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How To Enjoy The Venice Biennale In Three Days | Featuring Jeffrey Gibson

By Erica Firpo

It’s Biennale time in Venice, aka the Art Olympics, an every-two-year event where La Serenissima’s 118 islands are almost entirely dedicated to contemporary art from countries and artists around the world. What started out as small art fair in the Giardini, Venice’s public park, has turned into a six-month, all-island, non-stop blockbuster art fest of exhibitions in palaces, galleries, public spaces, and, of course, the Giardini and Arsenale. This year’s 60th Venice Biennale Stranieri Ovunque - Foreigners Everywhere brings it on strong with 331 artists, 88 national pavilions and 30 collateral events, not to mention other pop ups. That’s a lot of art to take in, and a lot of ground to cover. Many people ask me how to do it all in a limited amount of time.

I’ve just returned from an intense five-day visit, and after days marching through exhibitions, plus years of visiting and covering the Biennale, including time a past life as a gallery girl at the USA Pavilion, I’ve got it down to the perfect and most palatable rhythm. Here are my tips on the best way to navigate the Venice Biennale in three days.

USA: the space in which to place me, Jeffrey Gibson

Gibson transforms the US pavilion with dynamic colour, craft, sculpture and video. A member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent, Gibson explores narratives of identity and tradition of Indigenous and minority communities in the American landscape, deconstructing and redefining mainstream with a futuristic vision of inclusivity. What does that mean? It’s bright, colourful and inspiring.

Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere runs until Sunday November 24, 2024.


Photo by Luc Castel