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Artnet News
Mar. 16, 2007 

Venice Biennale curator Robert Storr -- the first director of the biennale art show to come from the U.S. -- and Biennale president Davide Croff held a press conference at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this morning to announce the lineup for the 52nd Venice Biennale, June 10-Nov. 21, 2007.

The title of Storr’s grand exhibition is much more mellifluous in Italian: "Pensa con Sensi - Senti con la Mentei. L’arte al Presente" ("Think with the Senses - Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense"). The show presents works by almost 100 artists in spaces of the Corderie, the Arsenale Artiglierie and the Italian pavilion in the Giardini. Storr’s exhibition includes a first-ever selection of works by artists from Africa [see Artnet News, Feb. 23, 2007] and a special Turkish pavilion.

Speaking of the national pavilions, a total of 77 countries are represented in the Giardini, the Arsenale and additional sites throught the city. For the first time, Italy has its own pavilion and its own curator (Ida Gianelli). As reported in the Artnet News, the 2006 biennale is also the first to have a Roma pavilion.

According to Croff, the budget for the biennale is about €9,000,000, with 60 percent of that total coming from the culture ministry, and the rest from sponsorships. Croff estimated the total economic activity generated by the exhibition to be about double its budget (a sum that seems modest compared to the numbers typically thrown around by U.S. marketers).

Wearing his two watches, one set to Venice time and the other to local time, Storr was at pains to express the idea suggested by the topsy-turvy title of his show, condemning what he called a U.S.-based sensibility that elevates "the conceptual" and notions of "criticality" above an appreciation for the sensual and even beautiful qualities of the object. In the end, the idea is perhaps best expressed in a quote from the press release: "Analytical dichotomies between perceptual and conceptual, thought and feeling, intuition and criticality, too often obscure and deny the complex presence of all these aspects in our experience of the world."

Both Croff and Storr also noted that while the biennale rests on a concept of national cultures, nationalistic distinctions are becoming increasingly fluid. Croff said that athough approximately 36 artists in "Art in the Present Tense" live and work in the U.S., 15 of them were born in other countries. And pointing out that Europe is full of immigrant populations, Storr noted that the 11 Francophone artists in the show included an Algerian, a Moroccan, an Italian-Senegalese and Louise Bourgeois, the "very French artist who lives downtown from here."

The artists in "Think with the Senses - Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense" include Ignasi Aballi, Adel Abdessemed, Alterazioni Video, Francis Al˙s, El Anatsui, Giovanni Anselmo, Yto Barrada, Gabriele Basilico, Louise Bourgeois, Jan Christiaan Braun, Daniel Buren, Luca Buvoli, Waltercio Caldas, Sophie Calle, Paolo Canevari, Christian Capurro, Manon De Boer, Raoul De Keyser, Iran Do Espirito Santo, James Drake, Valie Export, Leņn Ferrari, Angelo Filomeno, Yang Fudong, Yukio Fujimoto, Charles Gaines, Rainer Ganahl, Tomer Ganihar, Mario Garcia Torres, Shaun Gladwell, Felix Gmelin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Dimitri Gutov, Neil Hamon, Lyle Ashton Harris, Christine Hill, Jenny Holzer, Marine Hugonnier, Pierre Huyghe, Emily Jacir, Kim Jones, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Y.Z. Kami, Izumi Kato, Ellsworth Kelly, Martin Kippenberger, Riyas Komu, Guillermo Kuitca, Rosemary Laing, Leonilson, Sol Lewitt, Rosario Lopez, Nalini Malani, Steve McQueen, Andrei Monastyrsky, Hiroharu Mori, Morrinho Group, Joshua Mosley, Oscar Muñoz, Elizabeth Murray, Zoran Naskovski, Bruce Nauman, Eyoum Ngangué and Faustin Titi, Thomas Nozkowski, Odili Donald Odita, Melik Ohanian, Philippe Parreno, Dan Perjovschi, Raymond Pettibon, Sigmar Polke, Emily Prince, José Alejandro Restrepo, Jason Rhoades, Gerhard Richter, David Riff, Susan Rothenberg, Robert Ryman, Margareth Salmon, Cheri Samba, Fred Sandback, Nedko Solakov, Nancy Spero, Tabaimo, Elaine Tedesco, Philippe Thomas, Paula Trope, Tatiana Trouvé, Kara Walker, Lawrence Weiner, Franz West, Sophie Whettnall, Pavel Wolberg, Tomoko Yoneda and Yang Zhenzhong.

