Biennale Arte 2022: The Milk of Dreams


La Biennale di Venezia


Biennale Arte 2022


Number of pages: 2 volumes 752 and 248 pages
Product dimensions: 210 × 270mm
Slipcase: 2mm boards covered in 120 gsm Wibalin Natural, printed 5/0 with protective acrylic varnish, inside unfinished
Cover: 290 gsm Fedrigoni Sirio Jasmine, printed 5/1, with protective acrylic varnish
Endpapers: 290 gsm Fedrigoni Sirio Jasmine, printed 40
Text: 100 gsm Munken Lynx Rough, printed 4/4 and 5/5
Exposed spine: 120 gsm Wibalin
Binding: Flexicover

From April 23 on, huge eyes will be watching us from the Riva degli Schiavoni, from the Venetian piazzas, from the traghetto stops, from the covers of the catalogue, The Milk of Dreams, created for the occasion of the 59th Biennale Arte.  The eyes are taken from the works of Belkis Ayón, Felipe Baeza, Tatsuo Ikeda, and Cecilia Vicuña, details chosen to reflect the themes that run through the Biennale: dream, body, transformation, reflection of the soul.  Like the eyes of the monsters and bizarre characters illustrated by Leonora Carrington, surrealist artist and writer, whose illustrated collection of fantastic stories, The Milk of Dreams, provides the title of Biennale Arte 2022.

“Humbert was the most beautiful boy in the town. He had blue eyes and golden curls. He was very beautiful, but he was nasty. He liked putting rats in the beds of his sisters. The little girls cried.

One day Rose, his sister, put a crocodile in his bed.

– AI, – yelled Humbert, – I’m afraid there’s a crocodile in my bed! –

But Humbert was so beautiful the crocodile gave him an agreeable smile. Humbert and the crocodile had become friends.

The child is even nastier than he was before because he goes everywhere with the crocodile.”

When asked why she chose this literary work as inspiration, Cecilia Alemanni, curator of the 59th Biennale, recounts: “The book describes a free world, without hierarchies, where it is always possible to become something else, to transform and to change; where humans live with animals and machines in a symbiotic communion, at times joyous and at times disturbing.  In Carrington’s figures of transformation, I found a synthesis that seemed to sum up the concerns of many contemporary artists.”

The first thematic capsule of the Central Pavilion hosts a group of women painters from the 1930s who are adjacent to Surrealism. In the catalogue, their work is reproduced splendidly from page 93 on.  The catalogue is a particular point of pride for Graphicom, who saw to printing and binding the books and making the slipcase.  It is another example of the dance of the printer’s eye and the latest technology, the considered choice of materials and meticulous workmanship, put to the service of color and art, for a show as prestigious and international as the Venice Biennale.