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Biennale Arte 2017, over 615,000 visitors
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Biennale Arte 2017, over 615,000 visitors

The 57th Exposition, which has closed today, has been the most visited exhibition in Italy for months.

The 57th International Art Exhibition Viva Arte Vivaorganised by La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta and curated by Christine Macel, has closed today, November 26th 2017. The President and curator met the Italian and International press today at an Open Meeting to draw their conclusions on the Exhibition, which attracted extraordinary interest and a great number of visitors.
The Exhibition, which lasted over 6 months, has closed today and registered over 615,000 visitors (615,152), on top of the 23,531 attendants of the preview days.
These figures mark an increase of 23% when compared to the 501,502 visitors of 2015.
High number of young visitors: visitors under 26 years of age were 31% of the total. In particular, the students who visited the Exhibition as part of a group amounted to 15% of the total number of visitors.

Paolo Baratta

“Above and beyond the satisfaction which records can give – stated President Paolo Baratta - to which we must neither bow nor become accustomed, it pleases me to think that – along with the merits of our curator Christine Macel, which must be recognized in full - this is also a symptom of several positive, wide-ranging phenomena. First of all, there is the public’s growing familiarity with contemporary art. It is nice to think that this bond is the outcome of their desire to have art and artists as travel companions. Secondly, we have noted a growing desire to discover first-hand the vitality of art, compared to the world’s daily onslaught of sounds and images whose goal is to induce certain forms of behavior (occasionally, one striking facet of this onslaught regards the market value which some works of contemporary art have attained).”

“What interests us is the phenomenon of a growing thirst for knowledge”, says Baratta. “This is why other data is important to us; for example, the fact that for 9 weeks visitors outnumbered those who came for the preview days; that 31% of the public is composed of young people under the age of 26; and the high number of students who came on organized visits with their teachers (over 35,000 of them). This is the result of wide-ranging activity among and with the teachers; we dedicate great resources to these activities, and – with the exception of a few festive banners in Venice – we do not conduct any advertising campaigns.”

The Exhibition in figures

120 artists invited to the Exhibition

86 national participations

30 national participations in the historical Pavilions of Giardini

23 national participations in the Arsenale, including Italy

33 national participations around the city of Venic

countries participating for the first time: Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati, Nigeria

3 countries participating after a long period of absence: Plurinational State of Bolivia (last time in 1966 as a single national participation, then with I.I.L.A.), Malta (last time in 1999), Tunisia (first and last time in 1958)

Special Project (Pavilion of Applied Arts in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London)

23 Collateral events

Tavole Aperte 
68 Open Tables took place, 49 of which with the artists of Viva Arte Viva and 19 with the artists from National Participations, comprising a total of 87 artists (63 from the Exhibition and 24 from National Participations) and 2,100 visitors. All the meetings were live-streamed in the Biennale website.

Unpacking My Library
The Unpacking my Library project at the Stirling Pavilion in the Giardini gathered 470 books, which will now become part of the ASAC library collection of La Biennale di Venezia.

Several performances took place during the six months of the Exhibition, which were streamed in the Biennale website and are available now in the Biennale Channel.

Pavilion of Applied Arts
For the second year in a row, the Pavilion of Applied Arts was organized in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, with an exhibition titled Display – between art and arts and craft curated by Jorge Pardo and hosted in the Sale d’Armi A of the Arsenale.

Educational and Biennale Sessions

64,347 (3,738 groups) participants in educational activities and guided tours, marking a 15% increase compared to 2015.

In particular:

35,447 (+3% compared to 2015) young people and students participated in educational activities (1,568 groups)

28,900 (+36% compared to 2015) adults and groups (general public) have participated in guided tours

33 Biennale qualified assistants for educational activities and specifically designed tours of the two Exhibition venues.

Visitors also appreciated the presence of 38 young graduates (active catalogues) in the Exhibition venues, who were available for information about the content and contributed to the overall quality of the visit.


The Biennale Sessions project, which is dedicated to universities and academies of fine arts, research and educational institutions in architecture, visual arts and related fields, facilitated the visit of the Exhibition for the seventh consecutive year for groups of students and teachers, once again recording a high attendance of foreign universities.

68     affiliated universities, out of which:

         23 Italian universities

         45 foreign universities, from 4 continents, out of which 8 British universities,

         4 German universities, 4 U.S. universities.

3,663 university students from all over the world included the visit to Biennale Arte 2017 in their study programme and came to the Biennale as a place for research and knoweldge.

Communication and Sponsors

Press Office activities
5,000   journalists registered for the preview, out of whom
3,400 international journalists
1,600 Italian journalists
plus other journalists who registered as press during the opening period of the Exhibition.

Over  3,500 press clippings published in the Italian and international press
(comprising dailies, periodicals, online, radio and TV)



The 57th International Art Exhibition was made possible by the support of Swatch, Partner of the event, Artemide, JTI (Japan Tobacco International), Vela-Venezia Unica, Bloomberg Philanthropies, illycaffè, COIMA, i-AMFoundation and Trenitalia Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane.

We wish to thank Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Garage San Marco.

After last year’s positive experience, La Biennale has once again offered with the support of JTI (Japan Tobacco International) the project “accessibility” dedicated to the users and operators of Support Centres and Therapeutic Communities especially from Northern Italy (mental and/or psycho-physical disability, homeless people, people suffering from addictions, migrants, deaf people), who usually do not have the possibility to access and be involved in the activities of exhibitions and cultural events. The project offered a series of activities free of charge – prep meetings, guided tours and workshops – conducted by operators trained by La Biennale di Venezia and in agreement with the involved centres and communities. Over all, the project involved 1,300 users. 80 activities have been organised, including guided tours and educational workshops.

It is worth noticing that this year’s Biennale Arte has been visited by many people who were attending the 74th Venice International Film Festival, amongst whom were film celebrities such as actors Annette Bening, Susan Sarandon, Sonia Bergamasco, Jasmine Trinca, Greta Scarano, Melvil Poupaud, Yorgos Zois, Ricky Tognazzi; directors such as Ildiko Enyedi, Edgar Wright, Céline Sciamma, Rakhshan Banietemad, Rebecca Zlotowski, Ami Canaan Mann, Mark Cousins, Fien Troch, Michel Franco, Giuseppe Piccioni; film critics like David Stratton; writers and screenwriters such as Geoff Andrew and Andrés Duprat; composers such as Ryūichi Sakamoto and Albert Lee; famous film couples like Deborah and John Landis, Jennifer Lawrence and Darren Aronofski.


We wish to thank the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, the local Institutions that each in their own way support La Biennale, the City of Venice and the Regione Veneto.

Our thanks go to our Donors, who are essential to the creation of the 57th Exhibition.

We are especially grateful to Christine Macel and all her team.

Finally, we would like to thank the highly professional staff of La Biennale, who work with such great dedication on the organisation and management of the Exhibition.


The videos of all the events of the Exhibition and the interviews with all participants can be found in the website www.labiennale.org and at the following link:


Official website of Biennale Arte 2017: www.labiennale.org 

Official hashtag: #BiennaleArte2017 #VivaArteViva