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The Venice Biennial’s Only U.S. Exhibit Is Returning to the Portland Art Museum This Year

There are over 30 virtual reality films from 21 countries in this year’s show.

In the middle of the pandemic, the Portland Art Museum managed to score a partnership with one of the biggest events in the art world.

Last September, the museum and NW Film Center hosted the only U.S. exhibit of the Venice Biennial, a 126-year-old art festival and one of the most prominent in the world. For 10 days, the Portland Art Museum was home to the Venice Biennial’s virtual reality competition, Venice VR Expanded.

Now, the competition is about to return to Portland for the second year in a row. The Portland Art Museum announced today that it is one of the exhibition’s 14 international satellite venues, and still the Venice Biennial’s sole U.S. outpost.

There are over 30 virtual reality films from 21 countries in this year’s show. The immersive works range from animated to nonfiction, and from story-focused to abstract experiences.

Like last year, a ticket gets you a one-hour time slot to explore dozens of VR headsets and their respective programs. The event will be held in the museum’s Fields Ballroom, and local duo Mobile Projection Unit will deck out the space with vibey lighting and projection art.

Venice VR Expanded will take place Sept. 1-19. Tickets go on sale in late August.