Can dancing be a survival strategy? Such is the question posed by artist Mirkan Deniz in her examination of a Kurdish “guerrilla dance” as a site of resistance. Deniz's query was included in the series of letters to the visitor distributed along with Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz's film installation Moving Backwards (2019) in the Swiss Pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale (May 11–November 24, 2019). The urgency of our present moment permeated much of the sprawling biennial, grouped loosely under the apocryphal proverb and curse “May You Live In Interesting Times.” Artists tackled climate catastrophe, rising right-wing nationalism and authoritarianism, refugee crises, and other pressing social and political issues in...

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