formafantasma on the exhibition design of the 2022 venice art biennale

THE EXHIBITION DESIGN OF ‘THE MILK OF DREAMS’

 

Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the 59th Venice Art Biennale opened its doors to the public on Saturday, April 23, 2022, under the title ‘The Milk of Dreams’. The design of this year’s main exhibition has been conceived by research-based design studio Formafantasma as a ‘custom-made intervention’ that offers a new, more cohesive way to navigate the art marathon that unfolds in both the central Pavilion in the Giardini and in the Arsenale’s 317-meter-long Corderie building. Along with developing the general layout of the exhibition, the studio has developed the design of five smaller historical sections, each of which housing a miniature constellation of artworks, found objects, and documents, clustered together to explore certain key themes. Conceived like time capsules, these architectural spaces are defined by unique color schemes, materials and spatial configurations that immerse visitors in completely different environments.

 

During the pre-opening of the 2022 Venice Art Biennale, we had the chance to meet Formafantasma founders, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, to discuss more about this year’s main exhibition design.‘Something that is brilliant about this year’s Biennale is this idea of the five historical capsules, which are essentially five spaces, three here [Giardini] and two at the Arsenale, that help the visitor in understanding, from a historical perspective, what is happening all around the space,’ the two Italian designers tell designboom. Watch the full interview on the video above.


Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin and Terra | image © designboom

 

 

Time Capsules by Formafantasma at the 2022 VENICE ART BIENNALE

 

‘The main idea at the end of the day is quite simple. The extensiveness of a show like this is more similar to a fair than an art exhibition, but of course the first thing you want to avoid is the feeling of a fair. So we really tried to create a more custom-made intervention, especially in the historical capsules,’ Formafantasma tells designboom during our interview. This custom-made approach succeeds in offering visitors clarity and better guidance as they make their way through the thousands of artworks on view. ‘It’s the first time in a biennial that you have this kind of interventions. Generally you have one uniform gesture. Here, we had the chance to think about the overall layout, and then these five micro exhibitions. Essentially it’s almost as if we designed six exhibitions: a general one, and then the five smaller ones,’ Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin explain.

 

The five historical capsules inside ‘The Milk of Dreams’ are designed as micro-shows within the big show. They provide additional tools of investigation and introspection in regards to this year’s theme, and link artworks of the past – including major museum loans and unconventional selections – to the pieces by contemporary artists in the surrounding space. Three of the capsules are located in the Giardini’s Central Pavilion, including ‘The Witch’s Cradle’, which is dedicated to surrealist art; ‘Corps Orbite’, which gathers art related to writing; and ‘Technologies of Enchantment’, which features artists that bring somatic complexity to ‘programmed’ artistic creation. Meanwhile, in the Arsenale, visitors will find ‘A Leaf A Gourd A Shell A Net A Bag A Sling A Sack A Bottle A Pot A Box A Container’, a capsule dedicated to the vessel; and ‘Seduction Of The Cyborg’, which takes up feminist theorist Donna Haraway’s framework to consider the included artists as cyborgs. Using 710 metres of Kvadrat textiles from different collections, along with a curated selection of materials and colors, Formafantasma has transformed each of these sections into museum-like spaces.

 

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the 2022 venice art biennale
the theme of the 59th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia | image © designboom

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the 2022 venice art biennale
‘The Witch’s Cradle’ capsule | image by Roberto Marossi, courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the 2022 venice art biennale
‘The Witch’s Cradle’ capsule | image by Marco Cappelletti, courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the 2022 venice art biennale
‘Corps Orbite’ capsule | image by Roberto Marossi, courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the 2022 venice art biennale
‘Corps Orbite’ capsule | image by Marco Cappelletti, courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the 2022 venice art biennale
‘Technologies of Enchantment’ capsule | image by Roberto Marossi, courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the 2022 venice art biennale
‘Technologies of Enchantment’ capsule | image © designboom

Anita Shire

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