The Venice Biennale is to be postponed until 2022. The art biennale, which was due to take place in 2021 is shifting to make room for the architecture biennale, which was scheduled to open 29 August this year.
‘The decision to postpone the Biennale Architettura to May 2021 is an acknowledgment that it is impossible to move forward – within the set time limits – in the realization of such a complex and worldwide exhibition, due to the persistence of a series of objective difficulties caused by the effects by the health emergency underway’ the organisers said in a statement to press.
The 17th International Architecture Exhibition, titled How will we live together? by curator Hashim Sarkis, will run 22 May to 21 November 2021. Consequently, the 59th International Art Exhibition, curated by Cecilia Alemani, will last 7 months from 23 April to 27 November 2022.
The art biennale, founded in 1895 and now regarded as one of the most important events in the artworld calendar, has rarely been interrupted. Following the outbreak of the Second World War, the biennale took a six year hiatus from 1942 to 1948. In 1974 the biennale was replaced by a series of events responding to the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. The 45th art exhibition, which should have been held in 1992, was postponed to the following year, so that the 1995 biennale coincided with its centenary.
‘I am deeply moved by the perseverance of all the participants during the last three months’ stated Sarkis. ‘I hope that the new opening date will allow them first to catch their breath, and then to complete their work with the time and vigor it truly deserves. We did not plan it this way. Neither the question I asked “How will we live together?” nor the wealth of ways in response to it, were meant to address the crisis they are living, but here we are. We are in some ways fortunate because we are well equipped to absorb the immediate and longer-term implications of the crisis into the 17th Biennale. The theme does also provide us with the possibility to respond to the pandemic in its immediacy.’