Born during the beginning of the pandemic, designed through hundreds of calls on Zoom and daughter of the changes we are experiencing, the 59. International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia finally opened its doors last April 23.
For the sixth time in a row, Swatch returned to the lagoon city not only to support the most important artistic event of the year, but also to be present, not with one, but with two works within the two locations of La Biennale.
“The Milk of Dreams“, the dream of Cecilia Alemani
The curator Cecilia Alemani has chosen as the title of the exhibition “The Milk of Dreams“, directly taken from the book of the same name by Leonora Carrington (1917-2011), British writer and surrealist artist. In the book, Carrington describes a world in which life is constantly reinvented, a place where it is possible to change and transform oneself. These are topics that coincide with our contemporary world in which the theme of identity is at the center of social debate.
Precisely for this reason Cecilia Alemani offers us a path in which the works of international artists tell the metamorphosis of the body and analyze the definition of human by taking the discourse to the extreme, not only to the lack of gender definition, but also to the creation of a robotic and cybernetic life.
Leading the way on this journey is Simone Leigh’s monumental work, winner of the Golden Lion “for the monumental sculpture rigorously researched, virtuosically crafted and powerfully persuasive that opens the path to the Arsenale.”
Swatch X La Biennale
Swatch, which has been working closely with international museums and artists for over thirty years, is present in two different ways, but which underline the importance that art has for the Swiss watchmaker. For the occasion, two new watch models have also been launched, dedicated to this year’s theme and available in White Dream and Black Milk.
Swatch Faces 2022
Inside the Arsenal is the crowning achievement of the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, the artistic residency project launched in 2011 and aimed at all creative souls. Swatch Faces 2022 brings to the Biennale the works of 5 artists who have lived in the residence over the last three years. A dedicated pavilion hosts the paper sculptures by the Korean Hoyoon Shin, the imaginary characters by the Chinese Xue Fei, the three giant paintings by Tang Shu that deal with the concept of isolation, the abstract collages by Landi and the paper statues by Marcelot, present during the opening days.
Marcelot, a Swiss artist based in Paris, has created a work that is a true homage to the city of Venice: an enormous winged lion, symbol of the city, reigns at the center of the pavilion. The artist’s technique involves the use of carefully selected sheets of local newspapers, alternating with Venetian fabrics. The final result is monumental, but the paper also gives a feeling of lightness.
THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD di Navin Rawanchaikul
Moving from the Arsenale to the Giardini, one is greeted by THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD by Thai artist Navin Rawanchaikul, a work that perfectly represents the meeting of different people, countries and cultures.
The artist was lucky enough to live for some time in the lagoon city just after the lockdown, when the city was still semi-empty and had the opportunity to meet the people who live there and animate it every day, discovering stories that began in distant countries and all converged between the streets and bridges of Venice.
Present during the days of the inauguration, Navin together with Carlo Giordanetti, creative director of Swatch, has placed the last piece of his installation that offers a journey through the faces that the artist has crossed and the places he has lived. Inspired by Marco Polo’s voyage and succeeding in uniting East and West, the work of 15 meters by 4 meters is truly a description of the world, a world that like Venice and La Biennale hides its richness in the encounter and exchange between peoples and people.