The Details of “BIENNALE ARTE 2022: THE MILK OF DREAMS” Were Announced


Poster.png“How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human? What are our responsibilities towards the planet, other people, and other life forms? And what would life look like without us?”

——Cecilia Alemani


On the 2nd February, 2022, LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA announced the details of the 59th International Art Exhibition on its official website. The exhibition will take place from 23 April to 27 November 2022, with the pre-opening on 20, 21, and 22 April. A total of 213 artists around the world are invited to participate in the themed exhibition, including three Chinese artists. Cecilia Alemani, who is the curator of this exhibition, interpreted the theme of “The Milk of Dreams” in her statement. The title is taken from the Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington’s book in which she “describes a magical world where life is constantly re-envisioned through the prism of the imagination…The exhibition The Milk of Dreams takes Leonora Carrington’s otherworldly creatures, along with other figures of transformation, as companions on an imaginary journey through the metamorphoses of bodies and definitions of the human.”

In Alemani’s introduction, this exhibition takes many conversations with artists held over the last few years. Based on these conversations, the questions that kept emerging seem to capture this crucial moment in history when the very survival of the species is threatened. In addition, Alemani addressed these questions and intended to conclude many other inquires that pervade the sciences, arts, and myths of our time.

President Roberto Cicutto and Cecilia Alemani.pngPresident Roberto Cicutto and Cecilia Alemani

Image from Cecilia Alemani's Instagram, Photo by Andrea Avezzù

Roberto Cicutto, the President of La Biennale di Venezia, commented that Alemani’s exhibition imagines new harmonies, hitherto unthinkable cohabitations and surprising solutions precisely because they distance themselves from anthropocentrism. From Cicutto’s viewpoint, the exhibition presents brand-new alliances that are generated by a dialogue between different beings (some perhaps even produced by machines) with all the natural elements that our planet (and perhaps others as well).

Besides the theme, the list of participating artists and brief structure of the BIENNALE ARTE 2022, the National Participations were also announced. In this edition, 5 countries, including the Republic of Cameroon, Namibia, Nepal, Sultanate of Oman, Uganda will be participating for the first time at the Biennale Arte. While the Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kirghizistan and Republic of Uzbekistan will participate for the first time with their own pavilion.

Zhang Zikang, who serves as the Director of CAFA Art Museum.jpegZhang Zikang, Director of CAFA Art MuseumAmong all of the national participations, it is notable that the Chinese Pavilion will feature the theme of “Meta-Scape”, with Zhang Zikang, who serves as the Director of CAFA Art Museum, as the curator. Works from Liu Jiayu, Wang Yuyang, Xu Lei, and Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Institute of Sci-Tech Arts+Tsinghua Laboratory of Brain and Intelligence (TLBI) Group Project, will be presented in this exhibition in Arsenale.


Courtesy of LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA and Cecilia Alemani

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