Record numbers for the Biennale Arte and the Biennale Architettura, and the new projects: Kids’ Carnival and Biennale College.
In 2023 the Biennale Architettura was curated by the Ghanaian-Scottish architect and novelist Lesley Lokko; it ran from 20 May to 26 November, titled The Laboratory of the Future. The chosen theme focused on Africa and its diaspora, on the culture that Lokko defined as the “fluid and enmeshed culture of people of African descent that now straddles the globe”, and on the themes of decolonisation and decarbonisation. The exhibition welcomed 14,000 visitors during the preview and 285,000 visitors during the opening period, which resulted in the second most successful Biennale Architettura ever. The three festivals of performing arts took place as usual: the Biennale Teatro from 15 June to 1 July (the programme included among others FC Bergman, Boris Nikitin, Tiago Rodrigues); the Biennale Danza from 13-29 July (featuring among others Oona Doherty, Pontus Lidberg, Rachid Ouramdane); and the Biennale Musica from 16-29 October, dedicated to the digital sound (Brian Eno, John Zorn, Robert Henke, and Autechre were among the artists invited). The Venice Film Festival celebrated its 80th edition and ran from 30 August to 9 September; Yorgos Lanthimos won the Golden Lion for best film with Poor Things.
Further initiatives in 2023 included the 14th International Kids Carnival with a programme of workshops in Venice and Mestre; the series of restored films Classici fuori Mostra from 2 March to 17 May; the seminars and panels organised by the Historical Archive (among others, the workshops dedicated to Luca Ronconi and to the period 1974-78); the Educational activities running along the Architecture exhibition and aimed at schools, families and visitors; the participation to Più libri più liberi, the fair dedicated to small and medium sized publishers that took place from 6-10 December in Rome; and activities during Christmas with initiatives at Teatro del Parco Albanese in Mestre until 6 January and at Forte Marghera until 13 February.
The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2023: Demas Nwoko (Architecture), Armando Punzo (Theatre), Simone Forti (Dance), Liliana Cavani and Tony Leung Chiu-wai (Cinema), and Brian Eno (Music).
The first event scheduled in 2022 was a special project by the Historical Archive at Forte Marghera (Mestre): Archèus – Labirinto Mozart is an immersive installation by Oφcina and Damiano Michieletto inspired by Mozart’s Magic Flute; it was open from 18 February to 5 June. The International Kids’ Carnival took place from 19-27 February featuring workshops and fun at Ca’ Giustinian and online activities. The restored film series Classici fuori Mostra presented the third edition at Cinema Rossini in Venice from 10 February to 26 May, showcasing 14 film classics restored by international film archives; each film was introduced by an expert and a Q&A session followed the screening.
In 2022 the Biennale Arte took the center stage once again: the show was curated by Cecilia Alemani and titled The Milk of Dreams from a book by Leonora Carrington. The international exhibition featured 213 artists, with a large majority of women. Also exhibited were 80 National Participations and 30 Collateral Events. The event was extremely successful and attracted over 800,000 visitors (the highest attendance ever in 127 years). Performing arts were represented by three festivals: the 50th International Theatre Festival ROT took place from 24 June to 3 July featuring Caden Manson, Milo Rau, Peeping Tom, and several other companies; the 16th International Festival of Contemporary Dance Boundary-less ran from 22-31 July hosting over 100 artists and 42 performances; the 66th International Festival of Contemporary Music Out of Stage ran from 14-25 September and was entirely dedicated to experimental music theatre.
2022 marked the 90th anniversary of the Venice Film Festival, as the first edition took place in 1932: a few initiatives took place in July to celebrate the festival (an exhibition titled 1932 on the first edition and an international conference, both organised by the Historical Archive; and two special screenings in the Palazzo del Cinema on the Lido); and it was also the tenth anniversary of the Biennale College Cinema, the workshop for the production of micro-budget feature films and VR works made by emerging filmmakers (83 works made in 10 years); a special book on this project was published and included essays, interviews and fact sheets. The 79th Venice International Film Festival took place from 31 August to 10 September; the Golden Lion for Best Film was awarded to All the Beauty and the Bloodshed by Laura Poitras.
The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2022 included Katharina Fritsch and Cecilia Vicuña (Art), Christiane Jatahy (Theatre), Saburo Teshigawara (Dance), Catherine Deneuve and Paul Schrader (Cinema), and Giorgio Battistelli (Music).
