Spotlight On: The 57th Venice Biennale, New Art, New Countries

The 57th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, titled VIVA ARTE VIVA and curated by Christine Macel, is set to open this Saturday.  And this season the biennale will feature 85 countries in the historic pavilions at the Giardini, the Arsenale, and the city of Venice. Four new countries will be participating for the first time bringing new artworks expected to highlight the biennale as a constant art source for change. The 4 new participating countries are Antigua, Barbuda, Kiribati, and Nigeria.

Preview of the Giardini della Biennale (The Biennale Gardens) this year.

Today, we spotlight performance art from the country of Nigeria. Performance art is still a relatively new art initiative for festivals at this level. Last year the Louvre in Paris took bold steps and introduced performance art as an ongoing program in collaboration with FIAC.

Nigerian artist Qudus Onikeku

Nigerian artist Qudus Onikeku will perform the contemporary art medium at The 57th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition for the first time.

The performance fuses dance and acrobatics to create movement identity. Onikeku makes the Yoruba traditional culture his basis, combining it with several other influences such as the guiding philosophies of hip hop, capoeira, and contemporary dance, to weave a certain understanding of the human condition.

“As performance artists, your best works come from a place deep inside, and nothing elicits such strong emotions as nature itself.

Performance by Qudus Onikeku

I love Vencie for its beautiful islands and sandy beaches making it an ideal destination to relax and pleasure the senses.” -Qudus Onikeku

The choreographed work by Qudus Onikeku showcases a trilogy of performance films titled ‘Right Here, Right Now’. The trilogy is an investigation through dance of the workings of body memory and its connection to national consciousness. It will be a triptych of engagement, of contemplation, and of poetry. It will provide a window through which time could be altered for a brief moment.

“The Nigerian Pavilion will host the works of some of Nigeria’s most prominent contemporary artists. The declared aim of the pavilion is to reflect on the question of now, and of narratives firmly rooted in the present. The presentation by the artists expands an understanding of Nigerian contemporary life through installations, painting and performance.”  -Adenrele Sonariwo, curator

The 57th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, titled VIVA ARTE VIVA opens to the public from Saturday 13th May to Sunday 26th November 2017 at the Giardini and Arsenale venues.

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Nichelle Cole is the founder & editor-in-chief of The Fashion Plate magazine. A respected writer, stylist and influencer, she has been published in fashion magazines around the world.

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