With statistics provided by The ArtsNewpaper, the Venice Biennale, like other major international art events are predominately white and Euro-American. Is it fair to point out the obvious? Are there political implications, or just financial ones? Are we tired of asking these questions?
“THE world’s biggest art festival, the Venice Biennale, has never been just about art. In 1930 Italy’s Fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, saw the Biennale’s potential as a propaganda showcase and ran it from his office. He regarded the event as such a success that four years later he took Hitler on a personal tour. Since the second world war state involvement has been more arm’s length. The British pavilion, for example, is run by the British Council and the State Department delegates responsibility for the American pavilion to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which is based in Venice.This year many of the artists selected to fill their national pavilions are again taking the pulse of their own nations. Ten countries are new participants, including Bosnia and Herzegovina (after a ten-year break), the Bahamas, Angola (which carried off the prize for best pavilion), Tuvalu and the Holy See. The Vatican has used its first appearance to ‘rebuild relations between art and faith’, in the words of Cardinal Ravasi, the telegenic prelate who is overseeing the project.Its three galleries have been turned over to the creation of the world, though anyone expecting images of the…”