CHRIS THURMAN: Ambiguity and ambivalence at the Venice Biennale
The 2022 event once again raises questions about representation, exclusivity and art in a world at war
I concluded last week’s column by referring to the theme adopted for the South African pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale, which opens on 23 April. Into the Light presents the work of Phumulani Ntuli, Lebohang Kganye and Roger Ballen under the curation of Amé Bell, balancing the celebratory with the sombre and combining affirmation with critical reflection.
“Stepping into the light”, here, means claiming one’s place on the international stage of the Biennale, embracing its cosmopolitanism and glamour after two gloomy Covid-dominated years. But “bringing something to light”, in the context of the exhibition, also means making known that which has been kept in the dark — fear, anxiety and dread, as well as desires, dreams and fantasies. ..