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 2021 exhibition. Below is an up-to-date guide to the 2021 Venice Biennale, which will run from May to November that year. This listing will be continually updated as news related to the event breaks.
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.
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 2021 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 2021 pavilion.
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.
Sigurður Guðjónsson, who is known for his multimedia installations that produce a range of sensory experiences, was selected to rep Iceland in at the 2021 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.
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 2021. 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.
Latifa Echakhch, whose installations and sculptures deal with political strife and immigration, has been picked to do the Swiss Pavilion at the 2021 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.