It is with pride and some ambition that this first issue of  “B” – the brainchild of the publisher Luca Zentilini – presents itself to the public of the Venice Biennale with the intention of becoming an original instrument for finding one’s way around this multi-venue exhibition and the more than eighty events that revolve around it. Stranieri Ovunque - Foreigners Everywhere is the title chosen by Adriano Pedrosa, curator of this 60th Exhibition, who in an exclusive interview tells us how being or perceiving oneself as a “foreigner” is a historical condition and at the same time a reality that is more topical than ever. Because of its inherent connection to the contemporary scene, the Biennale has always been the setting for important social and political upheavals, which are also evoked in these first pages through splendid historical photographs for which I thank the Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee (ASAC).

The notion of foreignness – a term analysed by Lorenzo Tomasin in its etymology and possible linguistic declinations – has oriented the choice of exhibitions that “B60” has sought to offer. From the major retrospective of Robert Indiana, an artist in the United States of the 1950s who was nomadic to the point of feeling the need to change his surname in order to claim his origin, to the first important milestone of a collaboration between Mark Bradford and the Venice prison. On the other hand, there are those like Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere or Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi who have accepted the challenge of confronting the monumentality and sacredness of two historic Venetian buildings: the basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore and the Scuola Grande della Misericordia. Which in some way is not dissimilar to the mechanism that sees the intervention of the UNA / UNLESS studio in the courtyard of the Accademia di Belle Arti to host the work of the Cameroon-French artist Josèfa Ntjam.

With the help of an extraordinary editorial team, we have invited artists and curators to tell us about their projects first-hand, along with their relationship with Venice and with the world’s longest-running and most important contemporary art exhibition.

Cristina Beltrami





ph. Isaac Chong Wai, Julia Geiß and Lana Immelman
Courtesy the Artist; Blindspot Gallery and Zilberman
© Isaac Chong Wai