In 2021 the Biennale Architettura took place after the pandemic stopped its course in 2020. Titled How will we live together? and curated by architect and scholar Hashim Sarkis, the exhibition ran from 22 May to 21 November; the main features were 114 architects invited in the international Exhbition, 60 National Participations, and 17 Collatral Events. The event attracted over 300,000 visitors.
The three performing arts departments presented their respective festivals curated by the newly appointed directors: the 49th International Theatre Festival Blue took place from 2-11 July, directed by Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte; the 15th International Festival of Contemporary Dance First Sense ran 23 July to 1 August, directed by Wayne McGregor; the 65th International Festival of Contemporary Music Choruses ran from 17-26 September, directed by Lucia Ronchetti.
The 78th Venice International Film Festival was held on the Lido from 1-11 September. The Orizzonti Extra section was established in this edition and included the new audience award. The Golden Lion for best film was presented to director Audrey Diwan for her second film, L’événement.
The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achivement were awarded to Rafael Moneo (Architecture), Krzysztof Warlikowski (Theatre), Germaine Acogny (Dance), Roberto Benigni and Jamie Lee Curtis (Cinema), and Kaija Saariaho (Music).
Further initiatives in 2021 included the 12th edition of the Kids’ Carnival (6-14 February); the first international call of the Biennale College Arte for young artists under 30, which selected 12 artists who attended a workshop held from 1-10 October. An exhibition dedicated to dancer and choreographer Ismael Ivo, a former director of the Biennale Danza from 2005-2012 who had passed away in April, opened in July at La Biennale’s headquarters of Ca’ Giustinian. The film series Classici fuori Mostra. Permanent Festival of Restored Cinema ran its second edition from 4-20 August at the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale. In October, during the opening week of Expo Dubai 2020, La Biennale announced the start of a new structure, the Centro Internazionale della Ricerca sulle Arti Contemporanee, and the launch of a new research project; this initiative was the result of the enhancements for the Historical Archives of Contemporary Arts (ASAC) and its activities. From 4-8 December at La Nuvola congress center in Rome, La Biennale took part for the first time in the Rome Book Fair dedicated to small and medium sized publishers, that is promoted and organised by the Italian Association of Publishers.
The new President of La Biennale di Venezia, Roberto Cicutto, was appointed on 19 February 2020 for a four-year period. The 11th edition of the International Kids’ Carnival took place as planned (15-23 February) but soon after Italy and Europe had to face the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. Due to the ensuing lockdown, La Biennale promoted in April and May a series of Educational online activities with podcasts and new contents, and announced an updated calendar of events: the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, that was to open on 23 May, was postponed to 29 August, but then it was delayed to 2021 due to the continuation of the health emergency caused by the spread of the virus.
The Theatre and Dance international festivals were rescheduled with new dates in the second half of the year, whereas the Film Festival and the Music Festival were confirmed in their original dates.
New initiatives included the photographic exhibition Divine at Forte Marghera (16 July – 1 November) that featured a selection of photos from the Biennale Archives showing divas during the Venice Film Festival; the series Classici fuori Mostra (24 July – 30 August) at Giardini showcasing twelve masterful arthouse films in their original version, selected from the best recent restorations effected by important film libraries and production companies; and the Educational programme Un’estate alla Biennale di Venezia that included guided visits at the Giardini and Arsenale venues, exhibitions and activities for children and their families.
The exhibition The Disquieted Muses: When La Biennale di Venezia meets history opened at the Giardini’s Central Pavilion on 29 August: the initiative focused on the history of the La Biennale di Venezia and was documented with photos and materials from the Historical Archives; it was jointly curated by the six artistic directors Cecilia Alemani (Art), Hashim Sarkis (Architecture), Alberto Barbera (Cinema), Marie Chouinard (Dance), Ivan Fedele (Music), and Antonio Latella (Theatre) and closed on 5 November.
The 77th Venice International Film Festival took place as planned from 2-12 September, followed by the 48th International Theatre Festival (14-25 September), the 64th International Festival of Contemporary Music (25 September – 4 October), and the 14th International Festival of Contemporary Dance (13-25 October), all of these events being held live.
On 27 October the new artistic directors were appointed for the four-year term 2021-2024: Alberto Barbera (Cinema) was confirmed, joined by Wayne McGregor (Dance), Lucia Ronchetti (Music), and ricci/forte (Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte, Theatre).
