2023 Edition: Auto-Exotic

The 4th edition of Venice Design Biennial opened from May 19 to June 18, 2023, under the curatorial theme of "Auto-Exotic".

The curatorial theme

The exotic is dead - long live the exotic. They stole from us elsewhere! What is to be done? There will be a self-elsewhere somewhere else. Designers from all over the world unite, self-colonize, self-appropriate!

In his seminal essay Orientalism (1978), Edward Said showed how since the eighteenth century the cultural investigation of the East, understood as the physical and mental space of exoticism, revealed conceptual connections with colonialist practices.

Elsewhere, populated by odalisques and caliphs, full of mysteries and sensuality, exercised a fascination in Europe that was intertwined with the practices of political, military and commercial hegemony. Exciting passivity, femininity, indolent sensuality-sexuality, immobility, traditionalism, irrationality: all distinctive traits projected on the East to obtain in negative the mold where to pour the incandescent material - virile, progressive, rational - of Western identity

In recent years, two interrelated phenomena have emerged, which have radically altered this scenario. On the one hand, "exotic" cultures and civilizations have spectacularly reversed the cliché of immobile traditionalism. The great emerging powers are located outside the West. It is the West that shows signs of declining immobility. Elsewhere has found its voice - and it is different from what we expected.

Continue reading the curatorial statement

The Platform

A curated selection of design in Venice.

The Platform brings to the international audience of the Venice Design Biennial the best stories about people, places, and practices around design culture in Venice.

The city and its territory host a surprisingly multi-faceted community of designers, makers, architects, and creative people who share an innovative approach, rooted in traditional craftsmanship and refined aesthetics.

The Platform's goal is to foster new connections and ideas.

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