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Venice Biennale: “Future, Present, Past”

WHATEVER ELSE IS SAID about this year’s Venice Biennale, the international thematic exhibition that is traditionally its centerpiece will be remembered for having been curated with lightning speed. It was only in January that Germano Celant, the Guggenheim Museum’s peripatetic curator of contemporary art, assumed his duties as the Biennale’s general director. The reasons for the delay were numerous: according to Celant, there were originally plans to postpone the Biennale until next year in order to put the show on schedule for the millennium; there were also “complications” surrounding the Biennale’s previous curator, Jean Clair, whose contract lasted through December. The Biennale board of directors finally decided to stick to ’97, thanks to pressure from local politicians, representatives of the national pavilions, and the staff of “La Biennale” (the organization that produces the show),

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