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57th Venice Biennale highlights presented by Johan Conradie Article Image

57th Venice Biennale highlights presented by Johan Conradie

Posted on 31 January 2018

On 5 March, 2018 contemporary art professional, Johan Conradie, returns to Atterbury Theatre (Pretoria) with a visually exhilarating and informative presentation on the highlights of the 57th Venice Biennale.

Conradie, an artist, curator and art academic, is a local expert on the Venice Biennale, and the 57th Venice Biennale marked his 7th consecutive attendance to this prestigious art event.

The purpose of this once-off presentation is to provide those in and around Gauteng with the rare opportunity to engage with the latest International art trends through Conradie's 'accessible' approach and thorough knowledge on the subject.

The main exhibition titled Viva Arte Viva, curated by Christine Macel, director of the Pompidou Centre (Paris), steered clear of the political propaganda that dominated the last Biennale. As a curator, Macel is "committed to emphasizing the important role artists play in inventing their own universes and injecting generous vitality into the world we live in," Biennale president Paolo Baratta said at the time, with a strong focus on 'making'. The ethnic spread was wide; the gender balance even, and Macel succeeded in challenging some of the stereotypes around textiles specifically . Refreshingly, much of the art substituted touch and texture for digital gloss.

While the main international exhibition in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini and the Arsenale had a lot of weak spots - due partly to its unprecedented size, its over-emphasis on artistic practice, and a predominance of lesser-known artists - the national pavilions of the 85 countries and the numerous collateral exhibitions, spread throughout palaces, exhibition venues and churches, provided real high points.

Conradie has documented the Biennale, including the many collateral exhibitions in Venice over a 9 day-period, which makes this singular lecture a must for all art lovers, art students and artists looking to benefit from his in-depth perspective.

Early booking through Computicket is essential to avoid disappointment.

Cost: R200 per person (notes and visual documentation are included).


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