Venice Biennale


Venice

Through November 24, 2013

In the age of the Internet, with the illusion of limitless information at our fingertips, it's not surprising that the mad lust to capture all of the world's knowledge has resurfaced. It has been with us from the Library of Alexandria through the Enlightenment and Victo- rian self-improvment-secretive and privileged, open and democratic, a means of control and an object wor- thy of hoarding in its own right. Mas- similiano Gioni's group exhibition for the 55th Biennale, "The Encyclopedic Palace," follows the trend, but rejects obtuse cataloguing and pedantic clas- sification (à la the bumbling Bouvard and Pecuchet), replacing narrow categorization and its one-sided view of the world with a broader inclusive- ness of vision. Gioni is interested in the quest for "absolute knowledge," the drive behind the pursuit, not its actual acquisition. His show, centered on one of the great monuments of outsider art-Marino Auriti's model for The Encyclopaedic Palace of the World-unfolds a "delirium of the imagination," creating a Wunderkam- mer devoted to "the images that lie within us and our attempts to under- stand the world and to organize it within our own minds. …

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