Venice: Arsenale – 55th International ArtBiennale – The Encyclopedic Palace.
The title chosen by curator Massimiliano Gioni for the 55th International Art Biennale, until November 24, is The Encyclopedic Palace.
Massimiliano Gioni introduced the choice of theme evoking the Italo-Americanself-taught artist Marino Auriti who in 1955 filed a design with the US Patentoffice depicting The Encyclopedic Palace, an imaginary museum that was meant tohouse all worldly knowledge, bringing together the greatest discoveries of thehuman race, from the wheel to the satellite.
Auriti’s plan was never carriedout, of course, but the dream of universal, all-embracing knowledge crops upthroughout history, as one that eccentrics like, Auriti share with many otherartists, writers, scientists, and prophets who have tried, often in vain, tofashion an image of the world that will capture its infinite variety andrichness. With worksspanning over the past century alongside several new commissions, and with overone hundred and fifty artists from more than thirty-eight countries, theexhibition is structured like a temporary museum that initiates an inquiry intothe many ways in which images have been used to organize knowledge and shapeour experience.
Blurring the line betweenprofessional artists and amateurs, outsiders and insiders, the exhibition takesan anthropological approach to the study of images, focusing in particular onthe realms of the imaginary and the functions of the imagination. What room isleft for internal images – for dreams, hallucinations and visions – in an erabesieged by external ones? And what is the point of creating an image of theworld when the world itself has become increasingly like an image?