The Venice Biennale Has Announced the Highly Anticipated Curatorial Theme of Its 2024 Art Exhibition

The show's first-ever Latin American curator has revealed the concept of his upcoming edition.

Adriano Pedrosa. Image courtesy of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand.

The curator and artistic director of the 60th Venice Biennale, Adriano Pedrosa, has announced the driving theme of next year’s exhibition. It will explore the notion of the foreigner, and center its focus on those on the margins, namely exiles, émigrés, and outsiders.

The title and theme, “Foreigners Everywhere,” was announced today, June 22, in Venice by Pedrosa. The artistic director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo hails from Brazil, and is not only the biennale’s first Latin American curator, but, more remarkably, its first to come from the Southern Hemisphere.  The mammoth art event in Italy is set to run from April 20 to November 24, 2024.

The concept of the 2024 show has a dual meaning for Pedrosa. The planned theme not only suggests that wherever we go in the world we will encounter those that we perceive to be foreigners, but also that “no matter where you find yourself, you are always truly and deep down inside a foreigner yourself,” according to the curator. He added that artists are no strangers to this feeling.

The title is borrowed from a series of works by the conceptual “collective artist” Claire Fontaine, which was founded in Paris in 2004 by the Italian artist Fulvia Carnevale and the British artist James Thornhill, who are currently based in Palermo, Italy.

Their series Foreigners Everywhere consists of simple neon signs with the slogan written in different languages. In each case, the term carries a strange ambiguity over whether we should read the statement as fact or threat, although it was taken from the name of Stranieri Ovunque (as the phrase translates in Italian), a Turin-based anarchist collective known for its anti-racist activism in the early 2000s.

Tourists and locals enter the Biennale’s Central Pavilion during the 59th International Art Exhibition on April 20, 2022 in Venice, Italy. Photo: Stefano Mazzola/Getty Images

Pedrosa told press that “the backdrop for Claire Fontaine’s work is a world full of multiple crises concerning the movement and existence of people across countries, nations, territories, and borders, which reflect the perils and pitfalls of language, translation, ethnicity [in] expressing differences and disparities conditioned by identity, nationality, race, gender, sexuality, wealth, and freedom.”

For his curated exhibition, Pedrosa promises to focus on artists who are immigrants, expatriates, diasporic, exiled, and refugees, especially those who have moved between the Global South and the Global North. As the Italian translation of “foreigner” as “straniero” shows, however, the word also evokes the idea of a stranger more generally. To this end, the exhibition will also include all manner of marginalized artists, including those that are queer, designated “outsider,” or indigenous and therefore “frequently treated like a foreigner in their own land.”

For many artists, this status of “foreigner” drives the themes or narratives in their work, but Pedrosa was keen to note that other artists “delve into more formal issues with their own foreign accent.” Works that reflect this mode of innovation will appear throughout the exhibition, as will historical 20th century works from underrepresented modernist movements that flourished throughout the Global South. Finally, a spotlight will also be placed on the Italian artistic diaspora that emigrated to Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Arab world among other places, where they contributed to the development of modernism internationally.

The Venice Biennale is the art world’s biggest international event—there were 80 national pavilions in 2022—and it is always welcoming new exhibitors. The Republic of Benin will participate for the first time at the 60th edition next year.

More Trending Stories:  

The Brooklyn Museum’s Much-Criticized ‘It’s Pablo-matic’ Show Is Actually Weirdly at War With Itself Over Hannah Gadsby’s Art History 

A Writer Is Calling Out the British Museum for Using Her Translations of Chinese Poetry in an Exhibition Without Permission 

Beeple Collector Metakovan Is Suing Twobadour, Claiming His Ex-Partner Is Falsely Taking Credit for Buying the $69 Million NFT 

The Site of Caesar’s Assassination in Rome, Until Recently Only Visited by a Colony of Stray Cats, Is Now Open to Human Tourists Too 

Anna Delvey’s New Hustle Is a Podcast of Frothy Conversations With Artists, Writers, and Fellow Fraudsters—and It Could Be Illegal 

This Famed Dollhouse Is Hung With Tiny Original Artworks, Including a Miniature Duchamp. Here Are Three Things to Know About the One-of-a-Kind Treasure 

Rubens Painting Lost For 300 Years and Misidentified When Last Sold at Auction Will Star At Upcoming Sotheby’s Sale in London 


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In