The Austria, Belgium and Switzerland pavilions at the Biennale

Sculptural, pictorial and multimedia, the three European pavilions in the Giardini della Biennale assigned to Latifa Echakhch, Francis Alÿs and the duo Jakob Lena Knebl – Ashley Hans Scheirl and Loukia Alavanou stand out in the 59th edition and certainly deserve a visit

Giant heads and multi-shaped sculptures, bright colors and evocative lights: the pavilions of Austria, Greece, Belgium And Swiss stand out at the Giardini della Biennale d’Arte 2022 for their complexity and richness. Let’s look at them in detail.

– Giulia Giaume and Massimiliano Tonelli


The Swiss Pavilion ph Giulia Giaume

The artist Latifa Echakhcho (El-Khnansa, 1974) transforms the Swiss pavilion into a ritual house with The concert: Featuring a series of large sculptures, heads and hands of burnt straw, all made with material reclaimed from previous biennials, it focuses on the destructive moment of fire, the beginning of a rebirth, and reconnects with the traditional bonfires of Scandinavian and Mediterranean cultures. An outdoor space, one engulfed by the red light of Bruno Giacometti’s pavilion, and one plunged into darkness articulate a captivating story – composed by Alexandre Babel and Francesco Stocchi – and ambivalent, tense between darkness and flashes of intermittent light. Like a silent concert.


The Belgian Pavilion ph Giulia Giaume

Satisfied screams, howls, incitement and laughter anticipate the Belgian Pavilion with a cheerful cacophony: all the staff of Francis alÿs (Antwerp, 1959), former Commissioner of the Iraq Pavilion in 2017, devotes himself to gaming, hence the title The nature of the game† In the main room, large screens of various sizes show a selection of short films with children from all over the world, made over the years by the Belgian artist but living in Mexico: the mosquito hunt in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the colored snail competition in Belgium, the (previously banned) kites in Afghanistan, the pursuit to capture opponents in Mexico, they all share the universal language of the game. The image of harmless pleasure suggested by the pavilion, curated by Hilde Teerlinck, is contextualized with raw realism: children transform even what is not fun, using fragments of mirrors in the middle of uninhabited areas or a car tire that lifts from the earth. rolls. from a quarry. The culmination of this contrast is reached in a series of delicate postcard-sized paintings, in which children are forced to work or flown over by military vehicles.


Biennale Arte 2022 Pavilion of Austria ph. irene fanizza

The Austrian pavilion is dedicated to the double act Soft machine by Jakob Lena Knebl (Baden, 1970) e Ashley Hans Scheirl (Salzburg, 1956), partner in life and work. The space – curated by Karola Kraus, director of the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in Vienna – is divided into two parts by a double colonnaded gallery, each of which can be linked to one of the two artists: paintings, sculptures and photographs, textiles, writings and videos, to a fashion collection and a magazine build an area of ​​debate and confrontation, between the serious and the funny, of the new human body identity, in the world of machines. On the one hand we see the transformation of identity in the cyber age and the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion in human society – all immersed in a sci-fi landscape of undisguised opulence -, on the other a theatrical and hyper-corporeal, carnal self. -portrait and hysterically creative: the two universes place themselves ironically and tragicomically as a commentary on the world and give great expressive power to the contrasting thoughts with which we are traversed, speaking with great irony about gender and identity.


Pavilion of Greece

Futurologists have been repeating it for months: one of the tools that will allow us to enjoy cultural content in the coming years is oculus† Or at least, beyond the specific brand, the devices that give us access to virtual reality. Then you see an entire Biennale and not even the shadow of these devices. The Greek Pavilion is an exception, where the 43-year-old’s project stands out Loukia Alavanou† The pavilion is transformed into a dark environment, soft lights are focused on fifteen metal chairs like beds in a dental practice. We sit down, we are actually equipped with Oculus and a headset. The artist’s 15 minute film begins. The first film of its kind shot in Greece using advanced VR technologies. It’s the artist version of theOedipus to Colonus by Sophocles. The Greek tragedy is played by a series of amateur Roma actors and is set in the context of a nomadic camp west of Athens, not far from the city of Colonus.

Giulia Giaume

A lover of culture in all its forms, she devours books, shows, exhibitions and ballets. Graduated in Modern Literature, with a thesis on Furioso, and in Historical Sciences, address of Contemporary History, she attended the eighth edition of the Walter Tobagi journalism master. He collaborates with various magazines on cultural issues, civil rights and everything that is a manifestation of human culture, simply because he cannot live without them.

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