A holy vision
By Ermanno Rivetti.
The Holy See was the last pavilion to announce its artist line-up for this year’s Biennale at a press conference on 14 May. The artists representing the Vatican are the Milan-based multimedia collective Studio Azzurro, the Czech photographer Josef Koudelka and the Australian-born painter Lawrence Carroll. The show is centred around the first 11 chapters of Genesis, and the artists will address the themes of creation, destruction and rebirth, respectively. The media was awash with rumours prior to the official announcement, with some believing that the Holy See had spent €2m on Lucio Fontana’s Via Crucis, 1947, from Galleria Niccoli, in Parma, for its pavilion—a move that would have been at odds with Pope Francis’s efforts to curb the Vatican’s financial excesses. Instead, the pavilion costs €750,000 and was paid for entirely by sponsors.
The Holy See might, however, find itself accidentally in competition with Robert Crumb, the US countercultural cartoonist, whose eccentric visual chronicle of the Book of Genesis will feature in Massimiliano Gioni’s “Encyclopaedic Palace” exhibition.
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