The roll-call of artists and curators announced for the Venice Biennale 2019 (11 May-24 November) is growing with Australia, Canada, Switzerland and New Zealand making their selections.
The Sydney-born video artist Angelica Mesiti has been confirmed as Australia’s artist for the 58th biennale, after being selected by an independent panel from more than 70 submissions. Her works include Mother Tongue (2017), a two-channel video installation commissioned for the 2017 European Capital of Culture in Aarhus, and the 2012 video Citizens Band. The announcement comes after a controversial new artist-selection model was announced on 28 October last year by the Australia Council for the Arts, the government arts advisory and funding body that manages Australia’s representation in Venice. The curator of the 2019 Australian pavilion is Juliana Engberg, who organised the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014.
Meanwhile, the Geneva-based, Franco-Swiss art historian Charlotte Laubard will organise the exhibition in the Swiss Pavilion. “As [the] professor and head of the Visual Arts Department at HEAD—Geneva School of Art and Design, Laubard’s research focuses on the uses and value of art, on the impact of digital technology on a society undergoing profound cultural transformation, and on self-learning practices,” a statement says.
New Zealand’s artist choice is Dane Mitchell who was selected last year by the Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa. “[Mitchell’s] sculptural project will be simultaneously present whilst hiding in plain sight. Broadcasts that give voice to invisible realms and phenomena will be transmitted throughout the city of Venice, conveyed by modern and contemporary technologies,” a project statement says. The artist collective Isuma will represent Canada. Isuma is a video production company founded by Inuit artists, the indigenous people of the Canadian Arctic.
The artistic director of the next Venice Biennale is the Hayward Gallery director Ralph Rugoff, the international exhibition’s board of directors announced in December. The 57th edition, which closed on 26 November, included 86 official national pavilions and drew more than 615,000 visitors.