The Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism announced today that Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi, and Adelita Husni-Bey will represent Italy at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Cecilia Alemani, the chief curator and director of High Line Art in New York, will organize the pavilion.
In past years, the Italian pavilion has had far more artists, with the stated goal of providing a broad overview of the current Italian contemporary art scene, but Alemani explained in a statement that she didn’t have that goal in mind. Instead, she chose three artists, to bring the Italian pavilion to the level of the other national pavilions, which tend to be represented by no more than a few people.
Calò, Cuoghi, and Husni-Bey were born in Italy during the 1970s and ’80s, but other than that, they share few similarities. Calò and Cuoghi both make sculptures that appear to come from ancient societies, but the former is interested in the effect time has on objects, while the latter is interested in the relevance of the past to contemporary life. Husni-Bey, meanwhile, makes videos and creates situations, often in collaboration with schoolchildren and activists, that ponder the nature of collective practices.
“I hope this pavilion will convey an image of the contemporary, cosmopolitan Italy, no longer seen through the nostalgic lens of previous generations, but looking to the future with enthusiasm and the critical capacity to respond to the new experiments of other nations,” Alemani said in a statement.