Online Mini-Course on the Venice Biennale with Jennie Hirsh, Ph.D.
Join us for a special 4-part online course on the Venice Biennale taught by MICA Professor Jennie Hirsh, PhD. Director of MICA’s Summer Travel Intensive in Venice, Italy, Dr. Hirsh is an expert on modern and contemporary Venetian art and culture, especially the history of the Venice Biennale from its establishment in 1895 to the present. Her publications include Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate, 2011) and Ventriloquism, Performance, and Contemporary Art (forthcoming, Routledge, 2022), both co-edited with Isabelle Wallace, as well as essays on artists and filmmakers including Giorgio de Chirico, Jean-Luc Godard, Roberto Rossellini, Soledad Salamé, Yinka Shonibare, and Regina Silveira. Her monographic study of the painting and writing of Giorgio de Chirico is in final preparation.
Advanced registration required. This program is FREE for SITE Santa Fe Members!
Week One: History of the Venice Biennale
May 26, 2022, 12 -1:30 pm
This week focuses on the history of the Venice Biennale and how this fair established a typology for exhibiting contemporary art with an international perspective. We will review the original goals of the exhibition when it was established in 1895 and explore how different figures and, eventually, specific curators, transformed the resulting exhibitions up until the present day. We will review key moments in the institution’s history, highlight specific examples of thematically driven main shows of the past two decades, and consider how has this exhibition influenced other biennial-type shows.
Week Two: The Milk of Dreams
June 2, 2022, 12- 1:30 pm
This week explores this year’s Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams. Organized by New York-based Italian curator Cecilia Alemani, the two-part exhibition takes its title from a book by surrealist artist Leonora Carrington. Broadly focused on themes ranging from the body and transformation to the unconscious and desire, the exhibition explores surrealism, past and present, through a combination of contemporary surrealist works by mostly women and non-binary artists. At the same time, Alemani has embedded five historical capsule shows within the biennale, offering historical roots to the overall experience. Spotlights include works by this year’s winners of this year’s Golden Lion awards for life-time achievement (Katherina Fritsch and Cecilia Vicuña) and the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Participant.
Week Three: National Pavilions
June 16, 2022 , 12- 1:30 pm
Week three examines the individual contributions by those countries housed in individual pavilions in the so-called Giardini, or gardens. Here we will virtually visit all twenty-nine of the shows there, looking most closely at individual shows such as those presented by Belgium (Francis Alÿs), Germany (Maria Eichhorn), Greece (Loukia Alavanou), Poland (Malgorzata Mirga-Tas), Great Britain (Sonia Boyce, winner of this year’s Golden Lion for Best National Participation), the United States (Simone Leigh), and more. We will also think about ways in which these projects both embrace and resist the overarching themes at work in The Milk of Dreams.
Week Four: Beyond the Giardini
June 23, 2022, 12- 1:30 pm
This last week will focus on a selection of national “pavilions” that are off-site, some scattered throughout the city in temporarily occupied palazzi and other spaces and others located in the Arsenale complex adjacent to The Milk of Dreams. We will also survey other exhibition highlights that are so-called “collateral events” of the biennale, as well as what is on view at other exhibition venues throughout the city. Amongst our topics will be Surrealism and Magic at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the Pavilion of Ukraine at the Scuola Grande della Misericordia, the two-part show of works by Anish Kapoor at the Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin, and the installation of Anselm Kiefer at the Doge’s Palace.
Jennie Hirsh, PhD
Hirsh has also taught summer mini-courses for SITE Santa Fe in Art and Activism (2020), Art World Scandals (2019), and Biennials (2018).