Spiegel-Wilks Seminar: Venice Biennale

Contemporary Art in East Asia and the World

About this website

This website is designed as part of our class, Art History 313: Spiegel Wilks Seminar: Contemporary Art in East Asia and the World, from fall semester, 2019, at the University of Pennsylvania. In our course, we studied twentieth- and twenty-first century art, focusing on issues confronting artists living in and from East Asia, with an…

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Our Top 5/Bottom 5 of the Biennale

Top 5 Pavilions: Australia The Australian pavilion was a breath of fresh air among all the video art at the pavillion. Rather than overwhelming the viewer with an endless stream of incoherent, uncontextualized video, Angelica Mesiti’s “ASSEMBLY” gave the viewer sufficient context to understand the 25 minute immersive video installation they were about to embark…

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Natasha’s Thoughts on the Venice Biennale

As this year’s Venice Biennale is nearing its close, I am struck by how many people from so many different places travel to see this cultural event. Even though everyone’s experience in the Biennale is individual, there is simultaneously a collective aspect that is felt throughout, beyond the occasionally crowded galleries, which seems unique to…

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May We Live in Interesting Times

I have always thought of art as another important lens through which to view history, one that captures the nuances of politics in ways that history books can’t quite achieve. The art that people produce during a certain period is a more accurate thermometer for the times than any poll or presidential speech. Naturally, the…

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The World is On Fire, But At Least We Have Art: Venice Biennale 2019

With vibrant dashes of baby blue, yellow, orange, and pink, the official poster for the 58th Venice Biennale belies the sinisterness of its central themes about precarious survival. Taken from an English idiom that is also apocryphally known as “the Chinese curse,” the title of this year’s Biennale—“May You Live in Interesting Times”—is at once…

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Eda on Venice

Venice is the perfect city where global artistic discussion is materialized and we, as a temporary visitor, are allowed to experience a multitude of concepts and ideas in a condensed form. True, it is a lot to digest and one is not able to focus her attention on a single piece of work or theme….

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My Thoughts on the Biennale

Having never been to a big art fair or biennale before, I didn’t really know what to expect when we departed for Venice. Once in Venice, our days were filled with examining numerous national pavilions, seeing other historical sites, and emerging ourselves in the Venice culture. After absorbing as much art as physically possible throughout…

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