Edition: 54. International Art Exhibition - ILLUMInazioni directed by Bice Curiger (4 June - 27 November 2011)
Titolo del Padiglione Italia: L’Arte non è Cosa Nostra
Curator: Vittorio Sgarbi
Commissioner: Antonia Pasqua Recchia
Catalogue: L’arte non è cosa nostra, 54. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte La Biennale di Venezia, Padiglione Italia, a cura di Vittorio Sgarbi, Skira, Milano 2011
The Italian participation in the 54. International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (4 June - 27 November 2011), has reserved all the characteristics of exceptionality. The curator Vittorio Sgarbi, commissioned by the Ministry, has developed the project "L'Arte non è Cosa Nostra" conceived according to an original criterion: the over 200 artists in the exhibition have been nominated by writers, poets, directors, men of thought called upon to be part of a technical-scientific committee. The Intellectuals, chosen from among personalities of recognised international prestige, not art critics, expressed their preference and gave reasons for their choice, with surprising results.
The curatorial project also played an important role on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy; starting from the Arsenale, it spread throughout Venice, enlarging the spaces and modes of intervention and providing for numerous important special initiatives, including the exhibitions promoted in the Italian regions in collaboration with the regional administrations, and the activities planned in the Italian Cultural Institutes promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A study commission collected and evaluated the work of thousands of artists in order to identify the most representative ones - over 1000 sculptors, photographers, ceramists and video artists for each region. The works of the selected artists were exhibited in the most important and prestigious cities in Italy, allowing a global view of Italian creativity in the region. The aim of the project was to map the history of contemporary art in all its forms, as never before.
In order to give a broader view of the creative spirit the Italian Pavilion also extended outside Italy. The 89 Italian Cultural Institutes exhibited, in their respective venues, the works of the most important Italian artists working abroad. A direct connection from abroad to Venice, through television screens, allowed the artists their virtual presence inside the Italian Pavilion. The project is coordinated by Francesca Valente.
The Italian Pavilion project was completed with the presence of the twenty Fine Arts Academies of Italy, which selected their promising students. Together with the Directorate-General for High Artistic Education of the Ministry of Education, 200 young artists, attending one of the Italian Academies in the last 10 years, have been chosen to be placed in the Italian Pavilion, for the entire duration of the Biennale, in the evocative Tese di San Cristoforo, in front of the Arsenale.