Venice Biennale, Golden Lions to Simone Leigh and Britain

The Venice Biennale names the winners of the 2022 edition: the Golden Lions go to Simone Leigh and the Great Britain Pavilion.

The Venice Biennale has just named the winners of the 2022 edition, the fifty-ninth of the great contemporary art exhibition. The Golden Lions go to Simone Leigh (for best participant in the international exhibition The Milk of Dreams) and to Great Britain with Sonia Boyce’s exhibition Feeling Her Way (for best national participation). The Silver Lion for best young person goes to Ali Cherri (Beirut, 1976). Special mentions for international exhibition artists to Shuvinai Ashoona (Cape Dorset, 1961) and Lynn Hershman Leeson (Cleveland, 1941). Special mentions for national entries to France andUganda, the latter in its first participation in the Biennale.

The international jury that awarded the prizes consisted of Adrienne Edwards (jury president), Lorenzo Giusti, Julieta González, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, and Susanne Pfeffer. The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement, to Katharina Fritsch and Cecilia Vicuña, which had already been announced last month, were also presented during the awards ceremony.

“Today officially the exhibition opens to the public,” says Cecilia Alemani, curator of the international exhibition. It has been a very long preparation of almost two years but finally seeing visitors has been the greatest joy of these long months. Organizing this exhibition was a beautiful adventure, but not without obstacles. It took two years of fear and terrible losses to get this far. The Biennale team imagined in really extreme and complicated situations: to remember the magnitude of this historic event I recall that the last time the Biennale was postponed was in 1944 during World War II. I thank the artists, supporters, the curatorial team, and the entire Venice Biennale team."

The motivations

Golden Lion for Best Artist at the International Exhibition The Milk of Dreams to Simone Leigh: “for the monumental sculpture at the entrance to the Arsenale, rigorously researched, virtuously realized, powerfully evocative that, together with Belkis Ayón, provided a compelling opening to the ideas, sensibilities and proposals with which The Milk of Dreams is studded and animated.”

Golden Lion for Best National Participation to Great Britain: “Sonia Boyce proposes another reading of stories through sound. Working in collaboration with other black women, she reveals a multitude of stories that have gone unheard. Boyce proposes a very contemporary language in the fragmented forms that the viewer reconstructs through her experience in the pavilion. Important questions of evidence are posed in opposition to perfect attunement, as are the relationships between voices in the form of a chorus, at a distance and at different points in the exhibition.”

Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the International Exhibition The Milk of Dreams to Ali Cherri: “for an interdisciplinary and layered presentation that brings the meditation on earth, fire and water from a constructive perspective to a mythological dimension, reflecting the exhibition itself The Milk of Dreams in its opening to other narratives that depart from the logic of progress and reason.”

Special mention for the international exhibition to Shuvinai Ashoona because she “reveals in her drawings and paintings the depth of indigenous Inuk cosmogonies. An existence in which species are interdependent on each other, without the mediation of the coloniality of human species power. Acknowledging the violence of the colonial enterprise, Ashoona, in her work proposes the possibility of escaping a dead end by listening carefully and deeply to the wisdom of the indigenous people.”

Special Mention for International Exhibition to Lynn Hershman Leeson “for indexing the cyber issues that run through the exhibitions in an enlightening and powerful way, in an attitude that also goes back to visionary moments in her own practice that envisioned the influence of technology in our daily lives.”

Special mention for National Participations to France “in recognition and gratitude for the exchange of ideas and solidarity, such as the idea of building community in the diaspora. For examining the complex history of cinema beyond the West and the multiple stories of resistance in its work.”

Special mention for National Participations to Uganda “in recognition of their vision, ambition and commitment to serving artists working in their country. Using raffia-covered sculptural materials Acaye Kerunen proposes sustainability as a practice and not just a policy or mere abstraction.”

The work with which Simone Leigh won the Golden Lion, placed in the first room of the exhibition at the Arsenale
The work with which Simone Leigh won the Golden Lion, placed in the first room of the Arsenale exhibition
Britain's pavilion
The pavilion of Great Britain
One of the works of Ali Cherri
One of Ali Cherri’s works
The works of Shuvinai Ashoona
The works of Shuvinai Ashoona
One of the works of Lynn Hershman Leeson
One of Lynn Hershman Leeson
’s works
The works of Shuvinai Ashoona The works of
Shuvinai Ashoona
The pavilion of France
The pavilion of France
Uganda's pavilion The pavilion of

Venice Biennale, Golden Lions to Simone Leigh and Britain
Venice Biennale, Golden Lions to Simone Leigh and Britain

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