National participants (organized by country) include Abdul Shoukour Khasrawi (Afghanistan), Helidon Gjergji, Gent Gjokola, Alban Hajdinaj, Armando Lulaj and Heldi Pema (Albania), Guillermo Kuitca (Argentina), Susan Norrie, Callum Morton and Daniel von Sturmer (Australia), Herbert Brandl (Austria), Eric Duyckaerts (Belgium), José Damasceno, Angela Detanico and Rafael Lai (Brazil), Pravdoliub Ivanov, Ivan Moudov and Stefan Nikolaev (Bulgaria), David Altmejd (Canada), David Maljkovic (Croatia), Irena Jůzová (Czech Republic and Slovakia), Troels Wörsel (Denmark), Haiam Abd El–Baky, Aiman El-Semary, Tarek El-Komy, Sahar Dergham, George Fikry and Hadil Nazmy (Egypt), Marko Mäetamm (Estonia), Blagoja Manevski (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Sophie Calle (France), Eteri Chkadua, Tamara Kvesitadze, Zura Gugulashvili, Paata Sanaia and Sophia Tabatadze (Georgia), Isa Genzken (Germany), Jill Mercedes (Gran Duchy of Luxembourg), Nikos Alexiou (Greece), Andreas Fogarasi (Hungary), Steingrimur Eyfjörd (Iceland), Gerard Byrne (Ireland), Yehudit Sasportas (Israel), Giuseppe Penone, Francesco Vezzoli (Italy), Masao Okabe (Japan), Gints Gabrāns (Latvia), Fouad Elkoury, Lamia Joreige, Walid Sadek, Mounira El-Solh, Akram Zaatari (Lebanon), Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas (Lithuania), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Mexico), Aernout Mik (The Netherlands), Shen Yuan, Yin Xiuzhen, Kan Xuan, Cao Fei (People’s Republic of China), Monika Sosnowska (Poland), Āngela Ferreira (Portugal), Tora Aghabeyova, Faig Ahmed, Rashad Alakbarov, Orkhan Aslanov, Chingiz Babayev, Rena Effendi, Ali Hasanov, Orkhan Huseynov, Elshan Ibrahimov, Tamilla Ibrahimova, Rauf Khalilov, Labirint Art Group (Republic of Azerbaijan), Haris Epaminonda, Mustafa Hulusi (Republic of Cyprus), Hyungkoo Lee (Republic of Korea), Svetlana Ostapovici, Feel & Crash (Republic of Moldova), Tobias Putrih (Republic of Slovenia), Victor Man, Cristi Pogacean, Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor (Romania), AES+F, Andrey Bartenev, Arseny Mescheryakov, Julia Milner, Alexander Ponomarev (Russia), Mrdjan Bajić (Serbia), Vincent Leow, Jason Lim, Dawu Tang, Mahmod Zulkifle (Singapore), Rubén Ramos Balsa, Rafael Lamata, José Luis Guern, Jaime Vallaure, Manuel Vilariño (Spain), Yves Netzhammer and Christine Streuli, and Urs Fischer and Ugo Rondinone (Chiesa di San Stae), Bassem Dahdouh, Nasser Naassan Agha, Dario Arcidiacono, Stefano Bombardieri, Renato Mambor, Philippe Pastor, Donato Piccolo, Concetto Pozzati and Alfredo Rapetti (Syrian Arab Republic), Amrit Chusuwan, Nipan Oranniwesna (Thailand), Hüseyin Alptekin, Aydan Murtezaoglu (Turkey), Serhiy Bratkov, Dzine, Alexandre Hnlitsky / Lesia Zaiats, Boris Mikhailov, Juergen Teller, Mark Titchner and Sam Taylor-Wood (Ukraine), Tracey Emin (United Kingdom), Felix Gonzalez-Torres (United States), Antonio Briceño (Venezuela), Adel Abidin, Jacob Dahlgren, Toril Goksųyr, Camilla Martens, Sirous Namazi, Lars Ramberg, Maaria Wirkkala (Northern Europe - Finland/Norway/Sweden).

