ETERNAL FEMININE | ETERNAL CHANGE
Concepts of Femininity in Contemporary Art and Design
The theme of the XIIIth edition of the Florence Biennale, which will be held from 23 to 31 October 2021 at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, focuses on the polychrome and multiform universe of femininity, which will be investigated in its many facets, starting with two major guidelines.
On the one hand, the idea that outlines femininity in its immutable essence, which has inspired various of the most important artistic and literary creations in the history of mankind and which unfolds from the primordial cult of the Mother Goddess (Mother Earth) up to the famous Beatrice of Dante Alighieri and Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s “Eternal Feminine”: the idea of femininity as a reflection of divinity, as a spiritual love that crosses the boundaries of time, as a source of purification and elevation, and as a force of universe that forms everything and holds everything.
On the other hand, the idea of perennial change that characterizes the contemporary world and that also affects femininity, which has been transformed and is transformed by the thrust of social and cultural movements such as those that have developed around feminisms and LGBTQ communities. From the sexual revolution of the 1960s to the battles for equal opportunities, up to the debate on gender identities, there are countless stimuli that have led to a redefinition of the concept of femininity, increasing its complexity and multidimensionality even more.
The theme of the XIII Florence Biennale, which will be developed in the coming months thanks to a series of contributions from international curators and experts and which will be interpreted by the participating artists and designers, does not intend to stop at this dichotomy, rather wanting to open up to the widest plurality of points of view. In this perspective, we ask all interested parties from now on some questions, to be understood as part of the possible food for thought related to the theme:
What characteristics outline the immutable essence of femininity?
What aspects have changed in today’s society?
How can femininity be represented in contemporary art?
How can femininity dialogue with the world of design?
How can gender identity be expressed through art and design?
How can art and design contribute to reducing gender inequalities?
Title and text by Giovanni Cordoni | Graphic Design by Edoardo Matteoni © Florence Biennale 2020