The 55th Venice Biennale was less about art world trends and more about real world issues. There was Cuban art about escape, Angolan art about the remnants of an impoverished society, Chinese art about the invasion of privacy at airports, and Hungarian art about bombs that, in both world wars, were fired but didn’t explode. This time, the Biennale exhibited a social conscience and a sense of nervousness. The overall title, “Il Palazzo Enciclopedico” (The Encyclopedic Palace) could, of course, cover anything at all. Curator Massimiliano Gioni was inspired by the American immigrant folk artist Marino Auriti, who, in the 1950s, designed an imaginary 136-story museum intended to house all of human knowledge, to be built in Washington, DC. It was an enterprise of quixotic idealism that didn’t happen, but a model of the museum served as a focal point for Gioni’s show. Carefully crafted and provocative, the model seemed to grant permission to do anything except be fashionable… see the entire review in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.