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Venice Biennale

by Larissa Petryca, on 11 January 2023 11:00:44 CET

Our lecturer, Magda Michlová, who teaches for the Creative Media Production programme was sent to the Venice Biennale by a contemporary art gallery in Ostrava. The Venice Biennale is one of the world's most prestigious international art exhibitions and is a showcase of contemporary art from around the world. The Biennale also serves as a diplomatic meeting point for countries to discuss cultural and political issues.

As part of Magda’s trip, she had the opportunity to explore some of the incredible artworks on display at the exhibition. She also got to meet with other galleries from around the world and learn more about their respective countries' culture and politics through conversations with their representatives at the event.

Got the tickets! As a PhD student, I got a discount, yay!

Magda recounts her experiences at the Biennale

I was invited to attend the Biennale as a result of my year-long engagement at PLATO Ostrava, a city gallery for contemporary art, which involved me taking on responsibilities in the area of marketing and PR. In addition, I teach two modules at PCU: Media and Cultural Theory for 1st year students and Media Trends and Distribution for 2nd year students studying Creative Media Production.

Pavilion Highlights

Attending the Venice Biennale as a Czech visitor tastes bittersweet. The Czechoslovak pavilion has still not been constructed which makes it one of only two countries who do not have their own pavilion presenting this year. The other one being Russia makes the experience even more bitter.

The New Zealand pavilion featured an artist, Yuki Kihara, who presented a queer Polynesian perspective. This provided visibility for the Faʻafafine community of Samoan 'third gender' individuals, which was an important contribution to this prestigious institutional practice.

Paradise Camp Project Venice Biennale
Part of the Paradise Camp project by Yuki Kihara

Visibility of Minorities

For the first time in history, Poland presented a structurally marginalized community in the form of Romani artist Małgorzata Mirgy-Tas.

Raising questions regarding the visibility of those who are unseen, this milestone has finally arrived after more than a century of exclusive practice. Marking an important turning point in history.

Re-enchanting the World Venice Biennale
Part of the Re-enchanting the World project by Małgorzata Mirga-Tas

Post-Human Theme

But what might have seemed unnecessary to other visitors, I, on the contrary, found super sweet. Having overheard a couple of strangers discussing this yearʻs focus on the post-human perspective by saying “Why are all the countries acting like there is a World War 3 happening?!”, I thought, well, there is, if you just extended your point of view beyond the borders of your safe space.

We Walked the Earth Venice Biennale
Part of the We Walked the Earth project by Uffe Isolotto

Shifting Perspectives in Rapidly Changing Times

In some pavilions, such as the Danish one, I had the chance to experience an apocalyptic scenario: extinct half-human, half-animal beings, raising the question of a livable Earth as well as the urge to rethink the antropocentrism we still orient ourselves towards.

What I witnessed was a trend shift, but still a shift. In these rapidly changing times, we as well, need to keep changing our perspectives.

Topics:School of Media & ITResearch & Creative PracticeGlobal Engagement