Every other year, the art world flocks to Italy for the Venice Biennale, the world’s grandest and most esteemed recurring art exhibition.
Many are coming with the top priority of seeing the main exhibition, which, in 2024, will be curated by Adriano Pedrosa, the first Latin American to have received the honor. But just as many are there for the national pavilions, which are not officially related to the main show but coincide with it.
Ahead of the 2024 Venice Biennale’s opening in April of that year, announcements are flooding in for the national pavilions. Although most are still being formalized, there have already been meditations on our globalized existence planned. At least one first will take place at that edition, with Benin to stage its inaugural pavilion in tandem with the Biennale.
Below is a look at every pavilion that has been announced so far for the 2024 Venice Biennale. This list will continue to be updated as more announcements are made.
As Indigenous artists continue to gain greater visibility at the world’s big art festival, Archie Moore, a Kamilaroi and Bigambul artist based in Redlands, Queensland, will represent Australia in 2024. He will become the second-ever First Nations artist to do the country’s pavilion, after Tracey Moffatt in 2017. He’s expected to once again tackle issues related to Aboriginal history, as he often has in his work previously. The pavilion’s organizer is Ellie Buttrose, a curator of contemporary Australian art at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.
Anna Jermolaewa was commissioned to do the 2024 Austrian Pavilion, which will be curated by art historian Gabriele Spindler. Titled “A Language of Resistance,” Jermolaewa’s pavilion will take up the role that words play in protest. In addition to her work as an artist, Jermolaewa is known in Austria for being politically outspoken, talking often about her immigration from the Soviet Union to Austria in 1989. Her work previously figured in Harald Szeemann’s main exhibition at the 1999 Venice Biennale.
Simona Denicolai and Ivo Provoost will represent Belgium at this year’s Venice Biennale with a project that’s being called “Petticoat Government.” Curated by Antoinette Jattiot, their project “focuses on the pan-European mythical figures: the giants,” according to a cryptic release. The announcement continues, “With the support of multiple accomplices, the giants are set in motion in a new narrative. Through displacement and the nomadic spirit that drives travel, bodies shape space and the powers of identification and projection that surround them.”
In its Venice Biennale debut, Benin will be represented by a pavilion that aims to promote the country’s “cultural heritage and contemporary art to the world,” according to the country’s President, Patrice Talon. Curator Azu Nwagbogu, who formerly led the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, will organize the pavilion, which has not yet detailed its artists.
Two years after showing in the Biennale’s main edition, Kapwani Kiwanga will return to Venice to as the artist for the Canadian Pavilion. Her research-oriented work has centered around cultural diplomacy, the transatlantic slave trade, and museums themselves; often, she looks at how seemingly banal objects open up histories of colonialism. What she will produce for the pavilion is not yet known. Gaëtane Verna, executive director of the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, will organize the pavilion, which has only ever been done by a Black artist one other time: Stan Douglas, in 2022.
Estonia became the first country to announce its plans for the 2024 Venice Biennale in December 2022, less than a month after that year’s edition closed. Edith Karlson, who has previously examined the relationship between humans and their environment, has been commissioned for the 2024 Estonian Pavilion, in a presentation organized by Maria Arusoo, director of Tallinn’s Estonian Center for Contemporary Art. “The world is a fuckup and we, humans, did it,” Karlson said in a statement. “There is no escaping from that situation. No illusions, only dramas. Nothing will ever change, and it’s both tragic and comic, serious and laughable, terrifying as hell and amusing as a circus. I think my job as an artist is to create spaces where the viewer’s fantasies are evoked because the most powerful dramas are in our heads.”
A trio of artists will represent Finland in 2024: Pia Lindman, Vidha Saumya, and Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen. Each artist’s practice varies widely. Lindman’s addresses what she’s called the “subsensorial,” Saumya focuses on ideas related to utopias, and Wallinheimo-Heimonen’s deals with disability politics. Together, the three will present work that shows how the personal and political are often intertwined. Yvonne Billimore and Jussi Koitela will curate the pavilion.
Julien Creuzet has been selected to represent France, marking the first time that a French-Caribbean artist has been chosen to do the pavilion. (Creuzet was born in Le Blanc Mesnil, France, and was raised in Martinique.) Known for his sculptures composed of tangled webs of thread, metal, and other objects, Creuzet pays homage to migrations of peoples to and from the Caribbean. A curator has not yet been announced for his pavilion.
