Jacopo Celona, Director of the XII Florence Biennale

18 – 27 October | Fortezza da Basso, Florence

XIIth Florence Biennale and the spirit of our times

These days, as in past ones, we cannot ignore cultural heritage from different civilizations, first and foremost the one we belong to, especially if we want to imagine a brighter future.

Looking at history from a new perspective while reinterpreting traditions and foreseeing possible evolvement is something that artists have always done before anyone else, often proving to be ahead of their time.

Contemporary artists, who may also use new media to enquire and represent the rapidly changing reality of our time, make no exception.

The fifth centennial of Leonardo da Vinci’s death has prompted us to reflect more thoroughly on his creative process, entwining artistic research and the scientific study of nature so as to understand the essence of things and their possible order.

The art and genius of Leonardo da Vinci

The XIIth Florence Biennale celebrates the art and genius of Leonardo da Vinci by highlighting the power of his imagination as well as the intuitive and experimental approach that he adopted to invent and design different kinds of devices, some of which were amazingly pioneering.

In such a dual perspective, we aim to represent Florence and its region today: Florence as a city of art reinterpreting its great heritage from the Renaissance, and yet a centre of excellence for design, especially in the fashion world.

Pursuing this intent has led us to dialoguing with further institutions and organisations, some of which promote breakthrough projects at national and international levels.

I should add that the choice made this year welcomes suggestions received from many artists who participated in past editions of our biennial. More particularly, talents who express themselves through the arts but also work in the fields of architecture, graphics, and design within the field of the so-called creative industries. Our design exhibition, welcoming over two hundred participants, thus offers an insight into contemporary creativity also within the design sphere and acknowledges its value.

Besides, this year’s art exhibition welcomes nearly five hundred artists from five continents and seventy-four countries. Once again, therefore, the Florence Biennale enjoys great success while establishing its reputation as an event fostering dialogue between Florence, the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’, and contemporary arts.

In the light of all this, I am glad and proud of having contributed to the development of the XIIth Florence Biennale, founded twenty-four years ago by my uncle and my father.

Indeed, they sowed the seeds of an ambitious project, which has since then been regarded as something difficult to achieve in the city of Florence because of its overwhelming past.

XIIth  Florence Biennale, the continuous dialogue dialogo with Florence and world community
The XIIth Florence Biennale is promoted and organised by Arte Studio Società Benefit, which by definition operates with social commitment to local and international communities while interacting with artists, cultural actors, institutions, and organisations.

Special thanks go to our sponsors and partners as well as the curators of the art and design exhibitions, the International Juries, International Selection Committee, Collaborators, and team members. All of them, in different ways, help many artists and designers make their dream of exhibiting in Florence come true. Moreover, they help us tackle the challenges of present-day reality.

Indeed, it is a reality that artists and designers participating in the XIIth Florence Biennale have interpreted with different approaches, techniques, and materials to obtain different outcomes.

I wish to thank all of them for joining us, and giving breath of life to an event where interdisciplinarity and cross-cultural dialogue have always been regarded as values.