One would think that this national focus would promote competitiveness or discord, but instead the event has a healthy sense of unity in coming together every two years for over 100 years to celebrate art, architecture, music and dance.
That is not to say that the exhibitions are lacking in political speech. Three in particular had overt political themes in their work. Venezuela's pavilion focused on street art which had a strong anti-globalization vein running through it. I thought it ironic though how globalized graffiti culture has become. Germany's pavilion was full of political speech, especially, Romuald Karmakar's videos that addressed Germany's struggle to deal with it's history. South Africa's pavilion dealt with the idea of trying to move beyond it's history of apartheid and the protest art that defined that generation into one focused on crafting a new identity for the country. http://sa-venice-biennale.com/sa-pavilion/
This was an amazing year for the biennale and I'm looking forward to showing my students ALL the work that was on display at the event.