Just a week after his inauguration, Pope Francis is already trying to revamp his image as a contemporary-art-hating wet blanket. The Vatican has announced that it will have its own contemporary art show at this year’s Venice Art Biennale, Art F City reports.
Since its establishment as an independent state in 1929, the Vatican has never once participated in the Biennale, arguably the world’s most important international art exhibition. Five years ago, the Vatican’s minister of culture Gianfranco Ravasi voiced some interest their participation in the 2009 Biennale, but ultimately got cold feet. Apparently they psyched themselves out with the notion of being adjacent to installations like “Madonna Cries Sperm,” which caused some controversy in Bologna that year.
So we’ve gotta hand it to dear Popey, notorious hater of Argentina’s “blasphemous” art scene, for attempting to show that the Catholic Church is totally “with it” and thinking outside of the Bible box. The artists representing the Vatican are still TBA, but we did get our hands on this juicy tidbit: their theme will be… “The First Book of Genesis.”