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Opening Art Biennale 2022

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«The Concert»: Latifa Echakhch’s Journey Through Space and Time

Swiss Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

With “The Concert” by the artist Latifa Echakhch, Federal Councillor Alain Berset opened the Swiss Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Latifa Echakhch’s installation invites audiences to take a multi-facetted, anti-clockwise time trip. Folkloric sculptures enter into a dialogue with space and time.

After the Covid-related postponement of the event, hundreds of thousands of art aficionados will again make their way to the Biennale di Venezia, one of the world’s most important international exhibitions of contemporary art, that is about to open its gates for the 59th time. Around 80 national pavilions in the Giardini, at the Arsenale and at other locations around the lagoon city aim to attract visitors with extraordinary art projects.

Installation view of The Concert by Latifa Echakhch, Swiss Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, 2022. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Samuele Cherubini

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has this year entrusted the Swiss Pavilion to the renowned artist Latifa Echakhch, who together with Francesco Stocchi, Alexandre Babel and Anne Weckström is set to produce her room-filling installation «The Concert» in the building originally created by Bruno Giacometti. The project will enable visitors to immerse themselves into a world full of orchestrated contradictions – a dance of light and shade, creation and annihilation, beginning and end.

In Latifa Echakhch’s artwork, a fundamental, deeply human theme can be experienced: the emergence, culmination and transience of all things. «The Concert» can also be brought in connection with the overarching topic of this year’s main exhibition. Under the heading «Il latte dei sogni/The milk of dreams», it puts the focus on bodies and their metamorphoses, the interaction between individuals and technology, and human responsibility for the earth as a whole.

«In this project, Latifa Echakhch works with a musician and a light designer to create a multidisciplinary exhibition,»

says Philippe Bischof, Director of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.

«I am particularly pleased that the artist, with her project for the Swiss Pavilion, has grasped the opportunity to enter into an innovative form of collaboration. This shows that the Biennale is also a place for artistic experimentation and risk-taking.»

The central exhibition at the 59th International Art Exhibition– La Biennale di Venezia, «Il latte dei sogni/The milk of dreams», is located in the main pavilion in the Giardini and at the Arsenale. On invitation by curator Cecilia Alemani, it will also contain works by three major Swiss artists: Hélène Smith (1861–1929) and Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889–1943) as well as Miriam Cahn (*1949), who has been supported multiple times by Pro Helvetia. This year’s Venice Biennale opens on 23 April and runs until 27 November.

Press release by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, 21 April 2022

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