How to Visit the 2013 Venice Biennale

If you’re visiting Venice in 2013, you can’t miss the celebration of contemporary art that is the 55th International Art Exhibition (Biennale), the world’s largest art event.

Who: This year’s Biennale is curated by New York City-based critic Massimiliano Gioni, who chose the theme“The Encyclopedic Palace” in honor of Italo-American self-taught artist Marino Auriti who “on November 16, 1955 filed a design with the US Patent office depicting his Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), an imaginary museum that was meant to house all worldly knowledge.”

What: The Biennale features the work of 158 artists, housed in 88 country pavilions. The Vatican is one of the country’s represented for the first time with a group of artists creating a modern interpretation of “the first eleven chapters of the Old Testament book of Genesis.” Portugal sailed its pavilion, a decommissioned passenger ferry boat, from Lisbon to Venice, where it sits encased in 7,000 tiles depecting Lisbon’s skylline.  The art covers a range of forms including sculpture, video and water installations (water is a particularly popular theme this year). Read here and here for reviews of the truly captivating and large-scale offerings.  Related dance, music, theater, etc. events are taking place too.

Where: The are two main venues – the Padiglione Italia in the Giardini and the Arsenale (historic location where boats were constructed between the 16th and 17th centuries). You will also find 47 other art events in Venice held in conjunction with the Biennale.

When: Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Monday. Now through November 24, 2013.

How:  Regular tickets are 25€ per person, valid for one entry to each of the two exhibition venues
(Giardini and Arsenale); they can be used also on non-consecutive days. The Biennale Card, starting at 60€, offers a number of special benefits. Private guided tours can be arranged in a number of languages, including English. The fee is 90€ for one venue, 150€ for two.

Photo by br1dotcom,