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The Biennale di Venezia is an international art exhibition, now in its fiftieth year. Presenting itself as an 'exhibition of exhibitions', the festival consists of a series of displays and installations laid out between the Arsenale and Giardini della Biennale, in the heart of Venice. A particular focus is the national participations in the Giardini Pavillions. The theme of this year's Biennale, curated by Francesco Bonami, is 'Dreams and Conflicts - The Viewer's Dictatorship', and it runs from 15 June to 2 November 2003. Using a picture phone to relay live images, Christabel Stewart reports from the preview week, on the shows, the parties and the glamorous fashion and art world events.