Adriano Pedrosa is the first Latino in its history to
Adriano Pedrosa is the first Latino in its history to Direct a Venice Biennale Twitter

The Venice Biennale, considered the most relevant international art exhibition in the world, will be directed by a Latino for the first time in its history in 2024.

The main exhibition of this edition, called "Foreigners Everywhere," will be headed by Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa, who is the current director of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), in Brazil.

The South American curator is renowned for his series of exhibitions at MASP titled 'Histories', which extensively explore various subjects, such as 'Histórias Afro-Atlânticas' (2018), focusing on the African diaspora and the legacy of the Transatlantic slave trade, and 'Histórias Brasileiras' (2022), which delve into the histories of Brazil.

"It is both a privilege and a challenge to be the first Latin American curator and the first one based in the Southern Hemisphere to curate the oldest and most important biennial in the world," Pedrosa said on this Instagram account.

Venice Biennale president Roberto Cicutto explained that he selected Pedrosa "so that he could bring his personal point of view on contemporary art by reinterpreting different cultures as if in a movie reverse shot."

Venice Biennale 2024: What Will Pedrosa's Exhibition Be Like?

Venice Biennale is considered the most relevant international art exhibition
Venice Biennale is considered the most relevant international art exhibition in the world. Venice Biennale

"Foreigners Everywhere," the title of the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, is drawn from a series of works started in 2004 by the Paris-born and Palermo-based Claire Fontaine collective.

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 who fought racism and xenophobia in Italy in the early 2000s.

"The expression Stranieri Ovunque has several meanings," explains the curator of this exhibition. "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."

The exhibition will be divided into two segments, as informed by the official website of the Venice Biennale 2024: contemporary nucleus and historical nucleus.

  1. 'Nucleo Contemporaneo'. "The first meaning of the word "queer" is precisely "strange", and thus the Exhibition unfolds and focuses on the production of other related subjects: the queer artist, who has moved within different sexualities and genders, often being persecuted or outlawed; the outsider artist, who is located at the margins of the art world, much like the self-taught artist, the folk artist and the popular artist; the indigenous artist, frequently treated as a foreigner in his or her own land," reads the Biennale description.
  2. 'Nucleo Storico.' This segment will be gathering works from 20th century Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. According to the curator: "We are all too familiar with the histories of modernism in Euroamerica, yet the modernisms in the Global South remain largely unknown. European modernism itself traveled far beyond Europe throughout the 20th century, often intertwined with colonialism, and many artists in the Global South traveled to Europe to be exposed to it."

What Is the Venice Biennale?

The Venice Biennale is an international cultural exhibition hosted annually in Venice, Italy by the Biennale Foundation. It has been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world for over 120 years, standing at the forefront of research and promotion of new contemporary art trends and organizing events in all its specific departments: Art (1895), Architecture (1980), Cinema (1932), Dance (1999), Music (1930), and Theatre (1934) – alongside research and training activities. It has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition.

When Is the Venice Biennale 2024?

The 60th International Art Exhibition, titled Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere, will open to the public from Saturday April 20 to Sunday November 24, 2024, at the Giardini and the Arsenale; it will be curated by Adriano Pedrosa and organized by La Biennale di Venezia. The pre-opening will take place on April 17, 18 and 19; the awards ceremony and inauguration will be held on 20 April 2024.

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