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La Biennale in Venice through the eyes of a SEP Ambassador

La Biennale in Venice through the eyes of a SEP Ambassador

Posted on May 21 2019

Della Tamari, Board Member of the Centre d'Art Contemporain Geneve, Human Rights defender and SEP Ambassador, visited La Biennale in Venice on its opening day. We have asked Della for her top tips, which are assured to make your visit most interesting and a real pleasure. 

 Della Tamari showing off her hand-embroidered multicolour keffiyeh at the entrance of the Biennale.

The 58th International Biennale Art Exhibition, titled May You Live In Interesting Times, takes place from 11th May to 24th November 2019 in Venice. The title is a phrase of English invention that has long been mistakenly cited as an ancient Chinese curse that invokes periods of uncertainty, crisis and turmoil; "interesting times", exactly as the ones we live in today.

«The title of this Exhibition could be interpreted as a sort of curse – stated President Paolo Baratta - where the expression “interesting times” evokes the idea of challenging or even “menacing” times, but it could also simply be an invitation to always see and consider the course of human events in their complexity, an invitation, thus, that appears to be particularly important in times when, too often, oversimplification seems to prevail, generated by conformism or fear. And I believe that an exhibition of art is worth our attention, first and foremost, if it intends to present us with art and artists as a decisive challenge to all oversimplifying attitudes.»

The Exhibition develops from the Central Pavilion (Giardini) to the Arsenale and includes 79 participants from all over the world.


Della's TOP PICKS - and if you are not going to Venice, do not worry! We have added a CLICKABLE LINK on every country name below, so you can see and read about all of her picks!

In Giardini:









NOTE: Some critics said that Egypt had the worst stand, worth visiting for comparison with the others.

In Arsenale:



In Venice, must-see:

The Lithuania Pavillion, which won the Venice Biennale’s 2019 Golden Lions, Casting a Spotlight on Racism and Climate Change. Watch out it is a live artwork in the sand, so check opening times before you go!

Della Tamari at the Lituania Pavillon, wearing her SEP canvas tote featuring a hand-embroidered red moustache and her SEP by Rasha Odeh "the Flame" Jacket


The Parasol UnitTHE SPARK IS YOU: Parasol unit in Venice exhibition highlights the vital importance of open dialogue in the development of greater understanding between all nations. Particularly in the tumultuous and uncertain times of today, this exhibition is timely and informative in ways that we hope will further engender curiosity, understanding and appreciation of other cultures and stimulate more conversations.

SEP Jordan Top picks:

Rothko in LampedusaIn partnership with UNHCR, Rothko in Lampedusa is an independent exhibition during the 58th Venice Biennale reflecting on the inherent and individual value of refugees. The exhibition presents work from international artists and younger refugee artists including Adel Abdessemed, Majid Adin, Ai Weiwei, Christian Boltanski, Rasha Deeb, Mohamed Keita, Dihn Q. Lê, Nalini Malani, Abu Bakarr Mansaray, Richard Mosse, Bnar Sardar Sdiq, Ali WakWak, Hassan Yare and Artur Żmijewski.

Location: Palazzo Querini, Dorsoduro 2691, 30123 Venice. Google maps link.

Opening hours: 10:00 - 18:00, closed Tuesday.

Curators: Francesca Giubilei + Luca Berta.

Christoph Buechel: "On 18 April 2015, the Mediterranean’s deadliest shipwreck in living memory occurred in the Sicilian Channel, 96 km off the Libyan coast and 193 km south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. There were only 28 survivors and between 700 and 1,100 people were presumed missing. The boat, bought by Libyan traffickers, was filled with migrants, most of whom were locked up in the hold and machine room when it collided with a Portuguese freighter that was trying to come to its rescue. The fishing boat sank, due to the incompetence of its captain, taking nearly all its human cargo into the depths". From the short guide.


Lastly, enjoy these fab photos from Venice by The Atlantic, HERE 

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