Active mainly in the visual arts – but also in music, cinema, theater, architecture and dance, the Venice Biennale (Biennale di Venezia) is an international cultural exhibition hosted every year in Venice by the Biennale Foundation.
The Venice Biennale has an attendance of over 500,000 visitors during the years in which the International Art Exhibition is held.
SHORT HISTORY OF THE VENICE BIENNALE
In 1893, the Municipality of Venice passed a resolution to set up a biennial exhibition of Italian art. A year later, the Municipality decreed that a section of the exhibition will be dedicated to foreign artists.
The first International Art Exhibition was opened on April 30, 1895, by King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy. The exhibition had about a quarter of a million visitors.
The first editions of the Venice Biennale were held in Palazzo Pro Arte, then the Italian Pavilion, currently the Central Pavilion and the institutional site of the main exhibition of the Art Biennale, near the Biennale Gardens (Giardini della Biennale), located in the Castello sestiere (district).
Starting with 1907, a certain number of other complexes began to rise around Palazzo Pro Arte, the National Pavilions, born on a design by famous architects.
With the Royal Decree of January 13, 1930, the Venice Biennale was transformed into an autonomous body passing from the control of the Municipality of Venice to that of the Fascist state.
Under the presidency of Giuseppe Volpi, the Biennale opened up to various forms of art. In 1930, the Contemporary Music Exhibition was born, followed two years later, in 1932, by the more important and famous Venice International Film Festival.
In 1934, the first edition of the International Theater Festival took place.
During the Second World War, the activities of the Biennale were interrupted. The Film festival was resumed in 1946, the Music and Theater festivals in 1947, and the Art Exhibition in 1948.
In 1980, the first edition of the International Architecture Exhibition was held under the direction of Paolo Portoghesi. The Architecture Exhibition takes place every two years, alternating with the Art Exhibition.
The International Festival of Contemporary Dance was born in 1999.
The current president of the Biennale, appointed in January 2020, is Roberto Cicutto.
VENICE BIENNALE 2023 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The events included in the Venice Biennale 2023 are:
- The International Kids’ Carnival, between February 11 and 19;
- The 18th edition of the International Architecture Exhibition, between May 20 and November 26;
- The 51st edition of the International Theater Festival, between June 15 and July 1;
- The 17th edition of the International Festival of Contemporary Dance, between July 13 and 29;
- The 80th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, between August 30 and September 9;
- The 67th edition of the International Festival of Contemporary Music, between October 16 and 29.
THE VENUES OF THE VENICE BIENNALE 2023
Giardini della Biennale represent the main venue of the Venice Biennale 2023. The gardens host both the International Art Exhibition, which will take place in 2024, and the International Architecture Exhibition, part of the Venice Biennale 2023.
The Biennale Gardens contain 30 permanent pavilions. Each pavilion is allocated to a particular nation and displays works of art belonging to the respective country.
The International Theater Festival is usually held in Ca’ Giustinian, a historic palace located in the San Marco sestiere, and in Teatro Piccolo Arsenale, Teatro alle Tese and Sale d’Armi, located in the area of the Arsenal of Venice.
The locations listed above are also the venues for the International Festival of Contemporary Dance.
The Venice International Film Festival is held in the historic Palazzo del Cinema, in Palazzo del Casinò and other neighboring buildings located on Lungomare Marconi, on the island of Lido.
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