This past May I spent several days at the Venice Biennale, arriving a week after the opening when the crowds had thinned and the art paparazzi had flown away. The exhibition installations were still invitingly fresh (they tend to be a bit dogeared by the end of summer) and it was even possible to move unimpeded through the spaces at the Arsenale and the Giardini.

The Biennale elicited a number of mixed reviews—some, like Laura Cumming in the Guardian, describing it as “a glum trudge,”1 while Roberta Smith in the New York Times seemed less exercised and more admiring of the exhibition's overt political and moral agenda.2 But, would one really expect anything less from Okwui Enwezor? “All the World's Futures” is the logical extension of Enwezor's past “idea driven” exhibits including “The Short Century: Independence...

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