If Venice is the Biennale. It is equally true that the Biennale is Venice.
Indeed, there is no doubt.
If, thanks to Venice, the Biennale (with its over one hundred years of history) has become one of the most famous cultural institutions in the world, it is equally true that the Biennale has always offered an essential contribution to the life of this city.
Therefore, The Venice Biennale will be a driving force once again within a strongly desired new start, by lining the whole of its strengths, or better, its muses: Art, Architecture, Cinema, Music, Theatre, Dance.
Such a start was just recently set off by an exhibition with an emblematic title: The Disquieted Muses. When La Biennale Meets History.
Commissioned and conceived by Roberto Cicutto, who replaced Paolo Baratta as the foundation’s president this year, it is proposing an itinerary through certain fundamental moments (wars, social conflicts, generational clashes and cultural transformations) which somehow crisscrossed the Venetian institution in the course of the Twentieth century.
Set up in the central Pavilion at the Giardini, it assumes a special importance in being the first one, during the Biennale’s long history (125 years) to be represented by all six of its artistic directors, who have worked together on the considerable sources at the Biennale Archive (the famed ASAC) as well as other valuable archives and funds.
Then there is the Mostra internazionale di Arte cinematografica, gone down in history as the Venice Film Festival.
After the International Art Exhibition, it is the most famous of the events produced by the Biennale. Born in 1932 and now at its 77th edition (amongst film festivals internationally, it is the veteran one), it is currently (from 2 September) being presented with all the glamour that distinguishes it, at its historic headquarters, the Cinema Palace on the Lido, embellished over recent years by a surrounding citadel arranged to frame a new square in white stone.
Directed by Alberto Barbera, it will showcase this year’s top films as world premieres for celebrating the winners of its precious Golden Lions on its final evening, Saturday 12 September. Daniele Luchetti‘s film Lacci in the Out of competition section will open the Festival, which will stand out this year due to its strong female attendance, represented by Jury president Cate Blanchett and the eight women directors (out of 18) present in the Venezia 77 competitive section.
From Cinema to Theatre, it is a short step, in actual fact, from the Venice Lido to the Arsenal.
The 48th edition of the International Theatre Festival will take place at its venues, as well as at the Goldoni theatre and at Ca’ Giustinian, the Biennale’s operative headquarters, starting from Monday 14.
In this context, stars of the contemporary theatre world will take the stage and engage on a single theme: censorship.
Unlike previous editions, festival director Antonio Latella, now in his fourth term, wished to highlight Italian theatre this year with a focus on young and very young directors and artists who have captured critical and professional attention.
This edition will award its Lifetime Achievement Golden Lion to sound designer Franco Visioli.
The International Festival of Contemporary Music, directed by Ivan Fedele, the well-known composer from Lecce, will also take place this month. For ten days, from 25 September to 4 October, this Festival, entitled Encounters, will stage a good 18 dates.
The theme will thus be on encounters between great music figureheads of the recent past and certain contemporary authors. A motivation for the selection of the two Lifetime Achievement Lions (Gold and Silver), awarded respectively to Spanish Luis de Pablo and French Raphaël Cendo.
Of course, the Biennale is not all.
Art exhibitions, museums and theatres have reopened in Venice, even though not at full steam in the city’s offerings.
Some important events will be added gradually to these throughout the month, including The Venice Glass Week, an international-level event dedicated to glass and particularly to Murano production; the Campiello Prize, one of the top Italian awards in the literary ambit; the Historic Regatta, a spectacular parade in costume accompanied by famed rowing challenges, along the incomparable scenery of the Grand Canal (all pertinent details inside).