New Zealand's contribution to next year's Venice Art Biennale will be housed in an historic naval warehouse.

Auckland artist Lisa Reihana has been chosen to represent New Zealand at the Venice Art Biennale, the world's pre-eminent contemporary art exhibition.

Her large-scale audiovisual immersive project will be housed in Tesa dell'Isolotto, one of the oldest buildings in the Arsenale.

The venue was announced by Arts, Culture and Heritage minister Maggie Barry at a campaign launch in Auckland tonight.


Commissioner Alastair Carruthers said the venue was very important.

"Tesa dell'Isolotto's location in a shipyard offers new possibilities for Reihana's exhibition as she develops it for the Venice environment," he said.

"We are very fortunate to have found space in the Arsenale, where hundreds of thousands of visitors come to experience the best contemporary art from around the globe.

"This will be the first time the New Zealand pavilion is within the Biennale's official exhibition area."

Ms Reihana's exhibition Emissaries will include her panoramic video in Pursuit of Venus [infected], expanded and augmented with a series of new photographic works.