The calendar of events included the Dance festival, featuring new productions and meetings with the artists, which ran from 21 to 30 June. This was the third artistic direction for Marie Chouinard and for Antonio Latella as well, whose Theatre festival, focused on the theme of Dramaturgies, ran from 22 July to 5 August. The Music festival – the third performing arts festival in the Biennale line-up – ran from 27 September to 6 October. The Biennale College was an active part of these three festivals, since the training workshops for young artists developed new productions that were included in the programme: the projects of dancers and choreographers (Dance), works by directors under 30 and authors under 40 (Theatre), and four new produciotns of chamber music theatre (Music) were presented as world premieres.
On 11 May the new edition of the Biennale Arte opened to visitors, curated by Ralph Rugoff and titled May You Live In Interesting Times. Both the Arsenale and Giardini venues hosted 79 artists in the main exhibition, who were considered under two different and yet complementary propositions; this was combined with 90 National Participations, 2 Special Projects, and 21 Collateral Events. The exhibition attracted over 593,000 visitors alongside 24,000 professionals during the three-day pre-opening in May.
The 76th Venice Film Festival took place from 28 August to 7 September, directed by Alberto Barbera. Joker by Todd Phillips won the Golden Lion for best film. As usual, three micro-budget feature-length films produced in the context of the Biennale College were included in the festival’s line-up, together with three short works in the VR section. A Special Event with acclaimed director Tsai Ming-liang featured a live performance and the screening of the restored version of Bu San (Goodbye Dragon Inn), that was presented in Venice in 2003.
The Educational project aimed at youngsters and families, the International Kids’ Carnival, celebrated its tenth edition and ran from 23 February to 3 March. The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2019: Jimmie Durham (Art), Alessandro Sciarroni (Dance), Jens Hillje (Theatre), Pedro Almodóvar and Julie Andrews (Cinema), George Benjamin (Music).
The performing arts at the Biennale featured the Dance festival from 22 June to 1 July, titled Breath, strategy and subversion and directed by Marie Chouinard. Alongside shows and encounters in the line-up, the College presented an evening with the 15 young dancers selected this year and a show with the new works by 3 young choreographers. The Theatre festival then followed between July and August, titled Actor/Performer (an international symposium on this subject took place on 22 July) and directed by Antonio Latella, showcasing new works, encounters, young Italian directors and a marathon of short performances with the participants to the College workshops, that brought the festival to an end. The Music festival ran between September and October, under Ivan Fedele, titled Crossing the Atlantic: soloists, ensembles and orchestras were in the line-up alongside tango, jazz-fusion and multimedia performances; the College presented four short chamber operas produced by under-35 composer/librettist teams.
In 2018 there was also the 75th anniversary of the Venice Film Festival, that celebrated the event with two important publications: Happy 75°, entrusted to film historian Peter Cowie, who developed an introduction to the history of the Festival from 1932 up to the present day. Also published the catalogue of the exhibition, Il Cinema in Mostra – Volti e immagini dalla Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica 1932-2018, set up in the historic Hotel des Bains at Venice Lido. The catalogue is a story by images, a collection of posters, film frames, and vintage photographs that immortalise the stars, the public and the iconic places of the Festival. The Golden Lion for Best Film of this edition went to Roma by Alfonso Cuarón.
The Architecture department presented the exhibition titled Freespace (from 26 May to 25 November) curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, that included 100 architects, 6 countries participating for the first time (there were 63 national participations in total), two special projects and a programme of Meetings on Architecture, featuring the main protagonists of the exhibition who met the public at the Teatro alle Tese. The exhibition came to an end having attracted over 275,000 visitors, a new record number for the show.
The year had opened in February with the ninth edition of the International Kids’ Carnival. The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2018: Meg Stuart (Dance), Kenneth Frampton (Architecture), Antonio Rezza and Flavia Mastrella (Theatre), Vanessa Redgrave and David Cronenberg (Cinema), and Keith Jarrett (Music).
The activities in 2017 started with the 8th International Kids’ Carnival, titled The Playrooms. The event saw the wide participation of schools and families in the creative workshops programme. During the opening ceremony on 18 February the Silver Lions for Creativity were awarded to winning schools.
