Ralph Rugoff has termed the Arsenale section of his Venice Biennale exhibition “Proposition A.” The portion of “May You Live in Interesting Times” in the Giardini’s Central Pavilion is “Proposition B,” and it includes the same artists, who in most cases are showing different kinds of work. (One example: Nicole Eisenman goes with sculptures in A and paintings in B.) In sharp contrast to the Arsenale, the Giardini is jam-packed and sports some highly unusual groupings. But let’s not speak of that now: it’s only the second day of the Biennale—too soon to file a review. There’s much more to see.
Below, a look around the Giardini, from Rugoff’s roughly 80-artist show to many of the national pavilions, which include Brazil, Belgium, the United States, Canada, Austria, and many more. A note: if no nation is mentioned, the work is in the main show in the Central Pavilion. (And here’s Part 1, from the Arsenale.)
Mist spilling off of the Central Pavilion, courtesy of Lara Favaretto.
Work by Antoine Catala in the opening space of the Central Pavilion in “May You Live in Interesting Times.”
Unbearably white: Ryoji Ikeda, spectra III, 2008/09, in the Central Pavilion.
Paintings by Nicole Eisenman in the Central Pavilion.
Michel E. Smith anvils near the Biennale’s library.
A Teresa Margolles sculpture with a robot piece by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu in the background.
A wild grouping: Henry Taylor (background left), Julie Mehretu (background right), George Condo (background center), and Nairy Baghramian (foreground).
Work by Ian Cheng and Zhanna Kadyrova.
From left to right, works by Liu Wei, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Slavs & Tatars.
An installation by Nabuqi.
Shilpa Gupta, destroying a wall.
Alex Da Corte, The Decorated Shed, a replica of the town from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, adorned with signs for fast-food establishments.
The Belgian pavilion, by Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys.
Work by Iris Kensmil, in a two-person show in the Dutch pavilion.
Work by Tavares Strachan.
Detail of a new work by Anicka Yi.
From left to right, works by Avery Singer, Carol Bove, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.
Installation view of “Cosmo-Eggs,” a four-person show in Japan’s pavilion.
Natascha Süder Happelmann has walled off a portion of the German pavilion.
A video by Isuma in the Canadian Pavilion.
An installation by Cathy Wilkes in the pavilion of Great Britain.
A bird in Laure Prouvost’s French pavilion, which features a hidden entrance around back, some dancing, a large-scale video, and, when I visited, a person appearing to make a small table float—which I assume was part of the show?
Work by Stanislav Kolíbal for the Czech Republic's pavilion.
Djordje Ozbolt for the Serbian Pavilion.
Roman Stańczak’s Flight, an airplane turned inside-out, for Poland.
On the outskirts of the Giardini: Jeppe Hein sculptures.
Work by Panos Charalambous in a three-person show for Greece.
Easily one of the highlights of this still-young Biennale: Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca’s video installation Swinguerra at the Brazilian Pavilion.
Yamandú Canosa for Uruguay.
For Austria, a new work by Renate Bertlmann, who has the pavilion all to herself.
Installation view of the Nordic pavilion, where “Weather Report: Forecasting Future,” a three-person show by Nabbteeri, Ingela Ihrman, and Ane Graff, is on view.