About the Film

“Magic is the instrument that mankind can use to reaffirm their presence in the world in a moment of crisis,” says curator Cecilia Alemani of “Il Mondo Magico” (“The Magic World”), the fantastical exhibition she curated for the Venice Biennale’s Italian Pavilion. The show borrows its theme and title from a 1948 text by the Neapolitan anthropologist Ernesto de Martino, who examined the use of magic by cultures in southern Italy to shape their world during uncertain times. Showcasing work by Roberto Cuoghi, Adelita Husni-Bey, and Giorgio Andreotta Calò—three artists whose work is informed by rituals and mythologies—the pavilion suggests that artists can use the power of the imagination—like magic—to equip viewers with new ways of reading both the past and the present.

Here, Alemani brings us into the first hall, where sculptures of Jesus are fabricated, incubated, and exhibited in a three-part installation-cum-laboratory by Cuoghi. “Nationalism in art and at the Biennale shouldn’t be seen as an example necessarily of the division in our world but actually on the contrary as a polyphony of voices that come together in one place,” says Alemani of the debate surrounding the Biennale’s framework of national pavilions. “This rhizome of references and connections is what makes the Venice Biennale quite unique.”

Cover photo by Casey Kelbaugh.

For the most immersive 3D experience, watch in Google Cardboard via the YouTube app.


Featuring Cecilia Alemani, curator of the Italian Pavilion

Produced by Scenic

Production Team for Scenic:

Gary Hustwit, Maya Tippett, Jarrard Cole, Lucy Raven, Enrico Lenarduzzi

Production Team for Artsy:

Marina Cashdan, Head of Editorial and Creative Director

Owen Dodd, Designer

Demie Kim, Assistant Project Manager

Alexxa Gotthardt, Staff Writer

Sound mix: Mike Frank

Colorist: Sandy Patch

Music: KW | JR

Presented in collaboration with UBS.

Jun 13, 2017 4:00am
More in Art