The 57th International Art Exhibition, curated by Christine Macel, opened to the public on 13 May. The Biennale Arte 2017 registered at the day of closure 615,000 visitors, and included the Viva Arte Viva main exhibition, more than 80 National Participations, 23 Collateral Events, and the Special Project - Between Art and Arts & Crafts by La Biennale di Venezia with the Victoria and Albert Museum. Viva Arte Viva presented, along an exhibition path consisting of nine thematic Transpavilions, the works of 120 artists from all around the world. The exhibition was accompanied throughout its duration by initiatives aimed at stimulating the dialogue and direct contact between artists and the public with a vast programme of "Open Tables" and live performances.
The Biennale Danza 2017 First Chapter - the first step of new Director Marie Chouinard’s four-year program - took place between 23 June and 1 July. The Biennale College Danza opened a section dedicated to young choreographers, who presented three new choreographies developed during the training course. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Lucinda Childs, and Dana Michel was the recipient of the Silver Lion.
The 45th International Theatre Festival Act I: Director took place between 25 July and 12 August with a programme focused on women directors. According to the project of the new Director Antonio Latella, the Festival presented nine female directors each presenting three or four shows: this was intended to give the audience the possibility to follow the birth and evolution of each director’s artistic path. For the first time, a section of the Biennale College Teatro training programme was addressed to Italian Under 30 Directors, who presented the results of their work during the Festival. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achivement was awarded to Katrin Brack; the Silver Lion was awarded to Maja Kleczewska.
The 74th Venice International Film Festival, directed by Alberto Barbera, was held at the Lido di Venezia from 30 August to 9 September. The Festival presented more than 100 films including feature films and short films, divided into eight sections, and two television series. A new competition section dedicated to Virtual Reality productions was launched for this edition. The Golden Lion for Best Film went to The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro; the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement were awarded to Jane Fonda and Robert Redford on September 4. The Venice Production Bridge - the initiative dedicated to the exchange of new films and works in progress, in order to promote their development and production – continued in its second edition.
The year closed as usual with the International Festival of Contemporary Music which ran from 29 September to 8 October. The fil rouge of the Festival, titled East!, was the theme of the Orient, in its traditions, exchanges and influences with regard to Western music. The Biennale College Musica presented three short chamber operas. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Tan Dun, the Silver Lion went to Dai Fujikura.
Furthermore, on 2 and 3 February, the Nexus Pavilion, an international symposium dedicated to the relations and exchanges between technology, art and science, was organised in collaboration with the European Commission and held at the Biennale headquarters of Ca’ Giustinian.
The 7th edition of the International Kids’ Carnival ran from 30 January to 7 February at the Giardini’s Central Pavilion. The 15th International Architecture Exhibition, titled Reporting From The Front and curated by Alejandro Aravena, had a six-month opening period from 28 May to 27 November and attracted 260,000 visitors. Virgilio Sieni concluded his directorship at the Dance department with a program that included 11 training workshops for the young artists of the College and the shows of the 10th Intl. Festival of Contemporary Dance. Àlex Rigola also concluded his term: 17 training workshops and the shows of the 44th Intl. Theatre Festival took place from 26 July to 14 August. The Music department, directed by Ivan Fedele, presented its program from 7 to 16 October: the 60th Intl. Festival of Contemporary Music also included four one-act chamber operas produced within the College. The 73rd Venice Film Festival took place from 31 August to 10 September: new for this edition were four feature films produced within the College; a revamped Cinema nel Giardino section with a new 446-seat screening theatre and Q&A sessions with the filmmakers after the screenings; and the new film market, called Venice Production Bridge; the Golden Lion for best film went to Ang babaeng humayo by Lav Diaz. Further initiatives included the first edition of the Summer School (Cognitive Adventures in the Digital Age, 9-17 July), and the conference Urban Age “Shaping Cities” (14-15 July).
The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2016: Paulo Mendes da Rocha (Architecture), Maguy Marin (Dance), Declan Donnellan (Theatre), Jerzy Skolimowski and Jean-Paul Belmondo (Cinema), and Salvatore Sciarrino (Music).
