National Pavilions at the 59th Venice Biennale | Part 2: Europe and Beyond

Class of Transmedia Art with their professor Jakob Lena Knebl near the Austrian pavilion, Beinnale 2022. Courtesy: Maria Belova.

We hope you have enjoyed the Eastern-European focused selection of the Venice Biennale by viennacontemporary Head of External Relations, Fruzsina Kacskó. However, we think that this year’s show is grand enough to merit a second post, featuring the personal selection of Maria Belova, Social Media Responsible at vc, who recently visited the art show of the year with her class of the University of Applied Arts. Find her favorites below.

The Nature of The Game

Curator: Hilde Teerlinck
Exhibitor: Francis Alÿs

Courtesy: viennacontemporary / Maria Belova

WHAT STOOD OUT: If kids playing makes you sentimental, then this pavilion will definitely touch you deeply. The installation invites the visitor to walk through a labyrinth of screens as if they were in the middle of a global playground. Filming without interfering in children’s games, Francis Alÿs reveals the hidden rules of playing, the ingenious interaction of the children with their environment, their deep complicity and their hopeful mood and joy. 


Curator: Alexie Glass-Kantor
Exhibitor: Marco Fusinato

Courtesy: viennacontemporary / Maria Belova

WHY WE LOVED IT: Because it’s loud. Because it’s overwhelming. Because it’s disturbing. The installation is an experimental noise project that synchronizes sound with image. The work takes the form of a durational solo performance: the artist Marco Fusinato will be playing for a total of two hundred days!

Diplomazija Astuta

Curators: Keith Sciberras, Jeffrey Uslip
Exhibitor: Arcangelo Sassolino, Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci, Brian Schembri

Courtesy: viennacontemporary / Maria Belova

THIS WAS GRAND: Potentially one of the most technically demanding works at Biennale. Diplomazija Astuta reimagines Caravaggio’s altarpiece The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist as a kinetic, sculptural installation. Through induction technology, molten steel droplets fall from the sky into seven rectangular basins of water, each representing a subject in The Beheading. The work has it all that can captivate a viewer: fire burning, water running, and a dark ambient atmosphere.


Curators: Anne Davidian, Elena Sorokina
Exhibitor: Andrius Arutiunian

Courtesy: viennacontemporary / Maria Belova

IN ONE WORD: Sound! The Gharīb contains three sound installations each presenting itself as a form of dissonance with Western-influenced understandings of time, rhythm, and attunement, both musical and political. A case when a hearing experience is worth a thousand words of description!

History of Night and Destiny of Comets

Curators: Eugenio Viola
Exhibitor: Gian Maria Tosatti

Courtesy: viennacontemporary / Maria Belova

GRAND FINALE: History of Night and Destiny of Comets is a large site-specific installation that takes us across the rise and fall of Italian industrialization, from the 1960s to the present. The final part of the work is both poetic and uncanny; it features a water mirror placed amidst a large space, darkened and only dimly lighted by fireflies. It represents the chance to learn from past mistakes to better face the challenge of the future.

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