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We love to go to the Venice Biennale when it’s quiet. In mid summer, despite the deluge of tourists at Saint Marks Square, the Biennale sites are virtually deserted.

We loved the wit of The Encyclopaedic Palace, the main thematic show last time, but this year’s offering – All The World’s Futures, curated by Okwui Enwezor – was less compelling: duller, and inconsistent, it had few sparks.

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In contrast the rich reds of Chiharu Shiota’s The Key in the Hand installation at the Japanese Pavilion, the custard yellow of Sarah Lucas’s  I Scream Daddio presentation at the British Pavilion, and the reds and greens of Irina Nakhova’s Green Pavilion at the Russian Pavilion were welcome injections of colour.

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Fiona Hall’s dense exhibition Wrong Way Time at the Australian Pavilion engaged with its complexity and ambition.

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Away from the Biennale, the exhibition, Proportio, at the Palazzo Fortuny, curated by Axel Vervoordt, was a highlight: a beautifully installed melange of cultures that transcended its theoretical underpinning.

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