PRINT September 1988


The 43rd Venice Biennale will go down in the institution’s history for two revisionary gestures: the restitution to Italy of the Giardini di Castello’s central pavilion (which has for the last 20 years been the site of the Biennale’s thematic shows); and the revival of one-artist exhibition spaces in that building, both in the part redesignated as the Italian pavilion and in the separately curated rooms containing a show entitled “Ambiente Italia.” Many of the national pavilions are also devoted to one-artist monographs. In its own way, each of these gestures enforces an idea that also appears in the catalogue introductions, in curators’ interviews with the artists, and even in the comments of visitors to the Biennale: a restatement of the central role of artists and artworks (as opposed to critics and curators). Previously, the central pavilion would have held a curated theme show, which

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