The Venice Biennale has come to the floating city once more, curated for its 58th edition by Ralph Rugoff of London’s Hayward Gallery. His exhibition, titled May You Live in Interesting Times, brings together a wide-ranging array of artists working today, offering a reflective take on our modern reality. With seventy-nine artists exhibiting, it’s a true behemoth of a show. Sprawled between two gargantuan venues in the historic Arsenale and Giardini, Rugoff himself has described it as having a “split personality”. This is the first time that every artist featured in the exhibition is showing at both venues, rather than the roster being divided between the two.
The experience of navigating the spaces can be chaotic, and it is rare to see quite this much art in just a few short hours. It’s a lot to take in, and part of the fun is people-watching while you’re at it. The crowds weave their way through video installations, large-scale sculptures and walls of photographs, exploring the works at the greatest art show in the world. There are surprises and old favourites to be found along the way, as well as the pleasure of new discoveries. Out on the ground and amidst the fray, these are our highlights from the exhibition so far.
Photographs © Louise Benson