One of the most prestigious artistic and cultural meetings of today is approaching not only because of its convening power but also because of its history as a precursor since 1895. The 59th edition of the Venice Art Biennale will finally be possible after last year was postponed due to physical barriers in the face of a still unstable pandemic.
Under the guiding theme “The milk of dreams”, from April 23 to November 27, the so-called Venice International Art Exhibition will bring together the work of 213 artists from 58 countries, as well as 80 nations that, with individual pavilions or shared, they will present highlights of their artistic expressions in the lake city. One of them will be Mexico, which from 2014 to 2024 has guaranteed the Arms Hall of the Arsenal of Venice as its permanent venue.
The collective project “Until the songs sprout” will be presented at the Mexican Pavilion, with the participation of Mariana Castillo Deball, Naomi Rincón Gallardo, Fernando Palma Rodríguez and Santiago Borja Charles, with the curatorial proposal of Catalina Lozano and Mauricio Marcin .
But that will not be the only representation of our country in the great artistic meeting of the Italian city. The plastic artist Bosco Sodi was selected as part of the collateral program with a residency at the Vendramin Grimani Palace, a historic site in Venice that opened to the public last year, but which between the 13th and 19th centuries was home to one of the Venetian families of greater ancestry, the Vendramin Grimani.
The artist is also the piece
Sodi’s exhibition in said palace will be called “What goes around comes around”, which will have the same duration as the central program of nations and will have the artist working in situ as an identifying feature.
As part of his pictorial and sculptural exhibition, Sodi will exhibit there a total of 30 plastic pieces in addition to an installation of 195 clay spheres transported from his Casa Wabi studio, in Oaxaca.
“I came here to paint four paintings. I have always liked to do things on site because the process is an important factor in my work. I like the term side-specific. I have included it in different exhibitions in Hong Kong, Porto, Barcelona, in short… I always propose to go there to do the work. In addition, in each place the material is different, from sawdust to water and glue. All these particularities allow me to perfectly recognize in which part of the world I made each piece”, the artist shares by telephone from Venice.
Sodi got permission to improvise the study in the basement of the palace. She upholstered the floor and the walls with plastics on which she began to work on her well-known rough paintings, such as scale reproductions of geographical reliefs, which she will hang inside the halls.
“Here I will do about four or six works, depending on how we go in time. The rest of the work comes from Oaxaca and from studios in New York and Mexico City. The palace is already full of plastic and pigment everywhere because I like that feeling of appropriating the place and how the space dictates the final result, although mobility is limited here, not everything is at hand. Even for the mixture you have to be careful not to stain. Although it does terrify me to see how the boxes are lowered from the boats, some of them weigh up to a ton”.
At the same time, Sodi will invade the floors of the palace with the 195 clay spheres transported from Oaxaca for an interactive installation in which the spherical shapes represent the countries recognized until now by the UN, in addition to Palestine. Each visitor throughout the biennial will be able to move the spheres from one point to another. “This speaks to the ongoing choreography between nations,” she says.
By the way, his position on censorship and the veto of Russian expressions in artistic and cultural encounters in the world is questioned as a way of rejecting the political decisions of Vladimir Putin for the invasion of Ukraine.
“I am convinced that all Russian artists I know are against the war. In the case of the biennial, it was the Russian colleagues who got off in protest, but I think that a meeting like this should serve as a platform to send a message that restores art as that which allows us to better understand otherness. Personally, I am hesitant about what to do with the sphere corresponding to Russia. I wouldn’t want to exclude her, but maybe we can keep her still. It is sad to see that after the madriza that the pandemic hit us, now we have to face this conflict, ”he concludes.
From April 23 to November 27, the Venice International Art Exhibition will bring together the work of 213 artists from 58 countries, and 80 nations.
More about Bosco Sodi
Bosco Sodi’s work has been exhibited solo in venues all over the world, from the König galleries in London and the Eduardo Secci galleries in Florence, to the Kasmin Gallery in New York, or the National Art Museums (Munal) and Dolores Olmedo, in Mexico City. He is also famous for the visited Casa Wabi studio, founded by Sodi on the Oaxacan thing in 2014 and built by the 1995 Pritzker, Tadao Ando. His work is part of at least 40 collections around the world, such as the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, in Kanazawa, Japan; the Harvard Art Museums network, in the United States, and the Jumex collection, in Mexico.
The Venice Art Biennale is made up of three pillars:
- National Pavilion Exhibitions
- The international central exhibition organized by the curator
- Collateral events in the City of Venice
Within this sample the following prizes are awarded:
- Golden Lion for the best National Pavilion
- Golden Lion for Best Artist
- Silver Lion for Young Artist
- Special Mention for National Pavilion
- Special Mention for Artist
- Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement