Arts & Entertainment

LatAm’s natural wealth, social scourges on display at Venice’s Art Biennale

By Laura Serrano-Conde

Venice, Italy, Apr 21 (EFE).- Ten Latin American countries participating in this year’s edition of Venice’s Art Biennale are showcasing their natural and multicultural wealth while also highlighting the region’s social inequalities, gender violence and political challenges.

The Biennale, whose formal name is the International Art Exhibition of Venice, will be open to the public from April 23 to Nov. 27, but prior to the start of the event the media was given access to the work of the 213 participating artists – 90 percent of them women – that will be displayed at both national pavilions and collateral events.

Chile’s pavilion has been transformed into a large, stunningly beautiful Patagonian peat bog thanks to a work titled “Turba Tol Hol-Hol Tol.”

A multisensory installation and scientific experiment curated by artist Camila Marambio and featuring artistic contributions from exhibitors Ariel Bustamante, Dominga Sotomayor, Carla Macchiavello, Alfredo Thiermann, it aims to promote the conservation of complex ecosystems that play a vital role in combating climate change by capturing and storing carbon.

Guatemala is represented by a painting titled “Inclusion” by Christian Escobar, known as “Chrispapita,” a work that offers a vision of Guatemala’s multicultural diversity and the role that individuals play in societies.

An imposing painting that measures seven meters (23 feet) wide and 2.8 meters tall, it depicts 14 people who represent the emotions of Guatemala’s past, present and future and shows a vision of people working together despite their differences for the progress of that Central American nation.

Among the most interesting exhibitions on display is Mexico’s “Hasta que los cantos broten” (Until The Songs Spring).

Featuring works by Mariana Castillo Deball, Naomi Rincon Gallardo, Fernando Palma Rodriguez and Santiago Borja Charles, it explores themes such as the violence of capitalism, the culture clashes stemming from the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century and human beings’ ability to change and transform themselves despite the weight of the past.

In the Peruvian pavilion, an exhibit by Herbert Rodriguez tackles themes such as racism, violence, rights and human dignity in “Peace Is a Corrosive Promise.”

Newspaper front pages with headlines like “Let’s Combat the Plague of Femicides” exist side-by-side with magazine clippings of naked women.

But the exhibit also features harsh criticism of the Catholic Church, with news about the child sex-abuse scandal involving the Catholic group Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (Sodalitium of Christian Life) presented alongside photographs of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Argentine artist Monica Heller looks at the origin of substance with a 3D animation video installation titled “The Importance of the Origin Will Be Imported by the Origin of the Substance,” a project prepared by Alejo Ponce and consisting of different projection devices that send mixed messages to the public and illuminate a pitch-dark space.

Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade places his focus on social inequalities, utopias and the defense of community in Latin America with “Com o coração saindo pela boca” (With Your Heart in Your Throat).

Plays on words and images of body parts serve to denounce the social scourges of violence and poverty in an installation that has an ear for a door and invites people to pay close attention to the world’s problems. EFE


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