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The Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, also known as the Florence Biennale is an art exhibition held in Florence, Italy. Since 1997 it has been held every two years in the exhibition spaces of the Fortezza da Basso, Florence. Artists shown in the exhibition pay a participation fee between $2700-$4000 to have their work exhibited in the biennale.
The Biennale in its current form was begun in 1997 by Piero and Pasquale Celona.
The first Art Director of the Florence Biennale to be appointed, in 1997, was the art historian Stefano Francolini. From 1998 to 2005 the Art Director in charge was the art historian and critic John Spike. In 2007 Emanuel von Lauestein Massarani, Secretary of Culture and Superintendent of Cultural Heritage in São Paulo (Brazil), took over. In 2009 and 2011 Stefano Francolini was called up again. In 2013 the Florentine art historian and critic Rolando Bellini was appointed and is currently in charge.
Contrary to similar large exhibitions and art fairs where national governments bear the cost (Venice Biennale) or where galleries bear the cost (Art Basel), the cost of the Florentine Biennale are borne directly by the participating artists. This has sometimes given rise to criticism that the Florence Biennale is a vanity exhibition. Based on feedback from artists he had invited, a former member of the selection committee for the inaugural 1999 exhibition criticized the high costs asked of participating artists, and poor experiences of the artists who participated; the jury member declined to serve on the jury again.
Reviews and details from participants
Terrance Allen, an indigenous Australian artist from the Walhallow community in Kamilaroi, Caroona (New South Wales) who displayed his work at the 2005 Florence Biennale, affirmed that 'Having the opportunity to share Aboriginal art, culture and history is a privilege that I consider my duty'.
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- Fuller, Kelly (May 7, 2010). "Terry Allen". abc.net.au.
Media related to Florence Biennale at Wikimedia Commons