Venice Biennale Announces 2022 Theme, and Other News

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Venice Biennale curator Cecilia Alemani announces “The Milk of Dreams” as the 2022 edition’s theme. 

Since the Venice Biennale named Alemani as the 2022 edition’s artistic director and chief curator this past year, she’s been having conversations with artists about what constitutes life, our responsibilities to the planet, and what the world might look like without humans. That led her to select “The Milk of Dreams”—a reference to the 1950s children’s book by Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington—as the theme for the upcoming edition. “Carrington’s stories describe a world set free, brimming with possibilities,” Alemani said in a statement. Despite grim global circumstances, she promises “an optimistic exhibition, which celebrates art and its capacity to create alternative cosmologies and new conditions of existence.” The Biennale is expected to run from April 23–Nov. 27, 2022.

The Sobey Art Award, Canada’s biggest art prize, reveals the shortlist for this year’s edition.

The National Gallery of Canada has announced the shortlist for this year’s Sobey Art Award, regarded as Canada’s most prestigious art prize. The finalists are Rémi Belliveau (Atlantic region), Lorna Bauer (Quebec), Rajni Perera (Ontario), Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (Prairies and North), and Gabi Dao (West Coast and Yukon). Each shortlisted artist will receive C$25,000 (roughly $20,640) and showcase their work at the National Gallery starting October 8. The finalist, who will receive the top prize of C$100,000 ($82,680), will be chosen at a gala at the opening.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announces the repatriation of two Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. 

The Met has become the latest institution to pursue repatriation of the West African artifacts known as the Benin Bronzes, which were part of a collection that the British army looted in an 1897 raid on Benin City. The two plaques were housed in the British Museum, the National Museum in Lagos, and were then acquired by a New York collector, who donated them to the Met in 1991. After they get delivered to Abba Isa Tijani, director general of Nigeria’s Commission for Museums and Monuments, the two plaques will likely be displayed in the forthcoming Edo Museum of West African Art in Benin City, which is currently being designed by David Adjaye. “The Met is pleased to have initiated the return of these works,” the museum said in a statement, “and is committed to transparency and the responsible collecting of cultural property.”

The Boring Company unveils the Las Vegas tunnel—its first project seen through to completion.

After years of construction, the Boring Company officially soft-opened its Las Vegas Convention Center Loop for service. The tunnel, which offers a 1.5-mile loop with three entry and exit stations and claims to accommodate as many as 4,400 passengers per hour, becomes the first project that Elon Musk’s digging company has seen through to completion. The Boring Company plans to extend the loop all around the Las Vegas Strip for easy access to casinos and McCarran Airport. 

The Pritzker-Prize winning German architect Gottfried Böhm has passed away at age 101.

Born to a third-generation family of architects, the master of concrete became the first German architect to win the Pritzker Prize in 1986. He was known for designing a host of geometric-style churches in locations around the world, from Taiwan to Brazil. A couple of his most notable include the Pilgrimage Church in Neviges, Germany, and Brazil’s São Luiz Gonzaga church in Brusque.  

A Nintendo museum is set to open in one of the company’s former Kyoto playing card plants.

Taking over the disused Uji Ogura Plant, Nintendo Gallery will trace the company’s history all the way back to its 1889 roots when Fusajiro Yamauchi founded it to manufacture Hanafuda, or “flower cards.” When it’s completed in 2024, the new cultural institution dedicated to Nintendo’s major milestones—1981’s Donkey Kong arcade release, the Super Mario Bros. brand, gaming systems such as the Game Boy and Wii—will offer fans another touchpoint to engage with the iconic video game maker following the recent opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan. 

Today’s attractive distractions:

Versailles’ first-ever hotel reflects the opulent decor sensibilities of Louis XVI.

Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance debuts furniture that shows the beauty of burnt cork.

In Switzerland, a concrete chapel seamlessly blends into the rocky landscape.

The Strong National Museum of Play plans an archive of game show history.

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