Under the title “The Stronger We Become”, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Tracey Rose and Mawande Ka Zenzile will be the featured artists at the South Africa Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale.
And Zimbawe will take part for the 5th time with the exhibition titled “Soko Risina Musoro,” featuring Kudzanai-Violet Hwami, Neville Starling, Georgina Maxim, and Cosmas Shiridzinomwa.
Curator Ralph Rugoff said in a statement: : “May You Live in Interesting Times will no doubt include artworks that reflect upon precarious aspects of existence today, including different threats to key traditions, institutions and relationships of the “post-war order.” But let us acknowledge at the outset that art does not exercise its forces in the domain of politics. Art cannot stem the rise of nationalist movements and authoritarian governments in different parts of the world, for instance, nor can it alleviate the tragic fate of displaced peoples across the globe (whose numbers now represent almost one percent of the world’s entire population).”
Rugoff continued: “But in an indirect fashion, perhaps art can be a kind of guide for how to live and think in ‘interesting times.’ The 58th International Art Exhibition will not have a theme per se, but will highlight a general approach to making art and a view of art’s social function as embracing both pleasure and critical thinking. The Exhibition will focus on the work of artists who challenge existing habits of thought and open up our readings of objects and images, gestures and situations. Art of this kind grows out of a practice of entertaining multiple perspectives: of holding in mind seemingly contradictory and incompatible notions, and juggling diverse ways of making sense of the world. Artists who think in this manner offer alternatives to the meaning of so-called facts by suggesting other ways of connecting and contextualising them. Animated by boundless curiosity and puncturing wit, their work encourages us to look askance at all unquestioned categories, concepts and subjectivities. It invites us to consider multiple alternatives and unfamiliar vantage points, and to discern the ways in which “order” has become the simultaneous presence of diverse orders.»
Participating artists include:
1. Akunyili Crosby, Njideka
b. 1983 Nigeria, lives and works in Los Angeles
2. Armitage, Michael
b. 1984 Kenya, lives and works in London and Nairobi
3. Douglas, Stan
b. 1960 Canada, lives and works in Vancouver
4. Hamilton, Anthea
b. 1978 United Kingdom, lives and works in London
5. Jafa, Arthur
b. 1960 USA, lives and works in Los Angeles
6. Joseph, Kahlil
b. 1981 USA, lives and works in Los Angeles
7. Mehretu, Julie
b. 1970 Ethiopia, lives and works in New York
8. Muholi, Zanele
b. 1972 Republic of South Africa, lives and works in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town
9. Nkanga, Otobong
b. 1974 Nigeria, lives and works in Antwerp
10. Orupabo, Frida
b. 1986 Norway, lives and works in Oslo
11. Strachan, Tavares
b. 1979 The Bahamas, lives and works in New York
12. Taylor, Henry
b. 1958 USA, lives and works in Los Angeles
13. Wa Lehulere, Kemang
b. 1984 Republic of South Africa, lives and works in Cape Town
Find the full list of participating artists here