Personal Structures 2024: Beyond Boundaries

From 20th April to 24th November 2024 in Venice, precisely in the venues of Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and at the Giardini della Marinaressa, will take place Personal Structures, a group exhibition that has been organised every two years since 2011 by the European Cultural Centre. The biennial exhibition documents the diversity of contemporary art today, presenting different artistic expressions that break away from all ideological, political and geographical barriers.

The European Cultural Centre (ECC) is a non-profit organisation whose main objective is the promotion of culture through international exchanges.
The Personal Structures project was founded in 2002 as an open platform where artists can present their work and thinking through exhibitions, symposia and publications.
René Rietmeyer, artist and founder of the European Cultural Centre, conceived a project that argues that every work of art, even the most minimal, carries within it an intrinsic part of the artist’s consciousness, thus being personal in some way.

Taking note of the complex dynamics that characterise our global society, Beyond Boundaries was chosen as the guiding title for Personal Structures 2024.
The group exhibition will present itself not only as an exhibition, but also as a journey across multiple geographical, political, religious, cultural and artistic boundaries. While some physical and conceptual boundaries can mean comfort and safety – such as our bodies, the walls of our homes, the lines of the road – the exhibition aims to shift these constraints, to investigate what lies beyond in order to observe it from a different point of view.

Delving into the challenges of global migration and the intricate web of national identities, Personal Structures emerges as a vital artistic dialogue, transcending borders and reflecting the complexities of our highly interconnected world.” This is how Sara Danieli, Head of Art at ECC Italy, describes the seventh edition of Personal Structures.

Bringing together more than 200 multidisciplinary artists and creatives from 51 different countries, Personal Structures aims to provide a rich range of perspectives on the pressing challenges of our time. Established and emerging international artists, photographers, sculptors and performers will be joined by art institutions, academics and galleries articulating their visions, reflections and responses to the multi-faceted challenges of contemporary society.

Yoko Ono, in parallel with her current exhibition at the Tate Modern, presents at the Giardini della Marinaressa an intriguing work that looks at the present, imagining and alluding to a utopian world at peace.
Reinforcing a collaboration that began in 2022, the Palestine Museum US presents at Palazzo Mora Foreigners in their own land, an exhibition curated by Faisal Saleh that embraces a selection of Palestinian artists.

Robert Jahnke ‘s Te Wepu MMXXIII, on the other hand, offers a homage to the Māori prophet Te Kooti Arikirangi Te Tūruki (1830-1893). His neon in the forms of crescent moon, cross, mountain, bleeding heart and star, whose colours allude to the Union Jack, are invested with new meaning to reinvigorate the symbols of resistance within the neo-colonial present.

One of the iconic rooms of Palazzo Bembo is transformed to investigate the theme of female sexuality, the artists in the exhibition observe their own bodies and experiences, exploring how women navigate the world and its sudden changes.
In the same location, Elizabeth Heyert ‘s intimate photographs speak of loss and mourning: the artist explores spirituality and the afterlife by capturing, as an outsider observer, the corpses of more than thirty citizens belonging to the community led by Isaiah Owens.
Also of note is photographer Sandra Cattaneo Adorno who, in her exhibition Ten Years, explores different layers of the in/visible world, using the inverted image to symbolically explore negative space.

Several installations instead bring attention to the themes of climate change, greenwashing and sustainability. Acclaimed British sculptor Emily Young presents at the Giardini della Marinaressa and Palazzo Mora a series of sculptures that provide a remarkable and exciting example of the use of stones she collects from abandoned quarries, stone courtyards and wild places.
A selection of works by students and academics exhibited between Palazzo Bembo and Palazzo Mora look at the role that the University should assume in the next generations and address the dilemma of Venice with an artistic project linked to the city itself.

Personal Structures 2024 thus becomes a celebration of diversity, showing the beauty that comes from the interaction between different perspectives.
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Cover: Ross-Sutton Gallery presenting Lunita-July Dorn, Occhio, Malocchio, Prezzemolo E Finocchio“ (Auge, böses Auge, Petersilie und Fenchel), 2024. Courtesy of the artist and Destinee Ross-Sutton
Photo 1: Palazzo-Bembo – ©Matteo Losurdo
Photo 2: Giardini della Marinaressa – ©Federico Vespignani
Photo 3: Klaus Littmann, Arena for a Tree, 2020-2024. Render by Axel Vansteenkiste
Photo 4: Palazzo Bembo
Photo 5: Personal Structures 2022 – ©Chiara Becattini
Photo 6/7: Visitors at Palazzo Bembo – ©Clelia Cadamuro
Photo 8: Palestine Museum US, Foreigners in their Homeland presenting Samia Halaby, Massacre of the Innocents/Gaza, 2024
Photo 9: Hermann Nitsch, Schüttbild mit Hemd (Kreuzwegstation) SX 2 00A, 2000. Courtesy of Galerie Breyer. ©Michael Jurtin
Photo 10: Sandra Cattaneo Adorno, Ten Years VI, 2023_©Sandra Cattaneo Adorno, from Sandra Cattaneo Adorno/ Ten Years
Photo 11: Emily Young, Lost Mountain Head I, 2013