The sixth edition of the International Kids’ Carnival ran 7 to 17 February, for the first time entirely at the Arsenale venue. The 56th International Art Exhibition titled All The World’s Futures and curated by Okwui Enwezor was open from 9 May to 22 November and attracted a record number of 501,000 visitors. The performing arts sections ran 25-28 June (Dance: workshops in June and final presentations for the public); 30 July - 9 August (Theatre: workshops and 43rd Festival); 2-11 October (Music: 59th Festival). The 72nd Venice Film Festival ran 2-12 September and awarded the Golden Lion to Desde allá (From Afar) by Lorenzo Vigas; third edition of the project, Biennale College – Cinema for the production of three micro-budget feature films. Nexus, a symposium on the relationship between art, science and technology, took place on 3 and 4 November organized by the Biennale and the European Commission. The fourth international conference ‘Archives and Exhibitions’, dedicated this year to the subject of photography, was held on 20 November. The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2015: El Anatsui (Art), Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (Dance), Christoph Marthaler (Theatre), Bertrand Tavernier (Cinema), and Georges Aperghis (Music).
The 5th International Kids’ Carnival ran from 22 February to 4 March, titled The Cookie Cottage and featuring new initiatives by the director of the Dance section, Virgilio Sieni. The 14th International Architecture Exhibition – Fundamentals had an opening period of nearly six months, from 7 June to 23 November: the show, curated by Rem Koolhaas, attracted 228,000 visitors. The 9th International Festival of Contemporary Dance mondo novo ran from 19 to 29 June and also had a preview section (a series of works in progress at the Arsenale Corderie in June on the occasion of the Architecture exhibition) and a closing segment (Virgilio Sieni’s Gospel According to Matthew that was premiered at the Teatro alle Tese on the first three weekends in July). The Theatre section focused on a new edition of the Biennale College from 30 July to 10 August featuring nine workshops about the language, codes, techniques and technologies of the scene today, held by international masters and experts; a programme of meetings and performances for the public was also in the line-up. The 71st Venice Film Festival, from 27 August to 6 September, awarded the Golden Lion to A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence by Roy Andersson; three feature films produced in the second edition of the Biennale College – Cinema were also screened as part of the Festival. The 58th International Festival of Contemporary Music kicked off on 20 and 21 September with a tribute to Steve Reich and continued from 3 to 12 October; the title Limes alluded to the concept of the border (ethnic roots, folklore, popular traditions, contemporary issues, etc.) that this edition of the festival focused on. The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2014: Phyllis Lambert (Architecture), Steve Paxton (Dance), Jan Lauwers (Theatre), Frederick Wiseman and Thelma Schoonmaker (Cinema), and Steve Reich (Music).
In January, Rem Koolhaas was appointed by the Board as the new director of the Architecture section. The 4th edition of the International Kids' Carnival, Il Leon Musico, an Educational project with the strict involvement of the Music section of the Biennale, was held on February 2-12. The 55th International Art Exhibition, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, took place from June 1 to November 24; the show, titled The Encylopedic Palace, attracted over 475,000 visitors, confirming itself as the most visited art exhibition in Italy; Tino Sehgal was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Artist, Angola won the Golden Lion for Best National Participation; the Holy See participated for the first time with a Pavilion inspired by the biblical narratives in the Book of Genesis. Four training classes were held between May and June as part of the Biennale College - Dance project, with three final days (June 28-29-30) devoted to shows for the public: it was Virgilio Sieni's first time as the director of the Dance section. The 42nd International Theatre Festival took place from 2 to 11 August, in conjunction with 17 training courses as part of the Biennale College - Theatre project. The 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival, celebrated with the special project Venice 70 - Future Reloaded, took place from August 28 to September 7: Bernardo Bertolucci was the president of the International Jury, Italian documentary Sacro GRA, directed by Gianfranco Rosi, was awarded the Golden Lion. Another Voice, Another Space (October 4 to 13) was the title of the 57th International Festival of Contemporary Music, which featured countless variations of two key elements in musical thought today: voice and space. The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2013: Maria Lassnig (Art), Marisa Merz (Art), Romeo Castellucci (Theatre), William Friedkin (Cinema) and Sofia Gubaidulina (Music). On December 4, the Board appointed Okwui Enwezor as director of the Visual Arts section.
