Venice Biennale

Bice Curiger appointed visual arts director of 2011 Venice Biennale

Swiss curator Bice Curiger has been named as the visual arts director of the 54th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, to be held in 2011. A graduate of the University of Zurich, Curiger is an art historian, critic, and curator. Since 1993, she has been curator at the Zurich Kunsthaus. Curiger is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Parkett, published in Zurich and New York since 1984; since 2004, she has also been publishing director of the Tate etc magazine produced by London’s Tate Gallery. As we reported in our May edition before the appointment was made, Curiger may find she has less space to work with than her predecessors. The biennale’s directors have traditionally had both the Arsenale and the big Italia Pavilion in the Giardini for their own international shows. Italy’s ministry of culture now says that for 2011 only, to celebrate 150 years of Italy’s unification, the Italia Pavilion in the Giardini will be taken over by art historian Vittorio Sgarbi to present Italian artists. This is deplored by the Italian contemporary art world because Sgarbi is known to dislike most contemporary art. He has said he would like to “install just one work [in the Italia pavilion], the Dead Christ by Mantegna next to a photograph of Che Guevara on his death bed”. The biennale’s president, Paolo Baratta, is now set to discuss the proposal with the Venice Biennale board.

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