It’s the most momentous biennale in living memory. I have never seen anything like it. This has nothing to do with the war, of which more later, though the Russian pavilion is closed and the borscht-coloured super-yachts all duly banished. Nor is it to do with the year-long delay caused by a pandemic that has no visible reflection whatsoever in the many thousands of works of art; nor is it even to do with the art itself.

Rather, it is an epochal shift in attitudes. For the very first time, there are many more women than men, everywhere from the Giardini to the Arsenale and specifically in the main group exhibition that takes place in both. A whole cast who have been waiting in the wings for far too long are now playing front of stage. The 59th edition will go down in history as the women’s biennale.

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