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VENICE BIENNALE PRIZEWINNERS ANNOUNCED

The winners of the 49th Venice Biennale (www.labiennale.org) prizes were announced on Saturday, June 9. The Golden Lion for best national pavilion was awarded to German artist Gregor Schneider, who had his childhood home transported and reconstructed inside the German pavilion. The jury called the project a “transformation of authoritative and monumental architecture into an obsessive labyrinth of rooms that reflect secretive conditions of discomfort as well as possibilities of freedom,” but long lines outside the pavilion prevented many people from visiting the exhibition during the opening week.

“La Biennale di Venezia” Special Awards were given to the Canadian-pavilion artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, French-pavilion artist Pierre Huyghe, and Marisa Merz, who exhibited in both the Italian pavilion and the “Plateau of Mankind,” the Arsenale exhibition curated by Harald Szeemann. Richard Serra and Cy Twombly received “Master of Contemporary Art” Golden Lions, while Special Prizes for Young Artists were given to Albanian and French artist Anri Sala, American John Pilson, Guatemalan artist Aníbal Astrubal López Juárez, who goes by the name of A1-53167, and Costa Rican Federico Herrero. Honorable mentions were given to Yinka Shonibare, Tiong Ang, Samuel Beckett/Marin Karmitz (for a work dating from 1966), and Chilean artist Juan Downey. An unofficial award was given to Swiss-pavilion artist Urs Lüthi.

The jury was composed of Ery Camera, from Senegal and Mexico City; Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev from New York; Manray Hsu from Taipei; Hans Ulrich Obrist, from Zurich and Paris; and Virginia Perez-Ratton, from San José, Costa Rica.

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