Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art

56th Venice Biennale
9 May - 22 November 2015

Venice Biennale

56th Venice Biennale 2015

>> Tours, Special Features
Works by more than 80 participants
of the central show. Presentations
of several pavilions and exhibitions.


56th Venice Biennale 2015
56th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia

Entrance to the Arsenale, 2015  /  © Photo: Haupt & Binder

Photo Tours


La Biennale di Venezia, Ca' Giustinian  /  © Photo: Haupt & Binder

Ca' Giustinian


Oscar Murillo & Glenn Ligon, Giardini  /  © Photo: Haupt & Binder


Arsenale / © Photo: Haupt & Binder



Like for all Venice Biennials since 2001, Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art publishes an extensive Special about the 56th International Art Exhibition, 2015, including, among others:

Central International Art Exhibition:

All the World's Futures
Curated by Okwui Enwezor, 136 participants.
Venues: Arsenale and Central Pavilion, Giardini.
Biography of the curator, concept, list of participants.

Extensive informative photo tour in three parts, including works by more than 80 participants.

Special Features by UiU
We are presenting a selection of pavilions and collateral events, in collaboration with the organizers.

National presentations, collateral events
List of all the national participations, and the 44 collateral events, approved by the curator of the international exhibition.

New contents will be announced via our free Newsletter and UiU in Facebook.


All the World's Futures

Central International Exhibition.
Curator: Okwui Enwezor. 136 Participants.
Venues: Arsenale and Central Pavilion, Giardini.

Okwui Enwezor writes about his curatorial project:

The ruptures that surround and abound around every corner of the global landscape today recall the evanescent debris of previous catastrophes piled at the feet of the angel of history in Angelus Novus. How can the current disquiet of our time be properly grasped, made comprehensible, examined, and articulated? Over the course of the last two centuries the radical changes have made new and fascinating ideas subject matter for artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, composers, musicians. It is with this recognition that the 56th International Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia proposes All the World's Futures a project devoted to a fresh appraisal of the relationship of art and artists to the current state of things.

The Exhibition: Parliament of Forms

Rather than one overarching theme, All the World's Futures is informed by a layer of intersecting Filters, these Filters are a constellation of parameters that circumscribe multiple ideas, which will be touched upon to both imagine and realize a diversity of practices. The 56th International Art Exhibition will employ as a Filter the historical trajectory that the Biennale itself, over the course of its one hundred and twenty years existence has run over, a Filter through which to reflect on both the current "state of things" and the "appearance of things.

How can artists, thinkers, writers, composers, choreographers, singers, and musicians, through images, objects, words, movement, actions, lyrics, sound bring together publics in acts of looking, listening, responding, engaging, speaking in order to make sense of the current upheaval? What material, symbolic or aesthetic, political or social acts will be produced in this dialectical field of references to give shape to an exhibition which refuses confinement within the boundaries of conventional display models? In All the World's Futures the curator himself, along with artists, activists, the public, and contributors of all kinds will appear as the central protagonists in the open orchestration of the project.

At the core of the Exhibition is the notion of the exhibition as stage where historical and counter-historical projects will be explored. Within this framework the main aspects of the 56th Exhibition will solicit and privilege new proposals and works conceived specifically by invited artists, filmmakers, choreographers, performers, composers, and writers to work either individually or in collaboration.

Three are the Filters that form All the World's Futures:

Liveness: On epic duration

All the World's Futures is both a spatial and temporal manifestation that is relentlessly incomplete, structured by a logic of unfolding, a program of events that can be experienced at the intersection of liveness and display. It will be a dramatization of the space of the exhibition as a continuous, unfolding, and unceasing live event. In doing so All the World's Futures will activate works that are already existing but also invites contributions that will be realized especially for this Exhibition.

Garden of Disorder

This Filter, located in the Giardini and the Central Pavilion, Corderie, Giardino delle Vergini in the Arsenale, and selected areas in Venice, takes the historical ground of la Biennale in the Giardini as a metaphor through which to explore the current "state of things The Biennale Arte 2015, returns to the ancient ground of this ideal to explore the changes in the global environment, to read the Giardini with its ramshackle assemblage of pavilions as the ultimate site of a disordered world, of national conflicts, as well as territorial and geopolitical disfigurations. The artists have been invited to develop proposals that take the concept of the garden as a point of departure to realized new sculptures, films, performances, and installations for All the World's Futures.

Capital: A Live Reading

Beyond the distemper and disorder in the current "state of things," there is one pervasive preoccupation that has been at the heart of our time and modernity. Since the publication of Karl Marx's massive Capital: Critique of Political Economy in 1867, the structure and nature of capital has captivated thinkers and artists, as well as inspired political theorists, economists, and ideological structures across the world. A core part of this program of live readings, is "Das Kapital" a massive meticulously researched bibliographic project, conceived by the artistic director in the Central Pavilion.

With this outlook, All the World's Futures, through its constellation of Filters will delve into the "state of things" and question "the appearance of things", shifting from the guttural enunciation of the voice to the visual and physical manifestations between artworks and the public.

