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While canals, vaporettos and gondolas are really interesting (see earlier posts here, here and here), the main draw for us to go to Venice is La Biennale. The 56th International Art Exhibition ran from 9th May to 22nd November 2015. The exhibition took place at the Giardini, the Arsenale and in various locations across the city of Venice.

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The exhibition has three components: exhibitions by National Pavilions, each with its own curator and project; the International Exhibition by the Biennale curator, chosen specifically for this task; and Collateral Events, approved by the Biennale curator.

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The Giardini venue comprises the Central Pavilion (above) and 29 national pavilions, built at various periods by the participating countries themselves.
The venue is located near the eastern end of sestiere Castello, easily reachable by vaporetto.
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The Central Pavilion built in 1894 is open all year long not only in the service of hosting the main events but also provide educational activities, a library service, a bookstore and a cafeteria.


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A solo voice performs a cycle of Work songs which map and investigate the tempos of work songs sung in prisons, fields, and houses.
The national pavillions were built around the Central pavillion over a number of years in different styles. The Finnish Pavilion is a pre-fabricated structure designed by Alvar Aalto – it was assembled in 1956 from parts produced in Finland itself; entirely in wood.
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Spain’s pavillion has bricks.
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Belgian pavillion
Russian pavillion
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“Devastatingly direct”: Irina Nakhova’s huge helmet confronts a visitor to the Russian pavilion.
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United States pavillion
The South Korean pavillion is all techno – giant screens + futuristic interiors
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More to come.

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