You too can be in the Biennale
Vittorio Sgarbi marks 150 years of unity with giant show
By Franco Fanelli, Lidia Panzeri and Francesca Romana Morelli. News, Issue 219, December 2010
Published online: 14 December 2010
VENICE. To mark 150 years of Italian unity, Vittorio Sgarbi, the curator of the Italian Pavilion at next year’s Venice Biennale, is inviting 1,200 artists, of whom around 200 will be featured in the Italian Pavilion, to take part in the biennale. Outside of Venice, artists will be exhibited in cities of artistic importance, such as Urbino, Matera, Verona, Mantua, Lecce, Parma and Noto.
Italian artists living abroad are invited to participate, while foreign artists who have elected to live in Italy will also be celebrated, including Cy Twombly, Dieter Kopp and Jenny Saville.
“The fact that [the biennale] coincides with the anniversary of Italian unity calls for wide ranging and generous recognition of artists active in the past decade, including those who are little known or neglected,” said Sgarbi.
Despite putting pressure on Paolo Baratta, the president of the Venice Biennale and Sandro Bondi, the Italian minister for culture, Sgarbi was unable to secure the original Italia Pavilion in the Giardini, now the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, for his exhibition. Sgarbi says a return to the Giardini “would have been fitting for the 150th anniversary of Italian unity”. Baratta, however, has confirmed that an extension to the present pavilion at the Arsenale will be completed in May 2011, thanks to funding from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage.
Sgarbi said that he has €1.5m at his disposal from the culture ministry, but its director general, Lolli Ghetti, said the amount of funding has not yet been decided. A further E1m will come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the rest from regional administrations.
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