The fifth edition of the Biennale witnessed widespread participation by the public as well as the presence of artists from over 80 countries.
These unforgettable days offered many opportunities for deep analysis and reflection, drawing an impressive number of enthusiastic artists and visitors.
Examples of these occasions were the conferences organized by Gregorio Luke, Director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach California, by Rosa
Tejada of the Metropolitan Museum of New York, and by R. B. Bhaskaran, president of Lalit Kala Akademy, the Indian National Academy of Art.
The event also welcomed artists of undisputed prestige such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude and Richard Anuszkiewicz, who received the Award “Lorenzo il Magnifico” for Lifetime Achievement.
In view of the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, the exhibit showcased the Olympic Torch, designed by Pininfarina and a symbol of universal peace and brotherhood, and
the Award “Lorenzo il Magnifico” was given to TOROC, the company organizing the Winter Olympics.
The Biennale also honoured the creativity of the motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson for its innovation in the field of motorcycling and design.
This edition also took on an even grater international character thanks to its collaboration with the Triennale – India, which offers great opportunities to Indian and Asian artists, and with the Turku Biennale in Finland.
Artistic Director: John T. Spike
The Triennale of India visits the Florence Biennale
Contemporary art from India and Asia was showcased in a special exhibit in honour of the twinning of the Triennale – India and the Florence Biennale. Some of the featured artists were R.B. Bhaskaran, president of Triennale’s Jury, Heri Dono (Indonesia), Manu Parekh, and Mahendra Pandya.
The Triennale – India is one of the largest exhibitions of its kind in the region and it attracts hundreds of artists and experts from various continents and from various parts of India. During this event participants all come together to study original works of art from all over the world. The 2005 edition showcased about 300 original works of art by 167 artists from different cultural contexts with specific aesthetic and artistic sensibilities.
Like the Florence Biennale, the Triennale – India
celebrates the diversity and plurality of cultures and the interconnection between different art forms. It is one of the largest and most important forums of international art, and we all hope that these two ancient and farsighted civilizations will collaborate to create a world that is peaceful, multicultural, and increasingly well connected.
The past and future editions of the Triennale – India were the topic of a workshop hosted by the Florence Biennale with the participation of Dr. Sudhakar Sharma, Executive Secretary of the Lalit Kala Akademy, and Sushma Bahl, Director of this year’s Triennale – India.
Every two years Turku’s Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum (Finland) hosts the Turku Biennale, whose theme changes each edition. The past two events
have been collaborations with an organization from one of Turku’s twinned cities: Saint Petersburg in 2003 and Florence this year. The collaboration between the Biennali of Florence and Turku began in December 2003, when the painter Melore Kuhn was selected to represent Florence at the 2005 Turku Biennale. The exchange between the two events was then completed in the 2005 edition of the Florence Biennale, which exhibited the works of Tatu Hiltunen at the Fortezza da Basso. Tatu Hiltunen was selected by John T. Spike. He is the winner of the 2005 Turku Biennale, whose prize included an invitation to the Florence Biennale.
Even though a single artist per event is a relatively small exchange, it is a significant one: two different Biennials have recognized and promoted the talent of deserving artists.