Venice Biennale Free Collateral Events
Venice Biennale Free Collateral Events
How to visit the palaces of Venice
Have you ever found yourself wandering around the streets of Venice, looking up at the magnificent centuries old building, wondering what they really look like on the inside?
You can get a taste of it, generally, if you are spending your holiday in Venice in one of the many luxury beautiful hotels spread all over the city or if you are lucky enough to be able to attend to some exclusive event or party organized in the setting of one of the gorgeous palaces on the Gran Canal.
But if you are spending your Venetian holiday in a pretty normal hotel or “that event invitation” did not make in time to your mailbox 😉 , there is another way for you to admire the interiors of some of the most beautiful palaces in Venice, while at the same time enjoying a bit of art time too!
Simple, go and visit one of the many free collateral events of the Venice Art Biennale!
What is a collateral event?
This year, like every year since 1998, along the exhibitions in the institutional venues of the Venice Biennale of Art (the Biennale Gardens and the Arsenal), the city offers a rich program of collateral events (most of them free) following the same calendar as the prestigious Venetian event.
During the period of the Art Biennale, but also during the Architecture Biennale, many private buildings, but also some lovely little hidden churches and cloisters, are used as exhibition spaces, hosting various artists, from all over the world.
Entry is generally free and gives you the great opportunity to see some REAL hidden corners of Venice!
Most of these places are usually closed to the general public, away from the Biennale period, and many venues change every year!
So even if you come to Venice often, there is always some new location to be discovered.
Below is a small selection of the art exhibitions I managed to visit just during the last month, more will be added as I get to explore during the months to come, until 24th November 2019, the closing day of the Venice Biennale!
Collateral Event #1
Antigua & Barbuda – Find Yourself: Carnival and Resistance
Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli, Dorsoduro 919
The Antigua & Barbuda – Find Yourself: Carnival and Resistance exhibition is located in a fifteenth century monastery along the famous Zattere walk. The entrance is right opposite the water bus stop. So extremely easy to find!
In addition to documenting the daily life and traditions of the Antiguans and Barbudas, the photographic exhibition highlights the deep connections between the carnival rituals of distant countries as a result of the international migration of the symbols of freedom of expression.
The tradition of the local Carnival is explored as an act of resistance and provocation to the slavery system.
And therefore as an expression of an act of resistance, comparing it with other similar traditions.
Find Yourself: Carnival and Resistance explores Carnival in Antigua and Barbuda and its defiance, from religious traditions to opposing slavery to the present-day celebrations. Against the backdrop of photographs of beautiful people going about their everyday life, political will and the sovereignty of a soul is contrasted by towering mannequins clad in modern-day Carnival dress as a contemporary personification of strength. A carnivalesque world is flexible and accommodates shifting identities, which leads to introspection. Woven into the exhibition’s contemporary reworking of intangible cultural heritage and its stance against human exploitation is a message to challenge modern-day slavery and environmental inequality.
Across the globe, Carnival often stands as a microcosm of societal vulnerabilities. Visitors are invited to contemplate their respective societies and to find meaning in their own national forms of cultural expression.
The Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli was founded in 1423 as a convent of the Gesuati, lay friars dedicated to the care of the sick, so called because of their frequent invocation of the name of Jesus.
In 1669 the convent and church were purchased by the Dominican Fathers, who built the new church of “Santa Maria del Rosario” and began the expansion of the convent under the direction of the architect Giorgio Massari.
In 1810 Napoleon, with a decree, issued the suppression of the religious order and confiscated the assets. From 1815 to 1850 the structure was managed by the Municipality of Venice and turned into an orphanage, which from 1851 to 1866 was entrusted to the Somaschi Fathers of San Girolamo, but their Congregation withdrew in 1866. The orphanage was purchased in 1867 by the Congregation of Charity, a lay institution with an educational purpose, which decided to sell the building in 1923.
On 4th August 1923 Don Orione bought the entire building continuing the work for orphans and minors with difficult family situations.
An amazing oasis in Venice: the cloister is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been!
Icing on the cake?
Among the various artwork from Antigua and Barbuda, the curators Barbara Paca, Luigi de Marzi, Nina Khrushcheva and Marco Pianegonda have chosen a local artist, the world famous Impiraressa Marisa Convento of Venetian Dreams, to represent the link between the Venice Carnival and the Antigua & Barduda’s one, by asking her to exhibit some of her wonderful artwork made with typical Venetian Glass beads, above al her famous Glass Bead Corals!
Collateral Event #2
European Cultural Centre – Personal Structures / Identities
Palazzo Mora, Strada Nova
The European Cultural Centre – Personal Structures / Identities’ exhibition at Palazzo Mora in Strada Nova, presents a wide selection of works by artists, photographers, sculptors and projects from all over the world in Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo and in the Giardini della Marinaressa.
Works created with a great variety of techniques are presented, both by internationally renowned professionals and emerging artists with the aim of giving life through their works to a personal and subjective reflection on the themes of Time, Space and Existence.
Through the restoration of Palazzo Mora, in 2015, the Argentine architect Florencia Costa transmitted a new way of thinking architecture as a performance, as a moment of synthesis in which the data and information gathered in the design phase translate into reality: the intervention composes Venetian architectural fragments with the spirit of the monastic spaces.
A place inspired by the art of the past to inspire the art of the future.
Icing on the cake?
You get to visit all the floors of the palazzo Mora, a real labyrinth of rooms, and you get to enjoy an amazing view of the roofs of the city!
Collateral Event #3
Venissa Wine Resort – Stefano Bombardieri
Island of Mazzorbo
During the 58th VeniceBiennale of Contemporary Art, Venissa Wine Resort hosts the works of Stefano Bombardieri, the famous Italian artist, in its wonderful large park, on the quiet and green island of Mazzorbo, next to Burano.
The showcase features new sculptures, which perfectly embody the artist’s main topics of interest, such as reflection on time and its perception, human nature and the defence of animals.
Bombardieri, born in Brescia, is the son a Remo Bombardieri, a sculptor himself.
Alongside the creation of figurative sculptures, mainly of large dimensions, Stefano Bombardieri creates artworks related to arte povera, conceptual art and video installation.
Since the 1990s he has exhibited in public spaces and galleries, preferring the dialogue between work and urban space.
Venissa Wine Resort is a gourmet paradise, in the former mansion of a typical Venetian estate, surrounded by a walled vineyard of Dorona’s grapes, overlooking the ancient Church of St. Michael the Archangel, in the island of Mazzorbo in the Venice Lagoon, of which today remains only the fourteenth-century bell tower, surrounded by picturesque vineyards and botanical gardens.
You can read the article about Venissa here.
Icing on the cake?
After visiting the island Burano and the island of Mazzorbo, you can have a rest and enjoy a delicious meat at their one star Michelin restaurant or take part in the wine tasting of the world famous Venissa wine, an indigenous grape which was lost and that Venissa Wine Resort has brought back to life!
These are only a small fraction of the collateral events spread all over Venice, you can see the list of all venues here.
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