The following text is taken from the official website for the Florence Biennale:
Over 600 artists from more than 70 countries will showcase their works at the International Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art 2011.
Great excitement for this year’s “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Lifetime Achievement Awards, which will be awarded to José Luis Cuevas, painter, sculptor, writer and politician, considered among the most important contemporary artists and Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, one of the most renowned designers of all time, whose noteworthy collection is an exquisite artistic expression in fashion. Inside the Fortezza da Basso, as well as a space dedicated to the career of the master José Luis Cuevas, will be a space dedicated to the 30 year long career of Agatha Ruiz de la Prada exhibiting 40 specially selected gowns for the occasion. On December 6, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada will be awarded and a special contemporary dance performance by MaggioDanza who will present the Selon Desir by Andonis Foniadakis, with a solo piece by Sabrina Vitangeli, will be wearing a couture gown by the celebrated Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and choreography by Francis Ventriglia. Then on December 8th, Maestro José Luis Cuevas will be awarded and meet with the audience to accept the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Lifetime Achievement Award.
In this eighth edition of the Florence Biennale does not stop in the Fortezza da Basso, but invades the city of Florence territory and its artistic expressions. It will start right from the Fortezza da Basso on December 3, the Sit-In Florence project, which involves 10 high schools in Florence, the Art Academies of Florence and Carrara and the University of Florence. Of which, five hundred students are already working in the reinterpretation of hundreds of chairs, generously donated by Ikea. These chairs will simultaneously invade the city streets of Flornece during the days of the event. This invasion will include important sites such as the City Province, the Region, but also Palazzo Vecchio and Via Tornabuoni, and the Florence historical center. The Florence Biennale has decided to involve youth in collaboration with the Council of the Education Department of the city of Florence on the project “Understanding Contemporary Art”. Between October and November a series of lectures will be given at local schools, by the Florence Biennale’s Artistic Director, Stefano Francolini, with the intention to explain the evolution of contemporary art and how one can read it. School children who have joined the project will also be hosted for a special tour of the exhibition.
This year the Florence Biennale aspires to strongly promote artistic interventions and community involvement in the region through youth and university students, with the intention to show the artistic skills and growth in the learning process in education and training.
In this edition, great efforts have also been placed to support research projects through art and culture. The Florence Biennale will host in the Fortezza da Basso, a special selection of artworks kindly donated to Fiorgen Association by the artists for research on pharmacogenomics. On 10 December at 15.30 in the Fortezza da Basso, the Florence Biennale will hold a benefit auction of the works in the Fiorgen space of which all proceeds will be donated to the association supporting young researchers at the Polo Scientifico of Sesto Fiorentino.
Art, Fashion and Design are a perfect fit with contemporaneity and research. Summing up to “a gaze towards the future”.