This year the 17th Biennale took place from 22 May to 21 November, the theme of the Biennale was How will we live together? Many of the students of the winter semester 2021 visited the Biennale as part of the university curriculum. I also visited the Biennale, but I think some of the artists did not really succeed in presenting the theme.
One of the exhibitions shows the work of the Israeli pavilion Land. Milk Honey by the artists Dan Hasson, Iddo Ginat, Rachel Gottesman, Yonatan Cohen and Tamar Novick. They want to show how the region has changed over the years through the stories of local animal species.
And I would like to draw attention to another installation: Refuge for Resurgence. The team of Anab Jain & Jon Ardern worked on it. A table that serves as a home in which all species can ultimately thrive.
What do these two installations have in common?
They both show stuffed animals. The animals have maybe not been specially prepared for this purpose, but have been borrowed. I can't say anything about that, I haven't found any information on it.
It is still ironic that exactly these two exhibitions have dealt with living together with animals in more detail, only to show dead animals in the present. But isn't it a bit macabre to think about the future - also about the future of animals - and then exhibit dead animals at the same time? This Biennale is about living together in the future, in which a more respectful treatment of animals also plays a role. Is this how we want to deal with animals in a few years? Especially the Israeli pavilion rather reminds one of a sterile mortuary, the way the skellets and preparations are laid out in the drawers.
Respectful treatment of living creatures begins now and not at some point in the future.