“The works of Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Roberto Cuoghi, and Adelita Husni-Bey stand out as complementary yet different in their approach to making art in Italy today,” says Cecilia Alemani, Curator of the Italian Pavilion. “These three artists were born in Italy between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s, and came onto the domestic and international scene at the brink of the new century, each at their own level of fame: from Husni-Bey’s promising young talent, to Cuoghi’s more mature oeuvre. While their art and their languages are global, their work is still closely tied to Italian culture. I’ve chosen to invite fewer artists than in the past in order to align the Italian Pavilion with the other national pavilions at the Biennale. That’s why my project is not meant to provide a full overview of Italian art: instead, it will provide an in-depth look at the work of three unique voices that have come to the fore in recent years, giving them the space, time, and resources to develop an ambitious large-scale project that will mark a milestone in their career, and give visitors the opportunity to explore their minds and universes. I hope this pavilion will convey an image of the contemporary, cosmopolitan Italy, no longer seen through the nostalgic lens of previous generations, but looking to the future with enthusiasm and the critical capacity to respond to the new experiments of other nations.”
“Cecilia Alemani is a person with enormous international expertise, and her project for the Italian Pavilion is ambitious and highly innovative,” says Dario Franceschini, Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism.
“The decision to announce the artists earlier than in previous Biennales underscores the new path taken by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, even in its management of the entire process,” explains Federica Galloni, the ministry’s head of the General Directorate for Art, Contemporary Architecture and Urban Peripheries, and Italian Pavilion Commissioner. “This year, we felt it was very important that the Directorate-General appoint the pavilion curator more than a year before the opening of the Biennale, in order to give both curator and artists ample time to work. Fostering, highlighting, and supporting Italian creativity on the international scene are among the Directorate-General’s main objectives, and the Venice Biennale has always been a pivotal opportunity for global dialogue in the cultural sphere. We are therefore particularly proud of the path we’ve embarked on for 2017, since we’re conscious that organizing the Italian Pavilion with a time frame that shows proper respect for everyone’s role and work can only make a positive contribution to defining our national identity within contemporary culture.”