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venice diary

by Gianni Romano
Officially opening on Sunday, June 15 -- the press preview and vernissage takes place from June 11 to Friday the 13th -- the 47th Biennale of Venice will present exhibitions in 57 national pavilions in the Castello Gardens. The Biennale is open until Nov. 9, 1997.

The central independent exhibition, organized by globetrotting Guggenheim curator Germano Celant, is entitled "Future, Present, Past." This wide-ranging survey of contemporary art is installed in the Italian Pavilion and in the huge space of the Corderie. Celant's exhibition fills in for the sprawling and rather missed "Aperto" exhibition of former years.

"Future, Present, Past" is organized into three parts, each covering a "generation" between 1967 and 1997. According to the press release, "the `60s and `70s were dominated by the encounter between Europe and America; the `70s and `80s were characterized by the osmosis between male and female; and the `80s and `90s were defined by the discovery of multiculturalism."

"Future, Present, Past" includes 60 international artists. Here is the complete list:

Marina Abramovic, Mario Airò, Richard Artschwager, Marco Bagnoli, John Baldessari, Vanessa Beecroft, Daniel Buren, Pedro Cabrita Reis, the Chapman Brothers, Francesco Clemente, Tony Cragg, Gino De Dominicis, Jan Dibbets, Rineke Dijkstra, Jim Dine, Jan Fabre, Luciano Fabro, Giuseppe Gabellone, Douglas Gordon, Marie-Ange Guilleminot, Ann Hamilton, Michael Heizer, Rebecca Horn, Roni Horn, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Wolfgang Laib, Langlands & Bell, Bertrand Lavier, Charles LeDray, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Glenn Ligon, Robert Longo, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, Mario Merz, Annette Messager, Maurizio Mochetti, Tracey Moffatt, Mariko Mori, Juan Muñoz, Maria Nordman, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Panamarenko, Luca Pancrazzi, Giulio Paolini, Cai Guo Qiang, Tobias Rehberger, Jason Rhoades, Gerhard Richter, Pipilotti Rist, Ed Ruscha, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Julian Schnabel, Andreas Slominski, Haim Steinbach, Jessica Stockholder, Sam Taylor Wood, Richard Tuttle, Luc Tuymans, Emilio Vedova, Franz West and Gilberto Zorio.

The advisory committee working with Celant includes artist Carla Accardi; former director of the Castello di Rivoli Ida Giannelli (she has just recently resigned); Lars Nittve, director of the Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek; Whitney Museum director David Ross; and Tate Gallery director Nicholas Serota. Vicente Todoli and Giorgio Verzotti have been appointed curatorial collaborators.

Winners of the Venice Biennale prizes are Agnes Martin and Emilio Vedova, who receive the Golden Lion for their contributions to contemporary art.

The award jury consisted of Klaus Biesenbach, director of the Kunst-Werke in Berlin; Italian art historian Maurizio Calvesi; Guggenheim Museum director Thomas Krens; Suzanne Pagé, director of the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and Kirk Varnedoe, director of the department of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Artists exhibiting in the national pavilions are:

Australia: Kwementyai Kngwarreye, Yvonne Koolmatrie, Judy Watson
Austria: "Wiener Gruppe" -- Friedrich Achleitner, H.C. Artmann, Konrad Bayer, Gerhard Rühm, Oswald Wiener
Belgium: Thierry De Cordier
Brazil: Jac Leirner, Waltercio Caldas
Canada: Rodney Graham
Czech Republic: Ivan Kafka
Denmark: Kirsten Ortwed
Egypt: Ali Ahmad El-Ghol
Yugoslavia: Vojo Stanic
France: Fabrice Hybert
Georgia: Gia Edzgveradze (on the ground floor of the Russian pavilion)
Germany: Gerhard Merz, Katharina Sieverding
Britain: Rachel Whiteread
Greece: Dimitri Alithinos, Stephen Antonakos. In addition, Alexandros Psychoulis and Thanassis Totsikas are exhibiting works elsewhere in the city of Venice
Hungary: Róza El-Hassan, Judith Hersko, Éva Köves
Iceland: Steina Vasulka
Israel: Yossi Breger, Miriam Cabessa, Sigalit Landau
Japan: Rei Naitô
The Netherlands: Aernout Mik, Willem Oorebeek
Finland, Norway and Sweden: Mark Dion, Henrik Hakansson, Mariko Mori, Sven Pahlsson, Marianna Uutinen
Poland: Zofia Kulik
Korea: Hyung-Woo Lee, Ik-Joong Kang
Slovakia: Ondrej Rudavsky
Romania: Ion Bitzan, Grigorescu Ion. Plus, at the Galleria dell'Istituto Rumeno di Cultura are works by Teodor Graur, Iosif Kiraly, Valeriu Mladin, Gheorghe Rasovschi and Tudor Vreme
Russian Federation: Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid
Spain: Joan Brossa, Carmen Calvo
Switzerland: Helmut Federle, Urs Frei
USA: Robert Colescott
Uruguay: Nelson Ramos
Venezuela: Roberto Obregón, Rolando Peña

