The Pavilions in the Venice Art Biennale: National Representations in the XXI Century

  • Abstract:

    The Venice Biennale, founded in 1895, is still a reference on the international art scene. As is widely recognized, its main feature is its organization in national pavilions. If at the beginning this particularity made it famous and an example for other biennials, later it ended up becoming one of its most controversial aspects. From the 1960´s to present day, many critics and curators have argued that this model not only does not allow a proper exhibition discourse but it also creates an obsolete system of representation in the artistic context, which from decades has been supranational. Taking into account these criticisms, the ultimate goal of this paper is to demonstrate how in recent years the Venetian pavilions, despite the limitations of their format, through specific curatorial and artistic choices have nevertheless tried to offer a more up-to-date representation of the concept of ‘nation’.