Little is known about the German Pavilion so far, other than that it will be curated by Çağla Ilk, director of the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. Possibly providing a hint at what her pavilion will be about, Ilk said in a statement, “At a time when wars, man-made natural disasters and authoritarianism are making our societies more and more vulnerable to crises, it is more important than ever to question our previous way of life, which was shaped by nation-state thinking, and to develop new forms of living together.”
John Akomfrah, a pioneering filmmaker known for his expansive installations featuring crisscrossing narratives about globalism, colonialism, and racism, will represent Great Britain. What Akomfrah has on tap for 2024 is not yet known, although it’s worth noting that this isn’t his first time at the Venice Biennale—he previously showed at the main exhibition of the 2015 edition and in the 2017 Ghanaian Pavilion. “I see this invitation as recognition of, and a platform for all those I have collaborated with over the decades, and who continue to make my work possible,” Akomfrah said when the pavilion was announced. A curator has not been named for this pavilion, which is likely to be closely watched because Sonia Boyce’s Great Britain Pavilion took the Golden Lion award in 2022.
Márton Nemes, a young New York–based artist known for his abstractions formed from bold colors, was picked to represent Hungary with a project called “Superposed and Entangled.” Róna Kopeczky will organize the presentation.
Hildigunnur Birgisdóttir, a Reykjavik-based artist, will represent Iceland at this Biennale. In her work, Birgisdóttir often plays on systems of classification and notions of beauty, in the process highlighting how objects are produced and distributed. Dan Byers, director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will curate her pavilion, the announcement for which noted that Ragnar Kjartansson, the artist who represented Iceland in 2009, had connected the two.
Most pavilions at the Venice Biennale merely offer visual experiences, but the Korean Pavilion at the 2024 edition will go one step further, engaging viewers’ noses as well. Koo Jeong A has been tapped to create a pavilion under the theme “Korea Scent Journey,” which will feature works known as “Odorama cities” that will feature “scents and temperatures, drawing a national portrait of Korea,” according to the Korea Herald. For the first time, two curators will share the duty of acting as artistic director for the pavilion, with Jacob Fabricius and Seolhui Lee, artistic director of Art Hub Copenhagen and a curator at the Kunsthal Aarhus, respectively, set to curate.
A minor celebrity of the biennial circuit, with appearances in major exhibitions held in Berlin, Moscow, Liverpool, and elsewhere, the duo Pakui Hardware will add another big recurring show to its CV with the 2024 Lithuanian Pavilion. Their pavilion will take up the notion of “inflammation,” both as it pertains to human bodies and to our planet, and will also include work by the modernist artist Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė, who is considered key in Lithuanian art history. Valentinas Klimašauskas and João Laia will curate.
After last year handing off its space to Estonia, the Netherlands is for this edition reclaiming its pavilion in the Giardini. It’s set to spotlight the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs Plantation Congolaise and Dutch artist Renzo Martens, with whom the group has long collaborated. Much of their work together has involved the production of art objects, often using cacao from plantations around the world, that are then sold, with the funds being redistributed to initiatives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While efforts like these have been intended as decolonial gestures, Martens’s involvement has periodically raised controversy. Unusually for a national pavilion at the Venice Biennale, this presentation will also be staged at the White Cube, the art space founded by CATPC in Lusanga. Hicham Khalidi, director of the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, will curate the Dutch Pavilion.
Spain this time went with a Peru-born artist for its pavilion: Sandra Gamarra, whose artistic activities include more than just making objects. Gamarra is best known for running the LiMac – Museum of Contemporary Art of Lima, a semi-fictional, itinerant institution that was founded in Lima in 2002. Its collection is composed of historical and contemporary artworks, as well as pre-Columbian artifacts. Gamarra has also produced more conventional artworks, such as paintings meditating on the connection between art and mystical experiences. Her pavilion will be organized by curator Agustín Pérez Rubio.
The young Swiss-Brazilian artist Guerreiro do Divino Amor has few solo shows to his name, and that makes his Swiss Pavilion all the more intriguing. For his pavilion curated by Andrea Bellini, the leader of the Centre d’Art Contemporain and the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement in Geneva, the artist will offer up a presentation that’s called “Super Superior Civilizations.” Its subject will be “the diverse entanglements of our globalized existence that have been impacted by aspects such as postcolonial distortion.”