March 17, 2009 - Festival of Contemporary Art Faenza - Festival of Contemporary Art
March 17, 2009

Festival of Contemporary Art

Festival of Contemporary Art
17 – 19 April 2009


The first international festival dedicated to contemporary art and its protagonists will take place in Faenza from 17 to 19 April 2009.

After the success of the first edition, which brought over 10,000 visitors to Faenza, as well as 120 speakers from all over the world, the festival of Contemporary art is glad to announce the names and content of its second edition.
The festival, with its unique characteristics, has established itself as a key international event, dedicated to reflections and comparisons of the art of today, involving experts and an ever-increasing number of enthusiasts.

Entitled On biennials / Tutto sulle biennali, the second edition of the festival will take place from 17 to 19 April 2009. It is designed to take shape like a journey, under the scientific direction of Angela Vettese, Carlos Basualdo, and Pier Luigi Sacco, enabling the public to explore the global phenomenon of “biennialisation”, which now appears to be unstoppable. Today there are over 80 important exhibitions that occur periodically, starting with the Venice Biennale, the “mother” of all the biennials, the new edition of which will open in June 2009 under the artistic direction of Daniel Birnbaum. Other examples include Documenta, as well as more exotic events such as the Sydney and Sharjah Biennials, and new exhibitions, including the Brussels Biennial and Prospect New Orleans. With this in mind, over the course of three days, the festival will focus on the most important international biennials, with contributions from the key figures. Discussions will touch upon unforgettable works of art, new projects, links with social aspects and themes, relationships with the local area in this international system, and contamination between art and other creative sectors, from fashion to design. All these issues will be the subject of debates, conversations and round-table meetings, resulting in a three-day itinerary about the most fascinating art on the planet.

Naturally, the most important guests will be the artists, who will talk about their experiences, impressions and projects when it comes to their participation in key exhibitions, as part of the biennials of the artists series. These artists will include Runa Islam, Tomas Saraceno and Tania Bruguera. They took part in prestigious exhibitions such as Manifesta, the Biennale of Venice and the biennial of Seville . As part of the same series, we will also hear from Jannis Kounellis, an undisputed big name in Italian art, who received an honourable mention at the 1993 Venice Biennale, as well as taking part in countless international exhibitions. Other talks will involve Monica Bonvicini and Francesco Vezzoli, two of the most popular Italian artists in the world.

The inside the work series will be an entirely new event at the festival. This medley of nonstop events is intended for people who want to touch art with their own hands and understand its inner workings. In a festival dedicated to contemporary art, but without exhibitions, the public can nevertheless enjoy contact with works of art, “virtually” visiting international exhibitions both near and far. Each speaker will be asked to choose a work of art from a biennial and to tell a story about it, which everyone is welcome to listen to, touching on choices and premises, content and curious anecdotes. The speakers will include Tarry & McCallum who will present their project for Prospect New Orleans biennial, as part of a debate with the curator Eva Diaz. Cornelia Lauf, curator, will debate with Ken Lum, the creator of unforgettable projects for the biennials of Istanbul and Gwangju.

We will also see the return of the special daily slot, prepared by the top Italian art critic Achille Bonito Oliva, with two surprise “one-man shows”, and talks about curatorial practices, as part of the biennials of the curators series. The themes, the installations, the choices of the artists and the changes and evolution over time of the top exhibitions will be the subject of debates featuring important figures such as: Chus Martinez, the chief curator of the MACBA, Adam Budak, the curator of Manifesta 7, Nicolas Bourriaud, the curator of the TATE Triennial, Hans Ulrich Obrist, a famous international curator who has taken part in numerous important exhibitions, including the 2008 Yokohama Triennial and Massimiliano Gioni, the artistic director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation of Milan and co-curator of the new The Generational: Younger than Jesus triennial. Furthermore, the festival will of course provide visitors with a preview of the international calendar of events that will follow the festival of Contemporary art, as part of the Coming Shows series, with short presentations of forthcoming biennials.

Lastly, the festival will once again offer a series of Contaminations between art and the other creative sectors, with interventions, as in the 2008 edition, from important figures from the world of fashion, design and architecture.

All the news about the second edition of the festival and its program are online on the restyled website, with constant updates.

The festival of Contemporary art is a project by goodwill (Bologna), linked to its innovative projects in the field of culture and creativity.

For further information:

Press Office:
maddalena bonicelli /communications manager /tel: +39 051 220080 – m: +39 335 6857707 – email
santa nastro /media relations /tel: +39 051 220080 – m: +39 329 5794324 – email

On biennials/ Tutto sulle biennali

Festival of Contemporary Art Faenza
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