On the heels of the 58th Venice Biennale, which closed on November 24, countries around the world have begun detailing which artists will represent them at the biennial’s next exhibition, which was originally scheduled to take place in 2021, but was postponed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic. Below is an up-to-date guide to the 2022 Venice Biennale, which will run from May to November that year. This listing will be continually updated as news related to the event breaks.
[Read an interview with Cecilia Alemani, the curator of the 2022 Venice Biennale.]
Sound artist Marco Fusinato will represent Australia in the 59th Venice Biennale, and Alexie Glass-Kantor, executive director of Artspace in Sydney and curator of Art Basel Hong Kong’s Encounters section, will organize the Fusinato’s exhibition. In his work, which was shown in the main exhibition of the 2015 Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor, Fusinato explores modes of perception. Pieces by the artist also figured in the Museum of Modern Art’s first-ever exhibition of sound art, which went on view in 2013.
Collaborators Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl will represent Austria at the exhibition. The artists said that they will show paintings, videos, textiles, photographs, and other works in their presentation, which seeks to upend the conventional format of museum exhibitions. The Austrian pavilion will be curated by Karola Kraus, director of the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien.
Francis Alÿs, who showed work in the Iraq Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, will represent Belgium at exhibition’s 59th edition. Hilde Teerlinck, a curator at the Han Nefkens Foundation in Barcelona, is organizing the country’s pavilion, where Alÿs will show a new work building on his video Children’s Games #19: Haram Soccer (2017). The artist’s politically-minded films and videos often focus on borders and conflict, his pieces have also been shown in main presentations at the Venice Biennale in 1999, 2001, and 2007.
The London-based artist Sonia Boyce will be the first black woman to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale. Boyce’s drawings, paintings, and photographs have featured portraits of black subjects and her work has alluded to her Afro-Caribbean heritage. The artist’s practice also spans video, audio, and performance work, and her pieces can be found in the collections of Tate Modern, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and other institutions.
Canada has chosen video artist and photographer Stan Douglas for its pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale. In his work, Douglas centers the narratives of historically marginalized people, and he has previously exhibited at four past editions of La Biennale. Douglas won the Hasselblad Award in 2016 experimentations in abstract photography. The National Gallery of Canada in Ontario is the institution commissioning Canada’s 2022 pavilion.
At the invitation of the Mondriaan Fund, Estonia will take over the Dutch pavilion, located in the show’s main exhibition grounds in the Giardini, for the upcoming Biennale. (The Netherlands will host its participation elsewhere in the city.) The country has participated in the Venice Biennale since 1997, and for its participation in the 2022 edition, the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art has selected artists Kristina Norman and Bita Razavi to present a collaborative project, titled “Orchidelirium: An Appetite for Abundance,” which will look at the work of the underknown, 20th-century Estonian artist Emily Rosaly Saal, who made watercolors and paintings of tropical plants. Norman is a Tallin-based artist who also represented Estonia at the Biennale in 2009, and Razavi is a Tehran-born artist, who works between Helsinki and the Estonian countryside. Their participation is curated by Tallinn Art Hall’s Corina L. Apostol.
Finland has picked video and performance artist Pilvi Takala for its pavilion at La Biennale. Takala has previously shown her work, which examines social structures and behavioral norms, at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, MoMA PS1 in New York, and other international venues. The Finnish pavilion will be curated by Christina Li and commissioned and produced by Frame Contemporary Art Finland.
Zineb Sedira, who creates video installations and photographs exploring memory, will represent France at the storied exhibition. Based in London, the artist has previously exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Montreal, the Tate Britain, and other international institutions. Sedira will be the first artist of Algerian descent to represent the country at the Venice Biennale. Yasmina Reggad, Sam Bardaouil, and Till Fellrath have been lined up to curate the pavilion.
Sigurður Guðjónsson, who is known for his multimedia installations that produce a range of sensory experiences, was selected to rep Iceland in at the 2022 Biennale. The artist has exhibited his work at the National Gallery of Iceland, the Reykjavik Art Museum, the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, the Bergen Kunsthall in Norway, and other international institutions. Recent presentations at Iceland’s pavilion—like Christoph Büchel’s 2015 installation The Mosque, which was shut down by Venice police—have drawn significant attention in past years.
Tina Gillen will represent Luxembourg at the 59th Venice Biennale, where she will present the project Faraway So Close. Gillen’s exhibition, which considers the relationship between exteriority and interiority, will include new paintings and site-specific works as well as a scenographic device. The artist, who teaches at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and lives in Brussels, has previously shown work at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Platform Garanti in Istanbul, and other venues.
