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Arthur Jafa. Photo: Venice Biennale.

Arthur Jafa, Lithuanian Pavilion Snag Venice Biennale’s Golden Lions

The jury for the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale, “May You Live in Interesting Times,” has awarded its top Golden Lion prizes to American artist Arthur Jafa, who won in the best participant category for his film The White Album, 2019, and the Lithuanian pavilion, which was named the best international pavilion for Sun & Sea (Marina), 2019—a climate change–themed opera by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, and Lina Lapelytė that is taking place on an ersatz beach near the outskirts of the Arsenale.

The Silver Lion award for promising young participant this year went to Cyprus-born, Berlin-based artist Haris Epaminonda for her thirty-minute video Chimera, 2019. Special mentions were given to Teresa Margolles, “for her sharp and poignant works that deal with the plight of women grossly affected by the narcotics trade in her native Mexico,” and to Otobong Nkanga, for her “ongoing and inspired exploration across media into the politics of land, body, and time.”

The Biennale, curated this year by Ralph Rugoff, opens to the public today and will continue through November 29.

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