12 works of art at the Venice Biennale that will haunt you for the rest of your day

472264676Awakening/Getty ImagesAn installation by Irina Nakhova, the first woman to represent Russia at the Venice Biennale.

It’s time to eat pasta and look at art in Venice, Italy. 

The 56th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition opened this past Saturday, May 9th, and will run through November 22nd.

Key information: Okwui Enwezor is the curator, the exhibition is titled “All the World’s Futures,” and
 136 artists from 53 different countries are represented. 

'I SCREAM DADDIO' is one of many provocative sculptures created by British artist Sarah Lucas. (Yes, that is a cigarette you see there.) She describes the works as bringing strangeness into the sunny light of day -- note the bright yellow walls.

Chiharu Shiota's 'The Key in the Hand' is visually captivating with a powerful message. Representing our ability to unlock our minds and discover our memories, thousands of keys hang from crimson threads above two wooden boats. The installation is surrounded by videos of children remembering moments in their lives.

A major player in the evolution of Moscow Conceptualism -- that is, 'a critical reflection on Soviet imagery' -- Irina Nakhova is behind this eerie installation, part of The Green Pavilion that's made up entirely of her work. She is the first woman to represent Russia in a solo pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

Cameroonian artist Barthélémy Toguo's 'Urban Requiem' is about shared human experiences and perspectives. His wooden sculptures are emblazoned with words like 'Hope,' 'End Police Brutality,' and 'Black Lives Matter.'

'Nymphéas,' French artist Adel Abdessemed's clusters of machetes, makes reference to Claude Monet's 'Water Lilies.' The 'flowers' are displayed in the Corderie space in the Arsanale.

Artist Natalia Pershina Yakimanskaya connects art with society through clothes. This installation, entitled 'Clothes For The Demonstration Against False Election of Vladimir Putin,' references the anti-Putin protests of 2011.

Canadian artists Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère, and Nicolas Laverdière (BGL) transformed the Canadian Pavilion into a depanneur (the term for 'convenience store' in Quebec and French-speaking parts of Canada) and titled it 'Canadassimo.' Beyond the store is an artist's studio, a loft, and a spacious terrace, none of which are fully completed, playing into the creative process.

Swedish artist Thomas Hirschhorn is known for his large-scale multimedia installations. This display, which appears in mayhem and disarray, holds court at the Giardini space.

'The Portrait of Sakip Sabanci,' created by Kutlug Ataman, features the faces of those connected to Sakip Sabanci, the Turkish billionaire and art collector who died in 2004. The piece took approximately three years to create.

A scene from the Corderie space in the Arsanale featuring sculptures by Sônia Gomes (foreground) and a warm-lighted stage by jazz pianist Jason Moran titled 'Stage' (background).

Katharina Grosse used beautiful acrylics to create this work, 'Untitled Trumpet.' She covers the wall, floor, and various objects, creating a dramatic, colourful, and textured display in the Corderie space at the Arsenale.

Fabio Mauri created 'Muro Occidentale o del Pianto,' which translates to 'The Western or the Wailing Wall,' back in 1993. The wall of wood and leather suitcases is symbolic of a divided world and forced exile.

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