The Venice Biennale (Italian: Biennale di Venezia) is a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years and one of the most important dates in the contemporary art calendar. Many are exalting that this years Biennale is not about the conspicuous consumption, materialism and trophy art of recent years. However, a surprise inclusion and debut at this years Venice Biennale may have ruffled a few feathers.
The Vatican has chosen to enter the first ever Pavilion of the Holy See, becoming one of the 88 nations to show work at this cacophonous, often irreligious festival of art from across the world. Reactions to the the pavilion have been mixed – from admiration at the Vatican’s willingness to engage with the art world to disappointment that the Holy See, historically the most important patron of art in the western world, has fielded what in some quarters is regarded as a kind of all-purpose spiritual mishmash.