Florence Biennale brings 600-plus international artists to the city

Florence Biennale brings 600-plus international artists to the city

Lifetime achievement awards will be presented to David LaChapelle and Santiago Calatrava.

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Wed 27 Sep 2023 11:39 AM

Florence Biennale inaugurates its 14th edition, titled I Am You: Individual and Collective Identities in Contemporary Art and Design, as over 600 exhibiting artists from five continents present their ideas on identity at the Fortezza da Basso from October 14 to 22

Florence Biennale 2019

The very essence of being human in all its philosophical, psychological and cultural forms is the theme for this edition, with the diversity of artists guaranteeing a range of insights and artistic methods spread across the 11,000 square meters of exhibition space. 

Highlights include the Maori Collective, who participate for the first time, and I Am Ukraine, featuring works by ten Ukrainian artists. Notably, the petition launched by artist Amir Shayesteh Tabar for the struggle of Iranian women will also be circulated, along with a dedicated exhibition by Iranian artists titled I Am Mahsa: Women Life Freedom

The sustainability of the modern museum sector is another aspect that will be explored with various performances and talks ensuring a vibrant celebration of art and design from all over. Events are also planned elsewhere, including Hotel Savoy and the Accademia di Belle Arti, bringing the Biennale further into the city.

Among the leading figures from the art world who will be featured as guests of honour are Chinese artist Lv Zhong Yuan, with his abstract works enthralling audiences, and journalist Giammarco Sicuro, who presents Can you smile for me? Lost Childhood, in collaboration with UNICEF, a photographic exhibition hauntingly depicting children in war-torn countries. Amelia del Ponte will also be honoured, with her project “You are me” inspired by the theme of this edition.

An interesting element this year is the scan.art Public Award, returning for the second time since the 2021 edition. The digital art exhibition guide enables visitors to scan artworks with their smartphones to receive information about the work and artist, with no registration or download necessary. Each scan of an artwork counts towards an audience reward (only one scan per artwork per user is counted!), with the winners of the public award announced during the awards ceremony.

David LaChapelle, Seismic Shift, Los Angeles, 2012 Florence Biennale
David LaChapelle, Seismic Shift, Los Angeles, 2012

Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to American photographer David LaChapelle and Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, with dedicated spaces for both. All participating artists and designers compete for prizes, with the awards ceremony taking place on October 22. Tickets cost 12 euro (8 euro for students).

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