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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

A Guide to the 2024 Venice Biennale National Pavilions

Every other year, the art world flocks to Italy for the Venice Biennale, the world’s grandest and most esteemed recurring art exhibition.

Many are coming with the top priority of seeing the main exhibition, which, in 2024, will be curated by Adriano Pedrosa, the first Latin American to have received the honor. But just as many are there for the national pavilions, which are not officially related to the main show but coincide with it.

As usual, there will be firsts, with Benin among those making its Venice Biennale debut this year. Yet other countries who typically participate won’t be there this time for a variety of reasons.

Russia, which is still embroiled in its war with Ukraine, won’t show at the Biennale for the second edition in a row. New Zealand and Scotland scuttled their plans to mount pavilions, citing problems associated with financing their exhibitions. Morocco, which was set to exhibit at the Venice Biennale for the first time ever, bowed out at the last minute; the reasons for the decision remain opaque.

Meanwhile, a storm of controversy has centered around the pavilion for Israel, which will go forward with its show. Amid military action in Gaza that has killed more than 30,000 people sparked by the October 7 Hamas attack, thousands of artists, including some showing in the main exhibition, called on the Biennale to ban Israel from participating. The Biennale declined to do so.

Below is a look at every pavilion that has been announced for the 2024 Venice Biennale.

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