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Venice Biennale Brings 'Encyclopedic Palace' To Life

The 55th Venice Biennale is under way, bringing together international artists working in diverse media for one of the art world's biggest events. The title of this year's exhibition is "The Encyclopedic Palace," a reference to a 1955 work by Italian-American artist Marino Auriti, who created a model of an enormous museum that would theoretically house all human knowledge. The Biennale's artistic director, Massimiliano Gioni, said that the choice of theme represents "the impossibility of capturing the sheer enormity of the art world today." The art on display ranges from abstract sculpture and light installations to works with powerful political and religious themes. (Photos by Dmitry Volchek, RFE/RL's Russian Service)

A sculpture by British artist Marc Quinn at an exhibition center on the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore
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A sculpture by British artist Marc Quinn at an exhibition center on the Venetian island of San Giorgio Maggiore

A sculpture by British artist Marc Quinn
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A sculpture by British artist Marc Quinn

A light installation by U.S. artist Diana Thater at the Prima Materia Exhibition at Punta della Dogana
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A light installation by U.S. artist Diana Thater at the Prima Materia Exhibition at Punta della Dogana

A sculpture by Lucy and Jorge Orta at the Glasstress exhibition
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A sculpture by Lucy and Jorge Orta at the Glasstress exhibition

A wall of Mickey Mouse figurines is part of the "Nothing Between Us" installation by Vladimir Peric and Milos Tomic at the Serbian pavilion.
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A wall of Mickey Mouse figurines is part of the "Nothing Between Us" installation by Vladimir Peric and Milos Tomic at the Serbian pavilion.

Israeli artist Ron Arad's "Last Train" at the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti
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Israeli artist Ron Arad's "Last Train" at the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti

"700 Snowballs," an installation by Swiss-born U.S. artist Not Vital at an exhibition center on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore
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"700 Snowballs," an installation by Swiss-born U.S. artist Not Vital at an exhibition center on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore

A scene from a video installation by Danish artist Jesper Just
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A scene from a video installation by Danish artist Jesper Just

Sculptures by Chinese artist Simon Ma in the courtyard of the Venice Conservatory
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Sculptures by Chinese artist Simon Ma in the courtyard of the Venice Conservatory

A sculpture by Simon Ma in the courtyard of the Venice Conservatory
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A sculpture by Simon Ma in the courtyard of the Venice Conservatory

A view from Venice's Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, where the Glasstress exhibition of glass art is on display.
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A view from Venice's Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, where the Glasstress exhibition of glass art is on display.

A seashell-shaped sculpture by British artist Marc Quinn near the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore
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A seashell-shaped sculpture by British artist Marc Quinn near the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore

Symbols buried in sand are part of the work "Blank History" by Azerbaijani artist Chingiz.
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Symbols buried in sand are part of the work "Blank History" by Azerbaijani artist Chingiz.

"Trilogy," by the Russian art group AES+F
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"Trilogy," by the Russian art group AES+F

"Nero Watching Rome Burn" by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss
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"Nero Watching Rome Burn" by Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss

"Byars Is Elephant," the last installation by the late U.S. artist James Lee Byars (1932-1997)
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"Byars Is Elephant," the last installation by the late U.S. artist James Lee Byars (1932-1997)

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