Additional exhibitions presented by countries without a pavilion are installed at sites around Venice:

Armenia: Sonia Balassanian, Atom Egoyan, Arman Grigorian, Azat Sarkissian, Stepan Veranian at the Island of San Lazzaro
Croatia: Dalibor Martinis; "The Zagreb Academy: 1907-1997" at the Scuola di Santa Apollonia, San Marco
Cyprus: Nicos Charalambides, Savvas Christodoulides, Lefteris Olympios Theodoulos at the Palazzo Giustinian Lolin
Estonia: Siim-Tanel Annus, Jaan Toomik, Raoul Kurvitz at the Riva degli Schiavoni
Ireland: Jaki Irvine, Alastair Mac Lennan at the Galleria Nuova Icona, Giudecca
Latvia: Lolita Tomofeeva at the San Gregorio Art Gallery, Dorsoduro
Luxembourg: Luc Wolff at the Zitelle, Giudecca
Macedonia: Aneta Svetieva at the Church of San Giovanni Novo, Castello
Portugal: Juliao Sarmento at the Palazzo Vendramin ai Carmini, Dorsoduro
Slovenia: Joze Barsi at the Ateneo San Basso, San Marco
Taiwan: Wang Jun-jieh, Lee Ming-tse, Chen Chien-pci, Yao Jui-chung, Wu Tien-chang at the Palazzo delle Prigioni, Riva degli Schiavoni

At the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in the Castello is the Italo-Latin American Institute (IILA), comprising Bolivia: Sol Mateo; Chile: Carlos Altamiro; Costa Rica: Miguel Hernández; Cuba: Roberto Diago; Dominican Republic: Dionisio Blanco; Ecuador: Manuel Cholango; El Salvador: Oscar René Chacon, Luis Paredes; Guatemala: Isabel Ruiz, Doris Contreras; Mexico: Francisco Toledo; Nicaragua: Rolando Castellón Alegría; Panama: Manuel Ortega, Aristides Urena Ramos; Paraguay: Fátima Martini, Mónica Gonzáles, Marité Zaldivar; and Peru: Jorge Piqueras, Joaquín Roca Rey.

Exhibitions not belonging to the Biennale per se, but still operating with official Biennale patronage, are also opening at different times all around the city of Venice:

"Anselm Kiefer" at the Museo Correr, opening June 12, presents some 30 works, most from private and public collections abroad.

"Artists for Sarajevo" at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, June 12-Sept. 7, 1997, featuring works by Alighiero e Boetti, Nan Goldin, Ilya Kabakov, Joseph Kosuth, Julian Opie, Mimmo Paladino, Remo Salvadori, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel.

"Club Media" at the Teatro Fondamenta Nuove, June 11-June 21, 1997, is a multimedia meeting-place for artists, journalists and other visitors.

"Europa: 5 Giovani Proposte" at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, June 11-Sept. 2, 1997, features works by five young artists from five different European countries: Avery Preesman, Pierre Huyghe, Markus Shaller, Graham Gussin, Oleg Kulig.

"Metamorphosis: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Photography and Sculpture" at the Palazzo Papadopoli, Coccina Tiepolo, June 13-July 13, 1997. Artists: Jimmy Angunguna, England Bangala, Jimmy Bungurru, Mick Gubargu, James Iyuna, John Mawandjul, Owen Yalanja.

"Dennis Oppenheim" at the Marghera, from June 12, featuring works by the artist from public and private collections, plus a new installation especially created for Venice.

"Yoko Ono" at a venue to be established.

GIANNI ROMANO is a curator living in Milan.