Observer’s Venice Biennale 2022 Picks

This year’s Venice Biennale is jam-packed with artists from all over the world, particularly women. We picked a few must visits.

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If you’re lucky enough to be basking in the Italian sunshine while you anxiously await the beginning of the Venice Biennale, this list is for you. This year’s biennale is no easy feat to summarize, the art world is completely back in gear and artists from all over the globe are showing work at the biennale or its satellite exhibitions.

‘Mary of Ill Fame’ (2020-2021) by Tourmaline

  • Arsenale

New York City art star Tourmaline is known for her gorgeous films full of deep color and emotion that portray queer figures in history at new angles. Her 25-minute short follows a fictional story concerning Mary Jones, a real-life Black trans sex worker living in Seneca Village in the 1830s.

Biennale page

Mary of Ill Fame (2020–2021) by Tourmaline

“Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore: I Owe You” exhibition

  • Galleria Alberta Pane

Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore as individuals had remarkable careers; as a couple they historically serve as the queer dynamic duo the art world always needed. This exhibit running at Galleria Alberta Pane celebrates the artist couple’s prolific collaboration, through the first half of the 20th Century.

gallery page

Claude Cahun, Untitled, Self-portrait, circa 1928, photograph, gelatin silver print, 30 x 23,8 cm.

‘Sirens’ (2019-2020) by Nan Goldin

  • Central Pavilion

Iconic artist and legendary archiver of her own life Nan Goldin has mixed things up with her film Sirens. Entirely made of found footage, clips from her favorite movie, the film is scored by Mica Levi. The collaboration aims to induce an almost hypnotic and high state for the audience.

biennale page

Sirens by Nan Goldin

The Flower of William Stringer (1866) by Georgiana Houghton

  • Central Pavilion

Spiritualist artist Georgiana Houghton created many “spirit drawings” where she would attempt to communicate what she felt the Divine relayed to her, including The Flower of William Stringer. Viewing her arts practice as inherent to her relationship with the other world, her work has an almost heavenly element to it.

Biennale page

The Flower of William Stringer 1866 by Georgiana Houghton

Mónica de Miranda’s “no longer with the memory but with its future” exhibition

  • Oratorio di San Ludovico

Artist Mónica de Miranda’s first solo exhibition is opening with the biennale at Oratorio di San Ludovico. An interdisciplinary Portuguese artist with roots in Angola, her work investigates identity and place, with her video Path to the Stars shot at Angola’s River Kwanza. Confronting narratives around how climate and colonialism shape the world around us, the exhibition features text, video, and photography.

artist’s website

Still from ‘Path to the Stars’ by Mónica de Miranda

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