--- Città di Firenze ---
| 2001 | 1999 | directors statement | artestudio
" Larte è larma più efficace a
disposizione del genere umano per contrastare lincivilità e la barbarie.
Laddove larte prende il sopravento viene sottratto spazio al caos.
Larte riporta ordine nelle coscienze malate, contrasta lincessante avanzare
della disgregazione; è un muro ora robusto ora fragile che da sempre cerca di oporsi agli
istinti più deleteri della specie umana.
Nellepoca dei computers, dellenergia atomica, e
dei pericoli incombenti de guerre chimiche e batteriologiche, desideriamo mon perdere la
speranza. Larte deve contrastare tutto ciò esprimendo la cultura del bello,
se è necessario anche, con sentimenti molto forti. È questo un modo per
esaltare la vittoria del bene sul male." --- Pasquale
Celona, Biennale Presidente
"Art is the most effective weapon mankind has to
combat barbarism and atrocity. Wherever art gains the upper hand, space is taken
away from chaos. Art brings order back to unhealthy consciences, it
contrasts the incessant progress of disruption, it is a wall which is at times strong and
at times fragile, having always sought to oppose the most harmful instincts of human
In the age of computers and atomic energy, in the light of the
perils of chemical and bacteriological warfare, we do not want to give up hope. Art
should oppose all of this, expressing the culture of beauty, even using strong sentiments
where necessary. This is one way to exalt the victory of good over evil."
--- Pasquale Celona, Biennial President
Dr John T. Spike, Biennial Director
"The Florence Biennial has little in common with the prevailing model
of state or corporation-funded omnibus shows. It is entirely financed by the artists
themselves, who entrust the organization to us. My responsibilities are two: to seek
qualified critics for the Jury and for the Committee that selects the artists, and an
equitable installation that allows the work to speak on its own. Every
other year in December, the unpredictable but exciting results are seen by all of us at
the same time.
The passwords for the Florence Biennial are dialogue,
encounter, tolerance and charity. About the bitching, I
have thoughts which I invite you to consider. If the Biennale is
worth talking about, it's worth complaining about. So as time goes on and thousands
and thousands of artists have participated there will be complaints.
What I regret, and resent, are the accusations of unethical behavior,
specifically of financial exploitation. Some people simply do not know what things cost,
so nothing will persuade them differently. One gets used to it. But I must respond to the accusations, because accusers like to
pretend that no response means 'silent assent'!
1. John Spike has neither time nor inclination to exploit artists.
2. If we were to wait for some one to sponsor another biennale in addition to
Venice, we'd still be waiting. Artists took things into their
own hands. Pasquale Celona is a recognized painter who has
taken a huge chunk out of his career to pursue this, his dream: a major
international contemporary art show without prejudices.
3. Pasquale and Piero Celona work around the clock and live simply. They
deserve whatever they earn.
4. The Venice biennale receives $15 million from the Italian gov't, then charges
rent on the pavilions, and receives sponsorship. The Florence Biennale is at least
1/15 as interesting as Venice.
5. A majority of artists in the Florence biennale now receive
some local sponsorship. We are building on our success and
growing recognition to reach towards a goal of near total sponsorship. What we don't
want to do is sell our independence! I am not giving my time and effort
to the FB becuase I wanted to make the Same Old Show.
6. The collected budget is not all spent in ten days of December -- this is the biggest, most obvious thing, the naysayers don't realize.
We have a permanent staff of five who respond to nonstop inquiries from artists in every
7. For the next 2 years (or 1 1/2) the biennale will be working around the clock
without any income coming in. That has to be paid for. The $200,000 space at
the Fortezza has to be reserved - with nonrefundable downpayment - a full year in advance.
These things have to be paid for. The shares are as low
as possible, believe me!" --- John T Spike, Biennial Director.
artsceneak.com is not associated officially with the Florence Biennial
other than having participated in 1999 & 2001. artestudio
is the official site.
page compiled by ArtSceneAK updated 09/29/05
D R Ricker, PO Box 103554, Anchorage, AK 99510-3554 907-277-7446
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