Announced the theme of the tenth edition of the Florence Biennale: Art and the Polis
The myth of the ideal city inherited from classical antiquity revived in Laudatio florentinae urbis by Leonardo Bruni and the treatises by Leon Battista Alberti, who wrote his De Pictura in fifteenth-century Florence, where the Plato’s city of philosophers was gaining momentum. From then on the virtual dialogue between the arts has been reawakening through illuminating ‘tokens’ of the past, which are enrichment for the present.
In the city that ows its name to the ludi florales in honour of Flora, goddess of blooming, It is Michelangelo’s David that tightens art and the polis in a closer tie, thus giving breath of life to Giambologna’s Apennine Colossus in Pratolino and other “presences”, including Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Dietro-front sculpture at Porta Romana. In that perspective the polis should be interpreted not only as environment, but also as a microcosm with balanced interrelation between Man and Nature. And, not least, as a privileged scene in which, every two years, the Fortezza da Basso becomes the ‘city of the artists, thus an ideal contemporary city where talents from across the world give lustre to Florence. Debuting artists, emerging artist, and established artist, all committed to experimenting forms, materials and techniques with increasingly raised awareness.
From the forthcoming edition the Florence Biennale will welcome textile & fiber artists, jewellery artists, and ceramic artists, who will play a major role on the scene of the International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Florence by bringing the past into the present through their work. Weaving, shaping, and embellishing: while bringing back to memory the dawn of civilisation, from Lascaux to Mycenae, those artist bear witness to the history of a civitas in which the ‘arts’ were powerful, and determined the destiny of Florence – a community which, today as yesterday, is inspired by ideals of harmony and beauty.
After some reflection, now that Heidegger’s reverberation of Post-Modernism has vanished, we would like to go beyond the notion of Neo-avantgarde and avoid labels of any kind. Rather we would stand for a change inspired by the renovatio of Lorenzo il Magnifico, Michelangelo’s revolutionary canons, and Leonardo’s art, which absorbs and reinterprets reality by translating it into the ‘universo mondo’ that would be theorised, years later, by Giovan Battista Vico.