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A Brief History of the World's Most Influential Art Exhibition

Jun 19, 2015 | 579 videos
Video by Oscar Boyson

Every two years, each nation sends its finest contemporary artists to the Venice Biennale. The art exhibition first began in 1895, and its cultural influence is uncontested. Without it, major artists—such as Pablo Picasso and Marina Abramović—would never have been discovered. This short film produced by Artsy in collaboration with UBS, and directed by Oscar Boyson, explores the event’s reach beyond art and into politics and history at large. Art buffs will surely recognize names and faces in the video, but even those with a less nuanced understanding of the art world can appreciate the significance of the Biennale. "I was thinking about how to signify something that was particular to our moment, and what will that represent later on," says Adam Pendleton, whose participation in this year's exhibit seeks to bring “Black Lives Matter” to Venice. "Sometimes its not about representing a nation, but a moment."

A series of short films from the exhibition will be released throughout the summer, uncovering the stories of artists, curators, visitors, and Venetians. View all the Venice Biennale films on Artsy.

Author: Nadine Ajaka


About This Series

A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic