Fair  April 22, 2024  Carlota Gamboa

An Ode To The Woven Arts At 2024 Venice Biennale Golden Lion Awards

Venice Biennale 2024. Image by Andrea Rossetti.

Archie Moore, Australia Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2024, image by Andrea Rossetti.

The 60th iteration of the Venice Biennale kicked off this past Saturday, and with that, 331 participating artists unveiled their interpretations of this years’ theme, Foreigners Everywhere. The national pavilions, in combination with the central exhibition and additional collateral events, brought in a total of 800,000 visitors to the Italian city last year, so a steady stream of tourists is expected until the fair’s close in late November. 

One of the seismic installation’s many draws is the lauding of the Lion Awards. Previous winners have been Robert Rauschenberg— the first American to receive the prize— Adrian Piper, Jasper Johns, and Jenny Holzer. This year, the best pavilion award went to indigenous artist Archie Moore, representing Australia. Moore’s hand-drawn piece was researched for over four years and exhibits 65,000 years worth of First Nations history. Organized like a family tree, the pavilion’s documentary-poetics included piles of state records at the center of the piece. As reported by Artnet, Moore stated during his acceptance, “aboriginal kinship systems include all living things from the environment in a larger network of relatedness—the land itself can be a mentor or a parent to a child. We are all one and share a responsibility of care to all living things now and into the future.”

Venice Biennale 2024. Image by Ben Davis.

Mataaho Collective, Takapau (2022) at “Foreigners Everywhere,” image by Ben Davis.

The Golden Lion for the best participant in the main exhibition went to four Māori women comprising the Mataaho Collective Erena Baker, Sarah Hudson, Bridget Reweti, and Terri Te Tau. Their textile-centered installation of glowing takapau— woven Māori birthing mats— radiated in the collective show.

Winners of the The Lifetime Achievement awards, Italian-born Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino and Paris-based Turkish artist Nil Yalter, were announced late last year as biennial curator Adrino Pedrosa proclaimed them to be “two extraordinary, pioneering women artists who are also migrants, and who embody in many ways the spirit of Stranieri Ovunque—Foreigners Everywhere.”

About the Author

Carlota Gamboa

Carlota Gamboa is an art writer based in Los Angeles.

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