formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022

THE EXHIBITION DESIGN OF ‘THE MILK OF DREAMS’

Curated by Cecilia Alemani, the 59th Venice Art Biennale opened its doors to the public on Saturday 23 April 2022 under the title ‘The Milk of Dreams’. The design of this year’s main exhibition was conceived by research-based design studio Formafantasma as a ‘tailor-made intervention’ that offers a new, more cohesive way of navigating the art marathon that unfolds in both the central pavilion in the Giardini and the 317-meter-long Corderie building of the Arsenale. Along with developing the general layout of the exhibition, the studio has developed the design of five smaller historical sections, each containing a miniature constellation of works of art, found objects and documents, clustered together to explore certain key themes. Conceived as time capsules, these architectural spaces are defined by unique color schemes, materials and spatial configurations that immerse visitors in completely different environments.

During the pre-opening of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022, we had the chance to meet the founders of Formafantasma, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, to discuss more about the design of this year’s most important exhibition.“Something that’s brilliant about this year’s Biennale is this idea of ​​the five historical capsules, which are essentially five spaces, three here [Giardini] and two at the Arsenale, which help the visitor understand, from a historical perspective, what is happening everywhere in space,’ the two Italian designers tell designboom. View the full interview on the video above.

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022
Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin and Terra | image © designboom

Time Capsules from Formafantasma at the VENICE ART BIENNALE in 2022

‘In the end, the main idea is very simple. The expansiveness of a show like this looks more like a funfair than an art exhibit, but the first thing you want to avoid is the feeling of a funfair. So we really tried to create a more tailored intervention, especially in the historical capsules,” Formafantasma tells designboom during our interview. This tailor-made approach manages to provide visitors with clarity and better guidance on their way through the thousands of artworks on display. ‘It is the first time at a biennale that you have such interventions. In general, you have one uniform gesture. Here we had the chance to think about the general layout and then about these five micro-exhibits. In essence, it’s almost as if we’ve designed six exhibitions: a general one, and then the five smaller ones,’ Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin to explain.

The five historic capsules in ‘The Milk of Dreams’ are designed as micro-shows within the big show. They provide additional tools for research and introspection related to this year’s theme, linking works of art from the past – including major museum loans and unconventional selections – to the pieces by contemporary artists in the surrounding space. Three of the capsules are in Giardini’s central pavilion, including ‘The Witch’s Cradle’, which is devoted to surrealist art; ‘Corps Orbite’, which collects art related to writing; and ‘Technologies of Enchantment’, featuring artists who add somatic complexity to ‘programmed’ artistic creation. Meanwhile, inside the Arsenale, visitors will find ‘A Leaf A Gourd A Shell A Net A Bag A Sling A Sack A Bottle A Pot A Box A Container’, a capsule dedicated to the ship; and “Seduction Of The Cyborg,” which uses feminist theorist Donna Haraway’s framework to view the recorded performers as cyborgs. Using 710 meters of Kvadrat textiles from various collections, along with a curated selection of materials and colours, Formafantasma has transformed each of these sections into museum-like spaces.

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022
the theme of the 59th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia | image © designboom

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022
‘The Witch’s Cradle’ Capsule | image by Roberto Marossi, Courtesy of: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022
‘The Witch’s Cradle’ Capsule | image by Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022
‘Corps Orbits’ capsule | image by Roberto Marossi, Courtesy of: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022
‘Corps Orbits’ capsule | image by Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022
‘Technologies of Enchantment’ capsule | image by Roberto Marossi, Courtesy of: La Biennale di Venezia

watch: formafantasma on the exhibition design of the Venice Art Biennale in 2022
‘Technologies of Enchantment’ capsule | image © designboom

Leave a Comment