Venice Biennale 2011: What To Expect From This Year's Event

by Christina Makoyawo · June 1, 2011

Taking place in Venice, Italy, hence the name, is the bi-annual Venice Biennale. A major contemporary art exhibition in Venice Italy.  Its a monumental event for the gathering of around 300,000 artists, curators, critics and art-lovers. Here's what you should expect from this year's event.

The festival features the art of 83 different artists from 89 countries around the world placed in 29 permanent pavilions.  The exhibition begins this week on June 4th and continues until November 27th, 2011. In addition, the Venice The Venice Biennale is the grand culmination and gathering of most of the world's greatest pieces of art.  Film Festival and Venice Biennale of Architecture also takes place.

Fun fact: the Venice Biennale is held in odd years, while its Architecture counterpart is held in even years. Usually the festivities go off without a hitch but there seems to be plenty of glitches in the matrix happening lately.

The NYTimes recently reported that a 1-day water-bus strike was taking place. Venice, a city surrounded by water, can not survive without this method of transportation. The strike is not only holding the city captive but halting Venice Biennale. [NYTimes]

James Franco, the American Renaissance man, has finally been put on pause. We're kind of bummed by this. Who wasn't looking forward to his Rebel exhibit? The site-specific installation was slated to pay homage to his likeness & namesake, the legendary James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. It was part of a collab between Franco, Ed Ruscha, Paul McCarthy and Aaron Young. His recent project has been placed in the dangerous lands of "indefinitely-delayed". Those words can cause a shudder around the world. What are the JF hippy-renaissance followers to do now?

"James Franco has decided to postpone the opening of Rebel to a later date during the exhibition, so that his vision for the project can be fully realised," said Franco spokesman.[Independent UK]

But let's lighten the situation with what's supposed to be going on at the Venice Biennale:

American painter Richard Phillips and actress Lindsay Lohan teamed up for an often scantily-clad and intimate vision of Lilo. Its the artist's first film short, and is called what else, Lindsay Lohan. Channeling Brigitte Bardot in Jean-Luc Godard's film Contempt, and Liv Ullmann in Ingmar Bergman's Persona, he features Lohan in a series of close-ups and posed angles. He expressed his admiration for Lilo when he sat down with the NY Times Style section last week.

"What fascinates me about Lindsay are not her problems but the way she embodies an eminence on the level of a Bardot or an Ullmann."

Hugo Boss is sponsoring the U.S. Pavilion at the Biennial in Venice. This will be the 5th consecutive year that the German-apparel brand has been lead sponsor for the U.S. Pavilion. [WWD]

There is an iPhone app for the festival, as if there wouldn't be "an app for that". Its appropriately called iBiennale. So whether you're in Venice, wishing for the water-bus strike to settle, or in NYC reading this and wanting-in on the festivities, you have crisp access. The FREE app allows virtual guests to view artwork up-close and/or 360-rotation, view the official catalogue and you can also plan your own personalized tour. [iTunes]