XIII. Florence Biennale

Eternal Feminine – Eternal Change

October 23 – October 31

The Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, also known as the Florence Biennale is an art exhibition held in Florence since 1997 inaugurated by Piero and Pasquale Celona.

The XIII. Florence Biennial will take place October 23 to October 31 at the historical Fortezza da Basso in Florence. More than 450 exhibitors, coming from 65 different countries will show their works at the 11.000 square meters space of the XVI Century pentagonal fortress.


Black Swan by Flora Borsi


The theme of this year’s Biennial is “Eternal Feminine – Eternal Change” with emphasis on the concept of femininity in contemporary art and design. It is trying to explore the femininity universe reflecting on the immutable essence of femininity and on the idea of ​​the perennial change that characterizes the contemporary world.

“The Feminine has been understood as a transversal concept,” says the curator of the exhibition Fortunato D’Amico, “interpreted to give a face to artistic investigations that are sensitive to social, environmental and economic issues, explored from different points of view, found in the wide expressive panorama of the arts.”

One of the art work, presented at Cavaniglia Pavilion under this special concept, is La bandiera del mondo 1+1=3 (The Flag of the World) by Michelangelo Pistoletto and Angelo Savarese, which will occupy the central space of the pavilion. It is a symbol of a new awareness of responsibility, and exhorts us to“think globally, act locally, to love differences…”,  carrying out an intercultural understanding to strengthen as well as above all a cultural understanding beyond borders, which still exist between nations, ethnics, religion and gender.


La bandiera del mondo (The Flag of the World) by Michelangelo Pistoletto & Angelo SavareseLa bandiera del mondo 1+1=3 by Michelangelo Pistoletto and Angelo Savarese


Pistoletto will as well receive this years Lifetime Achievement Award “Lorenzo il Magnifico” in art, for his work mainly dealing with the subject matter of reflection and the unification of art and everyday life; while Vivienne Westwood will be awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award “Leonardo da Vinci” in design, for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.

Contrary to similar large exhibitions and art fairs where national governments bear the cost, the costs of the Florentine Biennale are borne directly by the participating artists. Sometimes up to 4.000 or 5.000 Dollar per artist (fee, traveling, transportation and accomodation). This has given rise to criticism that the Florence Biennale makes most of its money from artists rather than from sales to the public. Based on feedback from artists he had invited, a former member of the selection committee for the inaugural 1999 exhibition criticized the high costs asked of participating artists; the jury member declined to serve on the jury again.

Surely art events as biennials and fairs are an opportunity to interact into the international stage of contemporary art and they offer not only a wonderful aesthetic experience for the visitors but also present us contemporary ethical issues to reflect on, whether they are about the deep side of the art events organization world or the thematics faced by artists in their art works.

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