IT’S NO EXAGGERATION to say that the 127-year-old Venice Biennale is the standard against which every major international art exhibition is judged. So when the fifty-ninth edition finally arrived in April, its opening delayed a year by Covid-19, all eyes turned to the ancient City of Masks to see what kind of future the pandemic might engender.
Curator Cecilia Alemani’s “The Milk of Dreams,” the event’s polestar, forcefully yet subtly engages canonical prejudices. In the pages that follow, Artforum associate editor CHLOE WYMA and contributing editor DANIEL BIRNBAUM reckon with Alemani’s phantasmagoric show, while artist KEN OKIISHI reflects on another of the city’s touchstones: Udo Kittelmann and Taryn Simon’s coyly cerebral “Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea” at the Fondazione Prada’s Venetian headquarters.
The Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale and “Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea” are on view through November 27.