Venetia triumphans: a word to the Governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia
The great attendance of visitors to the event underlines the ability of the lagoon capital to make a comeback as a protagonist of culture
We meet Luca Zaia at the ceremony of the proclamation of the Golden Lions. He was smiling, looking slightly smug. President Zaia: Venetia triumphans. According to the number of presences in these days, there is so much desire in the world to come to the city.
The number of arrivals in recent weeks, which is in some cases higher than those of 2019, tells us that there is a great desire to restar, after two years of pandemic and to return to be protagonists of culture and tourism. There is a desire for Venice, a symbol of international recovery. And I believe that we will exceed the great numbers of 2019, at the end of the exhibition.
The Bienniale of Visual Arts as a driving force for the revival of a culturally qualified tourism.
We surely missed the Biennale and especially Veneto, which is the first Italian tourist region with its 72 million visitors and 18 billion of GDP. I must applaud the many tour operators, entrepreneurs and employees, who have not given up since 2020. They made themselves ready and even better performed greatly as soon as events were back. If we are able to attract tourists from all over the world, even culturally qualified tourists, this goes to show that we are doing things better than others.
"I LIKED THE MESSAGES FROM KATARINA FRITSCH
AND CECILIA VICUÑA TO FIGHT THE HORROR OF WAR BY ONLY USING CULTURE"
Not everyone knows that, as an advisor to the Biennale, you have renounced to the salary for the position.
Even during the Venetian Republic some public roles were not paid.
With 80% of the participants being women, the 2022 edition will be remembered as the Biennale of women.
I liked the messages launched by the German artist Katarina Fritsch and the Chilean artist Cecilia Vicuña, who were awarded the Golden Lions for Career Achievement, with their heart to Ukraine, against the horror of war, in defense of women everywhere and of the freedom of thought.
A Biennale is not such if it does not arouse controversy. Many people felt like there was too much fake political correctness.
As you say, if a Biennale does not create controversy, it is not a Bienniale. Art is provocative by nature but there is a difference between wanting to amaze and wanting to rewrite history at all costs, forcing us to question our Western culture. Over the centuries we have witnessed countless injustices or discriminations around the world, however, we must always analyze them in a very specific context, in a specific era. Art has a duty to look forward and not to impose patterns or new models of thinking.
"ART IS PROVOCATION, AS IT SHOULD BE. HOWEVER, IT'S ONE THING TO AMAZE AND IT'S ANOTHER TO WANT TO REWRITE HISTORY BY FORCING US TO QUESTION OUR WESTERN CULTURE".
What do you think about the Russian pavilion being closed?
Well, if a head of state makes a big mistake should all of his people lose out? Especially if we are talking about art, culture and freedom...
Venice is not only its Biennale. There are many important international exhibitions in the city.
The number of events that the city is offering this year is incredible. Millions of people will arrive, but I believe that with the new technologies we will be able to regulate the flows of people. The situation is in the hands of the mayor, as it should be. However, I believe that we could allow access to the city by reservation, as we already do to go to restaurants, planes or cinemas.