BIENNALE ARTE 2019
MAY YOU LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES | Catalogue of the 58th International Art Exhibition
2 volumes 21×27 cm
vol.1 564 / vol.2 248
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ART AS A GUIDE FOR HOW TO LIVE AND THINK IN “INTERESTING TIMES”
The 58th International Art Exhibition, titled May You Live In Interesting Times, took place from 11th May to 24th November 2019 in Venice. It’s named after a phrase that has been invoked in speeches by Western politicians for over a hundred years as an “ancient Chinese curse”, even though such a curse never actually existed. Curator Ralph Rugoff describes this “counterfeit curse” as an “uncertain artefact… at once suspect and rich in meaning”, noting that it suggests “potential lines of exploration that are worth pursuing at present, especially when the ‘interesting times’ it evokes seem to be with us once again.”
Volume I of the catalogue is dedicated to the International Exhibition, curated by Ralph Rugoff, and begins with an essay setting out the themes of the show. The 79 artists participating in the exhibition are each introduced in illustrated texts written by a distinguished team of international writers. Two expansive sequences of full-page colour plates of works that will be displayed in the exhibition venues allow the reader to experience the show’s vibrant mix of paintings, drawings, sculpture and immersive installations.
Volume II of the catalogue presents the 89 National Participations and the 21 Collateral Events of the 58th International Art Exhibition; lavishly illustrated, it includes texts that explore the various projects on display.
The graphic design of the Biennale Arte 2019 coordinated image and the layout of the volumes are by Melanie Mues, Mues Design.