06/01/2011 02:45 pm ET | Updated Aug 01, 2011

Highlights From the 54th Venice Biennale 2011

The 2011 International Venice Biennale opens this week, featuring the national pavilions of a record 88 participating countries. Long hailed as the world's most prestigious forum for contemporary art, this year's celebration largely focuses on innovation, youth, and global transformation. Zimbabwe and Haiti are exhibiting for the first time in the biennial's history, while Iraq returns after 43 years. The U.S. national pavilion showcases Allora & Calzadilla, an artist collective based in Puerto Rico who offer a groundbreaking installation dealing with complex national, political, and aesthetic questions. For its part, Russia employs Andrei Monastyrsky and Collective Actions to reference the defiant rise of contemporary art under Soviet rule. These 5 entries exemplify the immense scope and diversity that has come to characterize the Biennale, which in its 54th installment continues to display its commitment to the most relevant artistic currents around the world.

Highlights from the 54th Venice Biennale 2011