An act of resistance, liberation, and generosity

“Today, in a world full of conflicts and shocks, art bears witness to the most precious part of what makes us human. Art is the ultimate ground for reflection, individual expression, freedom, and for fundamental questions”

These are the words of Christine Macel, curator of the world’s oldest biennale, La Biennale di Venezia, which opens its doors tomorrow. Get to know the facts about the Venice Biennale 2017, dedicated to an open dialogue between artists, and between artists and the public.

Christine Macel
Christine Macel. Photo by Andrea Avezzù. Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

Open to the public from Saturday May 13th to Sunday November 26th 2017, the 57th International Art Exhibition, titled VIVA ARTE VIVA, offers a route that unfolds over the course of nine chapters or families of artists. 120 are the invited artists from 51 countries; 103 of these are participating for the first time.

Mingwei Lee, The Mending Project
Mingwei Lee, The Mending Project, 2009-2017. Photo Italo Rondinella. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Christine Macel has called it an Exhibition inspired by humanism. This type of humanism is neither focused on an artistic ideal to follow nor is it characterized by the celebration of mankind as beings who can dominate their surroundings. If anything, this humanism, through art, celebrates mankind’s ability to avoid being dominated by the powers governing world affairs. These powers, if left to their own devices, can greatly affect the human dimension, in a detrimental sense. In this type of humanism, the artistic act is contemporaneously an act of resistance, of liberation and of generosity.


Julian Charriere, Future Fossil Spaces
Julian Charriere, Future Fossil Spaces, 2017. Photo Andrea Avezzù. Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Year founded: 1895.
Takes place every: Two years.
Current edition: 57th edition (in 2017)
Current curator: Christine Macel (in 2017)
Previous curator: Okwui Enwezor (in 2015)
Countries represented: 86 (in 2017)
Artists included: 120 (in 2017)
Attendance: 500,875 (in 2015)
Important dates: The Venice Biennale 2017 runs from Saturday May 13th to Sunday November 26th 2017

the Venice Biennale 2017
External view. Photo by Giulio Squillacciotti

Bio – Christine Macel
Christine Macel has been the chief curator at the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, since 2000, overseeing the department of “création contemporaine et prospective”. She has organised solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou dedicated to Anri Sala (2012), Philippe Parreno (2009) and Sophie Calle (2003).