Melanie Bonajo will represent the Netherlands at La Biennale with a presentation organized by Maaike Gouwenberg, Geir Haraldseth, and Soraya Pol. Bonajo, who makes films as well as installations and performance pieces, examines the ways in which technology can cultivate feelings of alienation and intimacy. Bonajo has previously shown work at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Tate Modern in London, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, among other institutions.
In September 2019, New Zealand became the first country to announce its plans for the next edition of the Venice Biennale. Yuki Kihara will be the first artist of Pacific descent to represent the country when she presents work at the exhibition in 2022. Kihara’s photographs, videos, and performances, which have previously been shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and other venues, often examine the weight of histories of colonialism. Natalie King, a professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia, will curate Kihara’s presentation at the New Zealand pavilion.
The Nordic Pavilion, which represents Norway, Finland, and Sweden, will to change its name for the 2022 edition to the Sámi Pavilion in honor of the three Indigenous artists who will takeover the exhibition space. Those artists are Pauliina Feodoroff, Máret Ánne Sara, and Anders Sunna, who have focused on issues affecting the region’s Indigenous Sámi community in their work. “At this pivotal moment, it is vital to consider Indigenous ways of relating to the environment and to each other,” said Katya García-Antón, the director of the Office for Contemporary Art Norway, which commissioned the pavilion.
Ignasi Aballí will represent Spain at the 2022 Biennale, showing an architectural installation titled Corrección. The artist’s interdisciplinary practice spans painting, photography, film, and other mediums, and his work often explores notions of materiality and space. He told the newspaper El País that Corrección will be an environment unto itself built inside the Spanish pavilion, and that it “will create a new interior architecture with impossible, absurd and unimaginable spaces, through which at some points it will not be possible to go through and at others, the openings, the corridors and all the rooms will change; it will be seen in a way that has never been seen.” The presentation is curated by art historian Beatriz Espejo.
Latifa Echakhch, whose installations and sculptures deal with political strife and immigration, has been picked to do the Swiss Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale. For the pavilion, she will work with composer Alexandre Babel and curator Francesco Stocchi to create a project involving rhythm and sound. The Fully, Switzerland–based artist has won the Prix Marcel Duchamp, France’s top art award, and has appeared in a string of major biennials, including the Sharjah Biennial, the Biennale de Lyon, and others.
The Taipei Fine Arts Museum has selected Sakuliu Pavavaljung to represent its country at the next Venice Biennale, and the pavilion’s curator will be Patrick Flores, a professor at the University of the Philippines and a curator at the Vargas Museum in Manila who also curated the Philippines Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale and was the artistic director of the 2019 Singapore Biennale. Pavavaljung, a member of Taiwan’s Paiwan people, is best known for his socially engaged work that in parts has helped to preserve his people’s artistic traditions, while also establishing a studio to train the next generation of artists. He won Taiwan’s National Culture and Arts Award in 2018, becoming the first Indigenous artist to do so. In a statement, Pavavaljung said, “I have always believed that the art I have done for so many years was born out of my connection with the destiny of my people. It is spread out through life, so it’s hard to separate from life at any given moment.”
For its pavilion, Turkey has selected Füsun Onur to represent the country, and her contribution will be curated by Bige Örer, the director of Istanbul Biennial and head of contemporary art projects at Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), which is sponsoring Turkey’s pavilion this year. Onur is an influential Istanbul-based artist who has been working for over 50 years, and she is best known for her large-scale sculptural installations. During the 1960s, she lived for several years in the United States on a Fulbright scholarship, eventually earning a master’s degree in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1967. In 2014, Istanbul’s Arter mounted a survey of her work that included early abstract drawings and a number of previously unrealized works. Onur’s work has been included in the 2007 Moscow Biennale, Documenta 13 in 2012, and five iterations of the Istanbul Biennial between 1987 and 2015.
United Arab Emirates
Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim will represent the United Arab Emirates at the 2022 Venice Biennale. Ibrahim, who has helped shape the U.A.E.’s contemporary art scene, focuses on the natural landscape in his abstract paintings and sculptures. In his practice, the artist utilizes materials including clay, branches, and rocks. Ibrahim’s work can be found in the collections of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Sharjah Art Foundation, and other international institutions. The U.A.E.’s pavilion will be curated by Maya Allison, executive director and chief curator of the New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery.
In a historic first, Simone Leigh has been picked as the first Black woman to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale. The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston is commissioning the pavilion in the cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, with ICA director Jill Medvedow and chief curator Eva Respini at the helm. As part of the pavilion, which is set to include new sculptures by the artist, Leigh will work with Spelman College’s Atlanta University Center Art History + Curatorial Studies Collective, which focuses on cultivating Black curators and professionals.