We met in the breakfast room to eat a light “prima colazione” of bread, cereal, yogurt, juice, caffe, etc. and then set out for the vaporetto stop to catch a water bus to the Giardini, one of two sites that houses the work of this international art exhibit.

The Bienalle (bi-annual) exhibition brings together contemporary art from around the world. Established in 1895, this year was to be the 54th exhibition. The theme is “Illuminazioni” (Illuminations) and is a nod to the traditional Venetian mastery of light and color. In fact, three of Tintoretto’s paintings were brought over from the Accademia to be displayed alongside the art world’s most cutting edge work.

The Giardini houses multiple national pavillions — singular structures devoted to particular countries. For example, this year the USA featured the collaborative team of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. In all, 89 countries are represented, some at the Giardini and others at collateral spaces throughout the city.

We entered at 10:00 and most of us spent the entire day there. Here are some examples of the work we saw…

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