foreigners everywhere: venice biennale announces the theme of its 2024 art exhibition

Venice art biennale 2024 spotlights foreigners everywhere

On June 22, 2023, the President of La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, and Adriano Pedrosa, the Curator of the 60th International Art Exhibition, joined together to announce the theme for the Venice Art Biennale 2024: Foreigners Everywhere. Scheduled to take place from April 20 to November 24, 2024, the exhibition will spotlight artists from diverse backgrounds, giving space and visibility to previously marginalized groups, such as immigrants, expatriates, queer people, and indigenous individuals. 

According to curator Adriano Pedrosa, the title of the 2024 Biennale Arte has a dual meaning. ‘First of all, that wherever you go and wherever you are you will always encounter foreigners—they/we are everywhere. Secondly, that no matter where you find yourself, you are always, truly, and deep down inside, a foreigner’. 

While eagerly awaiting further details regarding the 2024 edition of the prestigious art exhibition, you can delve into the 34 stories from the 2023 event, available here.

foreigners everywhere: venice biennale announces the theme of its 2024 art exhibition
Padiglione Centrale Giardini | image by Andrea Avezzu, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia (also head image)

the story behind ‘Foreigners Everywhere’

The theme for the 60th edition of the Venice Art Biennale is drawn from a series of works started in 2004 by the Paris-born and Palermo-based collective Claire Fontaine. The works consist of neon sculptures in different colors that render in a growing number of languages the words ‘Foreigners Everywhere’. The phrase comes, in turn, from the name of a Turin collective that fought racism and xenophobia in Italy in the early 2000s: Stranieri Ovunque.

‘The backdrop for the work is a world rife with multiple crises concerning the movement and existence of people across countries, nations, territories, and borders, which reflect the perils and pitfalls of language, translation, and ethnicity, expressing differences and disparities conditioned by identity, nationality, race, gender, sexuality, wealth, and freedom.’ explains Adriano Pedrosa. ‘The Biennale Arte 2024 will focus on artists who are themselves foreigners, immigrants, expatriates, diasporic, émigrés, exiled, and refugees—especially those who have moved between the Global South and the Global North’. 

foreigners everywhere: venice biennale announces the theme of its 2024 art exhibition
Padiglione Centrale Giardini | image by Francesco Galli, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

a celebration of the distant, the queer, the indigenous

The Venice Art Biennale 2024 explores the figure of the foreigner and its association with the stranger, the queer, the outsider, and the indigenous. The exhibition highlights the artistic production of these diverse subjects who have often faced persecution, marginalization, or displacement. This focus on the artists’ work forms the core of the International Exhibition’s Contemporary Nucleus.

In addition to the Contemporary Nucleus, the International Exhibition will present a Historical Nucleus showcasing artworks from 20th-century Latin America, Africa, the Arab world, and Asia. Within the Historical Nucleus, there will be a dedicated section highlighting the Italian artistic diaspora of the 20th century. This section explores Italian artists who traveled and established careers abroad, contributing significantly to the development of modernism beyond Italy and integrating into local cultures.

‘The Biennale itself – an international event with numerous official participations by different countries – has always been a platform for the exhibition of works by foreigners from all over the world. Thus, the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, will be a celebration of the foreign, the distant, the outsider, the queer, as well as the indigenous.’  mentions Pedrosa. 

foreigners everywhere: venice biennale announces the theme of its 2024 art exhibition
Adriano Pedrosa | image courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

the first south American CURATOR OF THE venice art BIENNALe 

During the presentation of the Venice Art Biennale 2024, Roberto Cicutto, explained that this is the first time that the art exhibition has a curator from a Latin American country. Adriano Pedrosa is currently the artistic director of Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand – MASP, designed by Italian architect Lina Bo Bardi. 

‘There has always been a significant participation of South American artists in the Biennale. But it is very different when they are invited by a curator who has roots in the same culture and has developed a global outlook over the years. His research is also focused on artists who, despite coming from different worlds and cultures, have been able to maintain the feelings, characteristics and experiences of their native culture wherever they may be. It will be interesting to discover how many national pavilions will follow this theme and how they will address it.’  Cicutto says. 

project info: 

name: Foreigners Everywhere – Venice Art Biennale 2024
curator: Adriano Pedrosa
dates: April 20 – November 24, 2024

myrto katsikopoulou I designboom

jun 22, 2023

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