Art and Organisation: Venice Biennale 2022

Art and Organisation: Venice Biennale 2022

Where the Impossible Becomes Possible


3 August 2022

Where the Impossible Becomes Possible

Earlier this year, our curatorial team travelled to Venice for one of the most important art events of the year – the Venice Biennale, which is now back after a year-long delay caused by the pandemic. Here we reflect on our Venetian experiences and inspirations and ponder on the future of art in organisations.

As we grow and develop our work with the arts, the 59th International Art Exhibition was an event we simply could not miss – it’s an event that sets the tone for what is to follow, guiding us through these uncertain times. How have the artists responded to what is going on around the world?

This year’s biennale is making history – the Russian pavilion is closed as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and it is female artists that are now centre stage – Venice shows us how attitudes are changing. Out of 213 artists only 21 are men, which represents a complete reversal of what we’ve seen in the art world so far.

The UK this year is represented by Sonia Boyce, a trailblazing, Tavi-informed artist whose work ‘Feeling Her Way’ won Biennale’s top Golden Lion prize. Boyce’s powerful exhibition explores the potential of collaborative play as a route to innovation – something we’re also experimenting with in our Deepening Creative Practice with organisations programme.

Deepening Creative Practice works through the dynamic process of what it means to create conditions for play and experimentation together. It seems pertinent that this year the programme participants have all been women. Summer season themes of Power, Politics and Projection have been very present as participants play with what it means to be female, expressing individual and collective voices through artistic and organisational life.

In her participative practice, Boyce is asking important questions related to what is really going on in groups: who’s in, who’s out, and who holds the power? Her works invite us to understand our deeper motivations through engaging with and learning from each other.

The fact that Boyce was the first Black woman to represent Britain at the prestigious Venice Biennale is showing how representations of race and gender are changing in the Western world. Venice shows that the impossible is possible – Let’s hope this isn’t just a one-time event, but rather a taster of what is yet to come.

Maria Markiewicz, Curatorial Assistant

Join us for next year’s DCP – a unique programme where art, group relations and social sciences meet together to create a one-of-a-kind experience…

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