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La Biennale di Venezia
International Art Exhibition
Three names for a three-year project

Official press release, 12 August 2004

Venice, 12 August 2004. In 2005, there will be two directors in charge of the Biennale di Venezia’s International Art Exhibition: for the first time, these will both be women, María de Corral and Rosa Martínez from Spain. Also in 2005, but in the autumn, the Biennale will promote an international symposium on contemporary art, to be curated by Robert Storr from the United States. This decision, shared by the Board of Directors, was taken by the Biennale’s President, Davide Croff, who wished with these nominations to encourage the Biennale di Venezia’s project for renewal in the Visual Arts sector in total coherence and continuity with its tradition dating back from over a century.

President Croff’s intentions are that the Fondazione should now become an active interlocutor, a point of reference that is involved and responsive, and not merely a container for the activities in the Visual Arts Sector. The Directors – granted full cultural autonomy – will draw up their exhibition projects in line with the general thematic and cultural objectives the Biennale has proposed them, and which it has shared and defined with them over these past few months.

The Fondazione’s new initiative will have a scope of three years. In 2005, the exhibition will explore the state of contemporary art from two points of view: a look at the relationship between the present and the most significant past; a second look on the relationship between the present and the most innovative trends.

The two sections will be proposed in two separate spaces and will each be curated by one of the two Directors. María de Corral will be responsible for the exhibition offering a retrospective approach, to be held in the Italian Pavilion. Rosa Martínez will produce the exhibition dedicated to a greater extent to the latest forms, to be held in the Arsenale di Venezia. Both will certainly make bold and trend-setting selections with an eye to creating exhibitions that the Biennale wishes to be strongly characterised. With his symposium in the autumn, Robert Storr will co-ordinate a project of analysis and study of the state of contemporary art (its codes, languages, new and old paradigms) inviting the greatest figures in the world of contemporary art to Venice for a meeting between artists, theoreticians, critics and experts.

The 2005 symposium will constitute the introduction and starting point for the 2007 International Art Exhibition, to be directed by Storr himself.

The project, which over the course of the three years will develop an integrated series of initiatives involving Italian and international cities and institutions, is the result of a joint collaboration that the president and directors of the Biennale have defined in recent months with the Directors selected today.

María de Corral and Rosa Martínez are two of the most committed and appreciated experts at international level. One trained in Madrid, the other in Barcelona, and they also represent two different generations whose professional careers have interwoven: both have been curators of the Spanish Pavilion at the Biennale, in 1986 and 2003 respectively. They are two personalities marked by a shared cultural matrix, which is necessary to facilitate the coherence between the two sections for which they will be responsible. Robert Storr, an artist and critic of world-wide fame, has been curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has already participated at the Biennale di Venezia.

Drawing upon their experience and reciprocal acquaintance, the three Directors will enable the realisation of the three-year project in a manner marked by close collaboration and full agreement.


Daniela Gelmi
Art and Architecture Press Office
Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia
Ca’ Giustinian, San Marco
30124 Venezia
tel +39 041 5218716
fax +39 041 2411407


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