The Venice Biennial, founded in 1895, owns its name to the International
Exposition of Art that was held every two years in the Castello
In the 1930s, the institution became an autonomous
body answering directly to the Italian government. This period saw
the beginning of the Festival of Music (1930), the International
Film Festival (1932) and the International Theatre Festival (1934)---all
these exhibitions being accompanied by special events and retrospectives
dedicated to artists from Italy and abroad. It was in this period
that the Biennial became established as one of the major institutions
for the organisation of events relating to the various areas of
contemporary arts and culture. The political upheavals of 1968 affected
the Biennial as well, which suspended some of its traditional activities.
In 1973, the organisation was reformed, and since 1975 has also
organised International Exhibitions of Architecture. On 23 January
1998, the law establishing the new statue for the Biennial was approved.
The Biennial is La Biennale di Venezia as prestigious
as the city which is its home. A special non profit-making foundation
open to contributions from the private sector, it enjoys the support
and backing of the Italian government and parliament, who have defined
it by law as an organisation of national importance.
The Biennial is visual arts, music, dance,
architecture, cinema and theatre. It produces exhibitions and research
projects in all these various disciplines, sometimes working in
collaboration with other institutions and bodies. Inspired by the
principles of freedom and open-mindedness behind artistic research,
it also aims to promote the general public knowledge of the contemporary
arts through such permanent projects as workshops and studio activities.
The documentation of its main activities is contained in its own
Contemporary Arts Archive---a key point of reference for the study
and promotion of contemporary art.
For details about the Venice Biennale, please