For more information, please see:

- Curatorial statement by Okwui Enwezor

- Addendum to the Statement

Okwui Enwezor (* 1963 Nigeria) is a curator, art critic, editor and writer. Since 2011 he has been the Director of the Haus der Kunst in Munich. He was Artistic Director of the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale in South Africa (1996-1998), of documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany (1998-2002), the Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla in Spain (2005-2007), the 7th Gwangju Biennale in South Korea (2008) and of the Triennal d’Art Contemporain of Paris at the Palais de Tokyo (2012).

>> see the biography

(From press information)


Since the launch of Universes in Universe in early 1997, time and again we have featured exhibitions and projects curated by Okwui Enwezor. Here some examples:

2nd Johannesburg Biennale, 1997
Interview with the artistic director Okwui Enwezor.

The Short Century, 2001 - 2002
Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa 1945-1994. Curator: Okwui Enwezor. Co-curators: Rory Bester, Lauri Firstenberg, Chika Okeke, Mark Nash. Photo tour including works by 40 artists.

Documenta 11, 2002
Kassel, Germany. Artistic Director: Okwui Enwezor. Co-curators: Carlos Basualdo, Ute Meta Bauer, Susanne Ghez, Sarat Maharaj, Mark Nash, Octavio Zaya. 118 artists and artist groups.

Meeting Points 6 in Berlin
Interview with the artistic director Okwui Enwezor about the focus of the event in these times of change. By Gerhard Haupt & Pat Binder, Nafas, Jan. 2012


Jury of the 56th International Art Exhibition:
Naomi Beckwith (USA), Sabine Breitwieser (Austria), Mario Codognato (Italy), Ranjit Hoskote (India), Yongwoo Lee (South Korea).
… more information, biographies

Awards of the 56th International Art Exhibition:
Golden Lions to Armenia, Adrian Piper, El Anatsui, Susanne Ghez. Silver Lion to Im Heung-Soon. Special Mentions: Harun Farocki, Abounaddara collective, Massinissa Selmani, USA pavilion -Joan Jonas.
… more information

Golden Lion: El Anatsui
El Anatsui is the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 56th International Art Exhibition. See some of his works presented in UiU since 2004.


Universes in Universe has published extensive Specials about all the editions of the Venice Biennale since 2001. See also:

57th Venice Biennale, 2017
13 May - 26 November 2017. Artistic Director: Christine Macel.

55th Venice Biennale, 2013
1 June - 24 November 2013. Artistic director: Massimiliano Gioni.

54th Venice Biennale, 2011
4 June - 27 November 2011. Artistic director: Bice Curiger.

Organizer, contact:

La Biennale di Venezia

Settore Arte
Ca' Giustinian
San Marco 1364/A
30124 Venezia
Website / Email

Visual Art Press Office:


Tel.: +39 041 - 5218 849


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Venice Biennale 2015
56th International Art Exhibition

9 May - 22 November 2015

Title: All the World's Futures

Curator: Okwui Enwezor
See the biography

National Pavilions
List of all the national presentations

Collateral exhibitions
The 44 officially approved events

Special Features by UiU:

National Pavilion of Chile - Venice Biennale 2015

Artiglierie, Arsenale. Artists: Paz Errázuriz, Lotty Rosenfeld. Title: Poetics of Dissent. Curator: Nelly Richard. Commissioner: Antonio Arévalo. Coordinator: Juan Pablo Vergara.

Heri Dono - Indonesia in Venice

Arsenale, Tese Cinquecentesche. Artist: Heri Dono. Title: Voyage - Trokomod. Commissioner: Sapta Nirwandar. Deputy Comm: Soedarmadji JH Damais. Curators: Carla Bianpoen, Restu Imansari Kusumaningrum, Asmudjo Jono Irianto.

Latin American Pavilion - IILA, Venice Biennale 2015

Latin America - IILA
Indigenous Voices. Sound installations of indigenous languages of the Americas. Pavilion of the Istituto Italo-Latinoamericano (IILA), Arsenale - Isolotto. Commissioner: Sylvia Irrazábal; curator: Alfons Hug; co-curator: Alberto Saraiva.

Taiwan - Venice Biennale 2015

WU Tien-chang: Never Say Goodbye. Major solo exhibition by the leading Taiwanese artist, presented by Taipei Fine Arts Museum of Taiwan. Venue: Palazzo delle Prigioni.

UAE pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale 2015

United Arab Emirates
1980 - Today: Exhibitions in the UAE. The emergence of contemporary art practices over the past four decades. National Pavilion of the UAE at Arsenale, Sale d'Armi. Curator: Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi. 15 Emirati artists.

National Pavilion of Uruguay: Marco Maggi, Venice Biennale 2015

National Pavilion at the Giardini. Artist: Marco Maggi. Title: GLOBAL MYOPIA (pencil & paper). Commissioner: Ricardo Pascale; Curator: Patricia Bentancur.

Parallel exhibition:

Jimmie Durham

Jimmie Durham
Venice: Objects, Work and Tourism. Installation at Fondazione Querini Stampalia. Curator: Chiara Bertola. 6 May - 20 September 2015, parallel to the 56th Venice Biennale.

See also in Universes in Universe:

Art Destination Venice

Art Destination Venice
Recommendations to see contemporary art in Venice beyond the Biennial editions, and selected art historical collections and sights of interest.


Venice Biennale