The Central Asian Pavilion includes Natalya Dyu, Gaukhar Kiyekbayeva and Alexander Ugay (Kazakhstan), Roman Maskalev (Kyrgyzstan), Jamshed Kholikov and Aleksei Rumyantsev (Tajikistan), Alexander Nikolaev and Vyacheslav (Yura) Useinov (Uzbekistan).

The Istituto Italo-Latino Americano includes Narda Alvarado (Bolivia), Mónica Bengoa (Chile), Cinthya Soto (Costa Rica), René Francisco and Wilfredo Prieto (Cuba), Jorge Pineta (Dominican Republic), Pablo Cardoso, María Verónica León and Manuela Ribadeneira (Ecuador), Ronald Morán (El Salvador), Mara Dolores Castellanos (Guatemala), Andre Juste and Vladimir Cybil (Haiti), Xena Meja (Honduras), Ernesto Salmerón (Nicaragua), Jonathan Harker (Panama), William Paats and Paola Parcerisa (Paraguay), Patricia Bueno, Moico Yaker and Omaggio A Jorge Eielson (Peru).

Plus, there is the just-announced, first-ever "Roma Pavilion," sponsored by George Soros (see Artnet News, Mar. 14, 2007).

National Pavilions for India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Mongolia, Morocco, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of South Africa, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and Uruguay all have entries still to be announced.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has a new director -- Michael Govan, late of the Dia Art Center here in New York City -- and he hasn’t wasted any time raising money for the museum’s $191-million renovation. The prize so far has been $25 million from oil giant British Petroleum, said to be one of the biggest corporate donations to any museum ever. The funds are earmarked for a new "BP Grand Entrance," designed to connect the museum’s existing building to the new facility for the collection of SoCal supercollector Eli Broad.

But not everyone is jumping on the BP bandwagon. Calling the museum gift a blatant PR maneuver, Mark Vallen of the blog "Art for a Change" reminds his readers that BP has paid out some $125 million in legal settlements for pollution and other environmental violations in California since 2002. What’s more, while the "BP Grand Entrance" has solar panels to help with the museum’s energy needs, Vallen notes that BP spends less on clean energy than it does on PR and advertising, and that the move is a transparent effort to "green" its image in the face of mounting public discontent with the petroleum industry.

BP is so notorious a polluter in Britain that an activist group has launched Art Not Oil, a website that specifically provides a vehicle for artists who want to take a stand against the company.

A novel collaborative work put together by Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno in 2000-03 -- dubbed "No Ghost Just a Shell" and incorporating a Japanese animae character named AnnLee -- has become part of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. The project consists of 17 works of art by a group of international artists, including Angela Bulloch and Imke Wagener, Francois Curlet, Lili Fleury, Liam Gillick, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Joseph and Mehdi Belhaj-Kacem, Melik Ohanian, Richard Phillips, Joe Scanlan, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Anna Lena Vaney. MOCA becomes the first U.S. museum to be able to show the complete cycle.

The new acquisition is the result of a donation from Miami collectors Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz, and will be jointly held with the Tate, London. German artist John Bock’s "Zero Hero" also joins the collections of the two institutions as part of the gift.

Lorie Mertes has been appointed director and chief curator of the art galleries at Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art & Design. She had been assistant director of special projects at the Miami Art Museum.

Joanna Marsh, associate curator of contemporary art at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, has been appointed curator of contemporary art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The SAAM also took the opportunity for formally announce the appointment of former Guggenheim Museum curator of film and media arts John Hanhardt as consulting senior curator for film and media arts, a post he assumed in September of last year.

The Specific Object 2006 Publication of the Year Award, designed to recognize innovation in the field of artists books, has gone to the Ugly Duckling Press’ recreation of Vito Acconci and Bernadette Mayer’s short-lived 0 to 9 publication, which ran originally from 1967 to 1969, and featured early works by Dan Graham, Michael Heizer, Sol LeWitt and Adrian Piper, among others. The reprint has been published in a limited run of 100 copies, and comes in a painted wood box with the complete magazine in purple-bound volumes. It can be purchased for $500 directly from Specific Object.

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