Pebbles, Pomp and Patrons
PEBBLES, POMP AND PATRONS
I fell in love with Venice the first time I arrived.
dream destination, art city, and seat of the world’s oldest art biennale. Every other year, the Venice Biennale draws millions to its various venues. At the Giardini, national pavilions enter a competition between countries. How did that happen? And what do commissioners actually have to do with art?
Gondolas, St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, and the Lido—popular associations with a famed city. The presence of Renaissance artists like Titian, Bellini, Tintoretto, and Veronese persists everywhere. But there’s more to Venice than that. Contemporary art flourishes alongside the Old Masters. What would Venice be without the Biennale and its works of music, dance, theater, film, architecture—and of course, visual art? Every other year, the most important art biennale in the world takes place at the Giardini, the Arsenale, and all across the city. The German Pavilion has often played an important part in that. Ever since 1971, the pavilion has been coordinated by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), an institute for international and cultural relations. The German participation has been awarded multiple prizes over the years.