The beauty of the Venice Biennale, the monumental, every-two-years art fair that opened 1 June and runs through 24 November, has as much to do with its innovative exhibitions as with its length. During the months-long run, it's possible to see the hundreds of works, installations and performances by the 158 artists featured, and visit each of the 88 national pavilions.
Long past the buzz-filled opening weekend, the crowds have thinned but the art remains -- and we take the opportunity to revisit four notable exhibitions, along with interviews of their curators and artists. Here, a roundup of four favorites.
United Arab Emirates
The sea surrounds you in Mohammad Kazem's immersive 'Walking on Water,' which recreates the churning waves and isolating sounds of ocean. Watch as Kazem and UAE Pavilion Commissioner Dr Lamees Hamdan discuss their country's powerful contribution to the Biennale.
New York-based artist Sarah Sze has transformed the American pavilion with five different thematic installations. Inside, the structure and layout of the building interacts with her work, leading to discoveries that engage with the architecture and spill out to adorn the exterior. Watch Carey Lovelace, pavilion co-commissioner, discuss Sze's intellectually stimulating work.
The walls in Russian conceptual artist Vadim Zakharov's installation 'Danaë' read, "Gentleman, the time has come to confess our Rudeness, Lust, Narcissism, Demagoguery, Falsehood, Banality and…." Zakharov borrows from Greek mythology, reimagining Zeus' seduction of the princess Danaë as a commentary on the values of contemporary culture, using gold coins and clear umbrellas in a room that's off-limits to men.
Venice's repurposed shipyard-and-armory complex, the Arsenale hosts this year's signature exhibition, 'The Encyclopedic Palace,' curated by the fair's Italian director, Massimiliano Gioni. Named after Marino Auriti's 1955 design for an all-encompassing museum, the pieces seek to capture the range of the human imagination, bringing together artists like Paul McCarthy, Cindy Sherman and Danh Vo in a curated exhibition that includes found images, recordings and the remains of a Catholic church.