Tales and Thoughts is the title given to the third edition of the Kids’ Carnival, organized at Giardini from 11 to 21 February as a special Educational activity. The Arsenale della Danza master classes (fourth edition) ran 30 January to 17 June including the series for the public, Open Doors; the Festival, in its eighth edition, ran 8 to 24 June, opened by the world premiere of Ismael Ivo's Biblioteca del corpo. The new session of the International Theatre Workshop ran 4 to 13 August, featuring the participation of five important theatre directors. On 29 August both the 13th International Architecture Exhibition, titled Common Ground and directed by David Chipperfield (178,000 visitors) and the 69th Venice Film Festival kicked off, the latter directed by Alberto Barbera (until 8 September); Pieta by Kim Ki-duk was the Golden Lion winner. The 56th International Festival of Contemporary Music ran from 6 to 13 October, titled +Extreme- and directed by Ivan Fedele. Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2012: Sylvie Guillem (Dance), Luca Ronconi (Theatre), Álvaro Siza Vieira (Architecture), Francesco Rosi (Cinema) and Pierre Boulez (Music).
The Kids’ Carnival organized by the Venice Biennale had its second edition (February 26 to March 8), actually the first international edition due to the participation of several countries owning a pavilion in the Giardini area. The 54th International Art Exhibition, curated by art historian and critic Bice Curiger, ran June 4 to November 27; the exhibition was titled ILLUMInations and attracted over 440,000 visitors making it a new record number for the show. The 68th Venice Film Festival was back on the Lido from August 31 to September 10, directed by Marco Müller; Darren Aronofsky chaired the main jury and the Golden Lion went to Faust by Aleksander Sokurov. The performing arts sections of the Biennale kicked off with the Arsenale della Danza: a cycle of master classes from January to May and six performances May 11 through June 25; the Festival of Contemporaery Music ran September 24 to October 1: titled Mutanti (Mutants), the program featured two workshops realized with the Ircam, Paris; the Theatre Festival ran October 10-16, bringing to a close the workshop program devised by Àlex Rigola that had started in 2010. Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2011: Sturtevant and Franz West (Art), Marco Bellocchio (Cinema), Peter Eötvös (Music), Thomas Ostermeier (Theatre). On December 18, the President and the Board ended their four-year term; on Dec. 21 the Minister of Culture confirmed Paolo Baratta as President and appointed the new Board; on Dec. 27 the Board appointed the new artistic directors for the Architecture (David Chipperfield) and Cinema sections (Alberto Barbera).
The higher training center in contemporary dance directed by Ismael Ivo, Arsenale della Danza, set forth its master classes from January 18 to May 30, alongside an additional program of demonstrations and public lectures titled Open Doors (January 29 to April 10). The first edition of the Kids’ Carnival ran February 6-16: a special program of educational activities dedicated to children and kids, families and the general public, connected to the Venice Carnival. Dance was back in the foreground with the 7th Festival, titled Capturing Emotions and running May 26 to June 12. The 12th International Architecture Exhibition ran August 29 to November 21, directed by Kazuyo Sejima and titledPeople meet in architecture: a very successful event that attracted the record number of 170,801 visitors. The 67th Venice Film Festival opened right after the architecture show (September 1-11) and awarded the Golden Lion to Somewhere by Sofia Coppola. The 54th Festival of Contemporary Music, titled Don Giovanni and the man of stone, ran September 23 to October 2, presenting unusual events such as the opera-labyrinth, Don Giovanni a Venezia, and the special evenings Extempore and Exit_03. The newly appointed director for the Theatre section, Àlex Rigola, launched a series of workshops in preparation of the Festival in 2011, five of which took place from October 12 to December 31, while the two remaining ones were planned for February and March 2011. Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement in 2010: William Forsythe (Dance), Rem Koolhaas (Architecture), John Woo (Cinema), and Wolfgang Rihm (Music).
The 40th International Theatre Festival ran 20 February to 8 March bringing to an end the project dedicated to the Mediterranean. The program had a final step on 5 and 6 November with the premiere of Baghdad Dust by Maurizio Scaparro. The 53rd International Art Exhibition, directed by Daniel Birnbaum and titled Making Worlds, was back at the Giardini and Arsenale venues attracting the record number of 375,702 visitors in the period 7 June to 22 November. The Dance section had the first step of the three-year project, Degree Zero, that included two world premieres in June (Michael Clark Company and Ismael Ivo). The 66th Venice Film Festival ran 2 to 12 September and awarded Samuel Maoz's Lebanon (Best Film) and the Disney•Pixar directors (Lifetime Achievement). Luca Francesconi directed for the second time the International Festival of Contemporary Music (25 September to 3 October), titled The Body of Sound.
