Think with the Senses - Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense is the theme of the Central International Exhibition of this year's Venice Biennale. Works by about 100 artists and groups are shown at the Arsenale and the Italian Pavilion in the Giardini, among them several site-specific installations. The exhibition is the result of curator Robert Storr's look beyond the new frontiers of world art; not only to rapidly developing artistic languages, but also to personalities, countries and emerging trends on all five continents, otherwise at the margins of the more consolidated art scene. In particular, Storr wanted to add Turkey with its own national pavilion (in the Artiglierie dell'Arsenale) and an exhibition representing the contemporary art of the African continent.
Storr wrote, 'Epiphanies happen but do not last. One of the functions of art is to preserve such moments of revelation in order that we may savour and study their many dimensions, as James Joyce demonstrated. The history of art is a fabric of epiphanies woven by many hands; the present tense of art is the outer edge of that work in progress. At any point in the process that edge may be ragged and uneven, and the pattern in formation disturbing and hard to discern, reflecting the difficulty of making art in troubled times. We are living in just such times. Rather than trim the edges or reweave loose strands to neaten them up, this exhibition focuses on areas of current art activity that hint at what emerging patterns might be without presuming to map or foreshadow them in their entirety.'
Images in the present catalogue are accompanied by short texts by Lindssay Harris, Joe Hill, Sarah Lewis, Anna Mecugni, Francesca Pietropaolo and Robert Storr. With artist statements and artist biographies.