PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 June, 2011, 12:00am



The Venice Biennale, one of the most influential and respected contemporary art events in the world, opened this weekend. What's wowing crowds in the American pavilion is a huge tank (pictured), flipped upside down, by American artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla. The Venice Biennale runs until November 27.


There were two queues outside cinemas for the opening of animated Hollywood film Kung Fu Panda 2 last week: one for ticket-buyers and another for protesters. The boycott was launched by Beijing avant garde artist Zhao Bandi, who also opposed the original film back in 2008. The artist, backed by Professor Kong Qingdong of Peking University, accuses the film of 'twisting Chinese culture' and attempting to 'kidnap the minds of the Chinese people'.


Basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal announced his retirement on Twitter last Thursday after 19 years of playing in the NBA. During the past two decades, the giant centre has been a prominent figure in pop culture: he starred in movies (the horrible Kazaam), released a rap album, and had his own TV show.


A life-sized ice sculpture of a polar bear sits in front of the Customs House Square in Sydney, courtesy of British sculptor Mark Coreth. This is part of the Ice Bear Project, sponsored by the WWF, and provides an arresting example of the threat of global warming - the 11-tonne polar bear is slowly melting away.


Music fans from across the US are making their way to Manchester, Tennesse, this Thursday for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. This year's line-up features rap superstars Eminem (pictured) and Lil Wayne, along with indie favourites Arcade Fire and The Black Keys. The four-day circus has 172 acts this year.


With England-born Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor's enormous Monumenta 2011 installation going strong in Paris, the 57-year-old's other exhibition closes today after a strong run at the Manchester Art Gallery. Titled Flashback, the exhibition showcased a selection of the artist's stainless steel sculptures of odd human shapes.