The first event in 2008 was the 6th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Beauty, directed by Ismael Ivo; the festival ran June 14 to 28, and was very popular between dance lovers and critics alike. The 65th Venice Film Festival ran August 27 to September 6, directed for the fifth time by Marco Müller: Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler won the Golden Lion. The 11th International Architecture Exhibition, titled Out There: Architecture Beyond Building, was open September 14 to November 23; the online competition Everyville, based on an idea by director Betsky, stirred much interest and the participation of 245 groups involving 782 university students from 48 countries. Luca Francesconi was appointed as director of the music section: the 52nd International Festival of Contemporary Music, Roots / Future, ran October 2 to 18. The events came to an end with the International Theatre Workshop, directed by Maurizio Scaparro and dedicated to the theme of the Mediterranean; running October 27 to November 29 around the idea of a construction site for art, the workshop was the first phase of a program that was completed by the 40th International Theatre Workshop the following year.
The main event in 2007 was the 52nd International Art Exhibition, directed by Robert Storr. Titled Think with the Senses - Feel with the mind. Art in the present tense, the exhibition attracted around 320,000 visitors in a 165-day opening period, which was the highest result in the last 25 years. Large attendances for the performing arts sections as well: the Dance festival, titled Body & Eros, ran June 14-30; one of the shows, Felix Ruckert's Messiah Game, raised much controversy and the festival's organization was requested to cancel it, but in the end the show was regularly presented in the program. The Theatre festival was dedicated to Goldoni and the New Theatre and ran July 18-29; the Music festival was entitled Beyond the Line and ran October 4-13. The 64th Venice Film Festival ran August 29 to September 8: this was the 75th edition and awarded Ang Lee the Golden Lion for Se, Jie (Lust, Caution), Tim Burton the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, and Bernardo Bertolucci the special Golden Lion of the 75th Anniversary.
The Dragon and the Lion ran February 23 to 28, a short festival within the program of the Carnival of Venice. The event was curated by Maurizio Scaparro, the new director of the Theatre section, and was entirely dedicated to China. The 4th International Festival of Contemporary Dance ran June 8 to 25: UnderSkin was the title chosen by director Ismael Ivo for his second edition as director. The Theatre section was back in July, from 21 to 30, with the 38th International Theatre Festival, Gozzi and Goldoni Europeans, directed by Maurizio Scaparro. The 50th International Festival of Contemporary Music, Va’ pensiero, ran September 20 to October 7, directed by Giorgio Battistelli. The Venice Film Festival reached edition no. 63, and ran August 30 to September 9: David Lynch was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, whereas Jia Zhangke won the Golden Lion for Best Film with Sanxia Haoren (Still Life). The year 2006 came to an end with the 10th International Architecture Exhibition, Cities. Architecture and Society (September 10 to November 19), directed by Richard Burdett, which included a special section, City-Port, hosted in three exhibition venues in Palermo.
The first Venice Biennale event in 2005 was the 3rd Intl. Festival of Contemporary Dance, directed by Ismael Ivo and entitled Body Attack; the festival opened with an international symposium and a world premiere by The Forsythe Company on May 28-29, whereas the rest of the program ran June 8 to July 2. The 51st International Art Exhibition opened from June 12 to November 6, presenting two international exhibitions at the Giardini (The Experience of Art, directed by María de Corral) and at the Arsenale (Always a Little Further, directed by Rosa Martínez), 70 national participations and 30 collateral exhibitions. The 62nd Venice Film Festival, directed by Marco Müller, ran August 31 to September 10 (Golden Lion for best film to Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain); the 37th International Theatre Festival was directed by Romeo Castellucci and entitled Pompei – The Romance of the Ash (September 15-25); the 49th Intl. Festival of Contemporary Music, directed by Giorgio Battistelli and entitled Music And Its Double, ran September 28 to October 9. From 9 to 12 December, Robert Storr curated an international symposium on contemporary art, entitled Where art worlds meet: Multiple modernities and the global salon.
On January 15 the Biennale was transformed into a foundation; in February, Davide Croff was appointed as new president. The 2004 events kicked off with the 2nd Intl. Festival of Contemporary Dance, directed by Karole Armitage, whose two sections ran in June and July. The 36th Intl. Theatre Festival, directed by Massimo Castri, ran September 15 - October 2, and the 48th Intl. Festival of Contemporary Music, directed by Giorgio Battistelli, took place October 14 to 23. Marco Müller was appointed as new director of the Cinema section, and the 61st Mostra Int.le d'Arte Cinematografica (Venice Film Festival) ran September 1-11: Mike Leigh's Vera Drake was awarded the Golden Lion for best film. The 9th Intl. Architecture Exhibition Metamorph, directed by Kurt W. Forster, ran September 12 to November 7 and attracted over 115,000 visitors.
