Skip to main content

An overview of the Venice Biennale

We take a particularly English look at the world’s first and oldest biennale, Venice.

July 2011

Posted under: Artist interviews, Curator interviews, Behind-the-scenes of an exhibition

An overview of the Venice Biennale

The British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

 Richard Riley is the Head of Exhibitions for Visual Arts at the British Council. He has curated the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale three times, most recently in 2011. Here Richard discusses the history of the British Pavilion - did you know it used to be a tea house? - and the artist selection process.  Mike Nelson represented Britain in 2011 and you can see exclusive footage of Mike's installation in the pavilion here.


Mark Wallinger's Venice experience.

 Mark Wallinger completed his MA at Goldsmiths College, where he would later go on to teach students including Damien Hirst. In 1999 Mark became the first artist to produce a commissioned work for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth and in 2001 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. Here Mark talks about this experience and about some of the works that came out of it, including the 2006 Turner Prize-winning Tate commission State Britain. 


Exploring the 2011 Venice Biennale.

In early July 2011 a group of A-level students from North London went to Venice to visit the Biennale. Recreative sent an audio recorder along with them and they collected their thoughts and impressions on some of the pavilions, including Britain, Denmark, Japan and Israel. Go behind-the-scenes with them and see what they saw and what they had to say about what they saw...