The world’s art elite donned their shiniest loafers last week and beat a swift path by vaporetto, gondola, and speedboat to the biggest international art event this year, the 55thVenice Biennale. With a record 88 national pavilions, and ten countries appearing for the first time — including Angola, Kosovo, the Maldives, and bizarrely, the Vatican — there was no shortage of spectacles. Among the highlights and press stunts from the first few days were: Jeremy Deller’s acclaimed British Pavilion, which included birds of prey snatching Range Rovers from the super-rich; Milla Jovovich’s appearance in a Plexiglas box in the Barnabo garden; Portugal’s Pavilion arriving on sea in the form of decommissioned ferry boat decked out ornately inside and out; and in Venice’s Sant’Antonin church, Ai Wei Wei’s arresting account of his 81 days spent in a Chinese prison. We bring you twenty of the most noteworthy artworks from around Venice.BEGIN SLIDESHOW
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