The International Art Exhibition presented its 50th edition: Dreams and Conflicts - The Dictatorship of the Viewer was the title chosen by director Francesco Bonami. The exhibition was open June 15 to November 2 and attracted the record number of 260,000 visitors. The public had the chance to meet a number of leading figures from the world of culture in over 120 presentations organized at the Arsenale by the Archive of the Contemporary-ASAC, directed by Giuliano da Empoli, and titled 99-every idea but one and Tipping Point. The performing art sectors organized their programs reviving the formula of international festivals which are characteristic of the Venice Biennale's history: the 1st Intl. Dance Festival, directed by Frédéric Flamand, took place in June and July; the 47th Intl. Music Festival, directed by Uri Caine, in September; and the 35th Intl. Thetre Festival, directed by Peter Sellars, in October to November 1st. The 60th Intl. Venice Film Festival, directed by Moritz de Hadeln, ran from 27th August until 6th September. On December 23rd, the Italian Government approved the reform of the Biennale, presented by the Minister of Culture, which transformed the Biennale into a Foundation open to contributions from the private sector.
The Temps d'images festival began on 10th February. Dedicated to the relationship between live performance, new forms of creativity, and television and cinematographic media, the festival also took place in Brussels and Paris. On 15th March, Carolyn Carlson presented her new show Waltz Thru Time. The Dance Music Theatre season started on 2nd May until 29th September. Franco Bernabè was appointed at the beginning of the year as the new President of the Biennale, along with the members of the Board, in charge of the planning of the activity in the period 2002-2005. The 59th Intl. Venice Film Festival, directed by Moritz de Hadeln, ran from 29th August until 8th September. The 8th International Architecture Exhibition Next, directed by Deyan Sudjic, took place from 8th September until 3rd November, receiving over 101,000 visitors.
A festival entitled Shakespeare & Shakespeare took place 2 to 8 March: all of the Biennale sectors were involved in this homage to the Shakespearian world. Othello, directed by Eimuntas Nekrosius, and Virus, by the dancer-choreographer Nigel Charnock, were premiered during the festival. Also in the program the screening of Indian films based on Shakespeare works and a series of presentations with artists whose work was inspired by the Bard, such as Peter Stein, Peter Greenaway, and Josef Svoboda. Activities from the Dance Music Theatre sectors were organised between 5th May and 6th October: world premieres, co-productions, international congresses, for a total of 45 shows plus repeats. Particular success was enjoyed by the special events in the Theatre sector, La pista e la scena (The Ring and the Stage), held on the mainland at the Parco della Bissuola in Mestre. On 9th June, official opening of the 49th International Art Exhibition Plateau of Humankind - which registered the largest participation of foreign countries in its history (63) and a record for the number of visitors (243,000) over the last 20 years. Between 29th August and 8th September the 58th Mostra del Cinema was held; this edition of the festival introduced the novelty of a double competition by placing the Lion of the Year alongside the traditional Golden Lion; Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Eric Rohmer.
The Cinema sector presented an ample retrospective dedicated to the cinema of the Balkans, La meticcia di fuoco, held between 30th March and 16th April. Between August and September, as usual, the Mostra del Cinema was held, now at its 57th edition: Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Clint Eastwood. On 18th June, the 7th International Architecture Exhibition opened, tempting over 70,000 visitors to the exhibitions in the Giardini and Arsenale. The Dance Music Theatre sectors offered a dense calendar of events.
The new Biennale kicked off: the 48th International Art Exhibition APERTO Over All recovered the historical spaces of the Arsenale (Artiglierie, Isolotto, Tese, Gaggiandre). A new sector was created for live shows: DMT (Dance Music Theatre). From July to October, the Music sector proposed 21 concerts; from August to October the Theatre sector offered 14 shows; on 30th July, the Teatro Verde reopened with Parabola by Carolyn Carlson, and from September to October the Dance sector staged 13 events. From 1st to 11th September, the 56th Mostra del Cinema took place: the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement was awarded to Jerry Lewis.