Personal Structures biennial art exhibition in Venice addresses intricate narratives within our global community

Maisara Baroud ‘I’m Still Alive’ at Foreigners in their Homeland by Palestine Museum US. Personal Structures 2024, Palazzo Mora. Photo credits Federico Vespignani for Personal Structures

“With Personal Structures, even the most minimalist works are subjective, personal, the result of the artist’s own conditions and circumstances,” says Sara Danieli, head of art at European Cultural Centre, the independent organisation that runs the biennale contemporary art exhibition Personal Structures in Venice. “In this sense, we conceive the exhibition as a platform that values the diversity of artistic approaches and expressions, with the intention of documenting plurality.”

In its seventh edition and running alongside though independent of the official la Biennale di Venezia, the 200 artists from 51 countries exhibiting at the historic Venetian palazzos Bembo and Mora and Marinaressa Gardens individually and collectively reflect on the intricate narratives within our global community.

There is so much to see and so much to take in at Personal Structures. Many of these artists are not represented within global institutions. These are different voices with varied experiences who together form a much-needed layered set of conversations around what it is to be human. All this is thanks to Personal Structure’s unwavering commitment to maintaining an open platform by avoiding the didactic route, allowing individual artistic circles self expression and curational autonomy to speak more fluidly—a concept often missing from such large group shows.

Take a closer look here

‘Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015’ opens at the Serpentine, London

Georg Baselitz “Zero Mobil” (2013-2014) © Jochen Littkenmann for Georg Baselitz At Serpentine

Ten wooden sculptures by the German artist Georg Baselitz, each shaped from an individual tree trunk, stand and recline and hover over the daylight-lit rooms of the Serpentine South gallery. Some are enormous, carved with twisting and turning shapes and crude, rough edges. They are at once overpowering yet soft and gentle. And there is humor and humanity in their interactions.

“Georg Baselitz: Sculptures 2011-2015” is the first public showing of this body of work, created between the dates on the title and modelled on himself and his wife Elke, a life-long inspiration and artistic partner, with subjects that reflect on history, personal life, childhood memories. “What is essentially being exhibited is like a cabinet of wonders: a sphere within a sphere within a sphere from a tree trunk with a chainsaw,” says Baselitz of the exhibition.

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Sanlé Sory and Kyle Weeks connect at ‘Meeting at the Volta’ at David Hill Gallery 

Kyle Weeks, “Spo and Holali,” Accra, Ghana, 2021 © Kyle Weeks

Two generations of photographers, displayed side-by-side, powerfully capture the lively energy of West Africa. ‘Meeting at the Volta,’ at David Hill Gallery in London, features Sanlé Sory’s gentle studio-shot monochrome portraits of Burkina Faso in the 1960s-80s alongside contemporary photographer Kyle Weeks’ bold and colourful body of work, taken within the last six years on the streets of the Ghanaian capital Accra.

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Insight: Hauser & Wirth partner and global creative director on experiential gallery spaces

Camille Henrot “Inside Job” 2019 at Hauser and Wirth Minorca, summer 2022

What happens to art and the artist when their work is exhibited outside a traditional gallery space? And do unusual venues and experimental curations set culture free to be explored and experienced in new and exciting ways, and by a public way beyond the original borders? What are the limits and the possibilities?

I put this to Neil Wenman, partner and global creative director at Hauser & Wirth, the leading commercial gallery which has been exploring unusual spaces to present art since opening the Somerset gallery on an old farm in 2014.

Read the interview here

Linear concepts of identity go under the spotlight at Gagosian exhibition ‘Rites of Passage’

Elsa James ‘Ode to David Lammy MP’ (2022) at ‘Rites of Passage’, Gagosian Gallery, Photo Lucy Dawkins

In ‘Rites of Passage’ published in 1909, the anthropologist Arnold van Gennep spoke of the concept of liminality, and how we mark critical transitional events through ceremonies with a ritual function that transcend cultural boundaries.

The idea forms the premise for an interesting exhibition currently at Gagosian Britannia St. London. Borrowing the book’s title, it explores the idea of liminal space through the lens of nineteen contemporary artists, primarily based in the UK, who share the story of migration. 

The work on display come in various mediums, for a lively discourse challenging linear narratives and fixed concepts of identity.

It’s good to see such complex and varied conversations around movement, migration – really relevant themes that have to be explored further and further, and through multiple voices and lenses. 

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