The Jury of the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, comprised of Naomi Beckwith (USA), Sabine Breitwieser (Austria), Mario Codognato (Italy), Ranjit Hoskote (India), and Yongwoo Lee (South Korea), assigned yesterday the awards for this year’s edition, enphasizing the particular sensitivity to current geopolitical urgencies and the performative and discursive as an integral element in today’s art practice
The Golden Lion for the national pavilion goes to Republic of Armenia for forming a pavilion based on a people in diaspora, each artist engaging their specific locality as well as their heritage. The pavilion took the form of a palimpsest, with contemporary positions inserted into a site of historic preservation.
Golden Lion for best artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures to Adrian Piper. A pioneering artist, Piper has reformed conceptual practice to include personal subjectivity—of herself, her audience and the publics in general.
Silver Lion for a promising young artist in the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures to Im Heung-Soon for a moving video work that probes the nature of precarity in relation to the conditions of labor for women across Asia.
A special mention for artists of the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures goes to Harun Farocki, a seminal figure in post-war cinema. This presentation makes his entire body of highly influential work accessible to a larger public.
Another special mention goes to the incredibly brave Abounaddara collective for documenting the current political strife and human struggle for survival in Syria, without taking sides.
A Special mentions goes to Massinissa Selmani for working in a modest medium which has the capacity to act beyond its scale.
The Board of la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, also awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to El Anatsui (Ghana), and a Special Golden Lion for Services to the Arts to Susanne Ghez (USA), both under director Okwui Enwezor’s proposal.
- From left: Im Hueng-Soon, El Anatsui, Guez, Piper, Cuberyan, Jonas. Photo: Andrea Avezzù. Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia