Delfina Foundation and Venice Biennale are co-producing a special series of performances, commissioned by Arts Council England, as part of Meetings on Art, the official public programme of the 58th biennale

The performance programme expands on the theme of this year’s Central Exhibition. Titled May You Live in Interesting Times, the 2019 theme seeks to highlight art that exists in between accepted categories and genres, and which questions the rationales behind such categorical thinking. The special performance programme will exemplify this kind of approach, testing aesthetic, behavioural and social conventions in a wide range of events.

Devised by Ralph Rugoff, Artistic Director of the 58th Venice Biennale of Art, and Aaron Cezar, Director of Delfina Foundation, the artists selected for the opening week of the performance programme include Alex Baczynski-Jenkins, boychild, Paul Maheke, Nástio Mosquito, Florence Peake & Eve Stainton, Victoria Sin, and Zadie Xa. These artists are defining this and the next generation of performance with diverse and hybrid practices spanning music, movement and visual art. Together, the artists interrogate identity politics through the concepts of nationality, gender, and intersectionality. They consider the architecture of representation and how language, as articulated through the body and the voice, can reaffirm or refuse conventions.

The performances will activate the ‘in between’ spaces of the biennale’s gardens and galleries in short and durational episodes, occurring at designated times or occupying space without notice. The Teatro Piccolo Arsenale will host scheduled performances and create a more concentrated space where certain narratives can be thoughtfully unraveled and reimagined.

The second part of the programme will take place during the final weekend of the Venice Biennale, 22-24 November 2019, including new works by Vivian Caccuri, Cooking Sections, Invernomuto, Paul Maheke, Nkisi and Ariel Efraim Ashbel, Vivien Sansour, and Bo Zheng.


The performances have been commissioned by Arts Council England as part of Meetings on Art at the 58th Venice Biennale of Art. In addition to this performance programme, Meetings on Art includes a rich series of events, artist talks, and conversations.

Artist supporters include European ArtEast Foundation, Chi-Wen Gallery and Institute Inclusartiz with additional funding from High Commission of Canada, Jahmek Contemporary Art, Spring Workshop, Razwana Akram, Francise Chang, and Delfina Foundation’s Network of Asia-Pacific Patrons.

Special thanks to gallery supporters Bosse & Baum, Galería Agustina Ferreyra, Carlos/Ishikawa, Galerie Sultana, and Union Pacific.


Please contact our Marketing and Communications Manger, Helen Gale, on for further details.

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