The La Biennale di Venezia (in English it is the Venice Biennial) is an international contemporary art exhibition that began in 1895 in the Giardini di Castello. By the 1930s, the Biennale’s organizing body separated thus dividing the Biennale into several segments: contemporary art (since 1895); contemporary music (since 1930); cinema (since 1932); theatre (since 1934); architecture (1980); and eventually dance (1989).
Typically having been held every-other odd year, the Biennale’s various exhibition sections are now more sporadic. However, the foremost event, the Biennale International Art Exhibition, continues every-other-year. The Giardini Pubblici (the Public Gardens) lend themselves well to the lively event which features contemporary artists’ works from all over the world.
Another primary Biennale venue includes the Arsenale (with pavilions inside and outside) which incorporates some of Venice’s phenomenal historical buildings such as the Corderie, Artiglierie, the Sale d'Armi, the Tese, the Gaggiandre, and Tese dell'Isolotto.
Italian and German art were most prevalent at La Biennale’s art exhibition outset. Soon after, French artwork came into play. The notion of individual expositions was adopted by the time of the third La Biennale and continues on today. Forty-plus countries are represented at this Biennale and all have designated areas which are never removed.
Although Venice’s Biennale International Art Exhibition runs June through November during odd years, if you’re looking for related things to do in Venice and aren’t visiting during those months, not to worry. Visitors can see the Peggy Guggenheim Museum which contains collections from past Biennales, or tour the Palazzo Corner della Ca' Grande to see additional Biennale exhibitions.
The popular cinema portion of La Biennale is known as the Venice Film Festival. It lasts less than two weeks each year and it begins the end of August or the beginning of September. The number of Venice Film Festival nominations has increased over the years to nearly two dozen films. The Golden Lion award winner stands to earn a film-making grant into the 100s of thousands. Venice Film Festival awards are also presented to best director (Silver Lion), and best actor and actress (Volpi Cups).
The public may purchase tickets to some of the screenings a little over a month ahead of time, and most of the screenings are held at the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lungomare Marconi.
Architecture is one of the more recent and well-liked exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia. Held every two years, the Biennale International Architecture Exhibition runs September until November, or July or August through October or November during even years. There is a different theme each time where renowned architects from all over the world showcase their designs. Venues for the Biennale International Architecture Exhibition are either the Arsenale or the Giardini.
The Venice Biennale’s International Theatre Festival commenced in 1934 and has been an annual event throughout the majority of its timespan. It includes several workshops with varying subjects. It is usually held for a week each autumn. In 1973, the International Festival of Contemporary Music and theatre sections of La Biennale were combined. These dynamic performing arts take place in the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale which is located in Campo della Tana.
Venice’s La Biennale music festival was formed in 1930 and was held in conjunction with the International Art Exhibition. The Biennale dance section was established in 1998 and usually runs September through October, and sometimes two weeks during the month of June.
When planning Venice travel, the La Biennale di Venezia has much to offer along the lines of performing arts and contemporary art work. Even though the events are held at set times, a trip to Venice will yield past works displayed city-wide, contributing to the cycle of enduring virtuosity that is Venice, Italy.