okwui enwezor sets all the world’s futures as venice art biennale 2015 theme
okwui enwezor, curator of the 56th international art exhibition with paolo baratta, president of la biennale di venezia
photo giorgio zucchiatti / courtesy la biennale di venezia




‘all the world’s futures’ has been chosen as the theme for the 56th international art exhibition in venice by the event’s curator okwui enwezor. accompanied by the president of la biennale di venezia, paolo baratta, enwezor met with the representatives of the 53 countries participating in the 56th exhibition, which will take place from may 9th – november 22nd 2015 at the giardini, the arsenale and various venues across venice.


in the words of enwezor: ‘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.’


rather than one overarching theme, ‘all the world’s futures’ is informed by a layer of intersecting ‘filters’, acting as parameters that circumscribe multiple ideas, which will be touched upon to both imagine and realize a diversity of practices. the ‘filters that form the exhibition are: liveness: on epic duration; garden of disorder; capital: a live reading.


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.’