It has been a season rich in Biennales, collaborations with artists and mind-blowing exhibitions. Selections had a chance to talk to the amazing Samia Hababi in Dubai, where she told us all about her concurrent exhibitions at Ayyam Gallery. Halabi’s conversational prowess inspires a gleeful wish to memorise every word.
My good friend Sadik Kwaish Alfraji enchanted us with a show entitled Once Upon a Time: Hadiqat Al Umma at Maraya Art Centre in Sharjah. Christine Tohme did an exquisite job of curating the Sharjah Biennale, with which the show ran concurrently.
Jean Boghossian gave Selections a tour of his impressive studio in Brussels. As if that wasn’t enough, we also received a private guided tour of the Faridah Lashai exhibition and the Goya exhibition by director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent, Catherine De Zegher.
Selections also participated in the first ever Antarctic Biennale. It was a life-changing experience for all the participants, including our writer. I strongly encourage you to read her article, which unravels every humanistic and artistic detail of the journey.
Overarching this season’s issue is the 57th Venice Biennale. Read more about the German Pavilion at Giardini, which won the Golden Lion award for its thought-provoking and dramatic performance piece, and about other equally rewarding happenings, such as the Lebanese Pavilion with a memorable performance by Zad Moultaka on the topic of Ancient UR. Also noteworthy are the dramatic works by Jean Boghossian at the Armenian Pavilion, an enormous installation which perfectly complements the gothic Venetian interior. The notable collateral exhibitions running alongside the Venice Biennale include Intuition at the Palazzo Fortuny by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti, a dialogue between the artistic instincts of the palazzo’s previous art collectors and owners and the architectural space itself.
Damien Hirst’s show was an unavoidable topic of conversation in Venice. Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is a massive exhibition displaying seemingly ancient sculptures covered in seaweed. Hirst concocted a story around a shipwreck and took it to the next level.
Palazzo Ducale exhibited Heironymus Bosch’s pieces Three Hermit Saints (c.1493), The Martyrdom of Saint Wilgefortis (c.1497) and the polyptych Visions of the Hereafter (1505-15) in a show that perfectly validates the importance of quality over quantity.
Read about one of the most remarkable exhibitions by Philip Guston at Gallerie dell’Accademia entitled Guston and the Poets. This show was a highlight for Selections Magazine.
Last but not least, I would like to give a special thanks to Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath for collaborating with us in our curated section. This is definitely an issue that reflects the substantial production of art on an international level this season. I hope you find inspiration within it.