Venice Biennale 2021 (La Biennale di Venezia)
May 22 - November 21
From May to November, the Venice Biennale (la Biennale di Venezia in its original Italian, and in English also called the Venice Biennial) is one of the world’s most prestigious cultural happenings, famous for displaying new trends and launching the international careers of many an artist and architect.
For every new edition, the management of the Venice Biennale select top curators from all over the world to organise the Biennale’s pioneering art exhibitions.
The first Venice Biennale was held in 1895 with long pauses during both world wars. Today a distinction is made between the different art disciplines: visual arts, architecture, music, theatre and dance. The art biennale is held on odd-numbered years and the architectural biennale on even-numbered years, while the famous film festival is held every year.
For another arts extravaganza further from home, check out the Setouchi Triennale in Japan.
Special events during the Venice Biennale 2021
During this year’s Biennale, five special events will take place at different periods:
- 17th International Architecture Exhibition, from 22 May to 21 November, curated by Hashim Sarkis
- 15th International Festival of Contemporary Dance, from 23 July to 1 August, directed by Wayne McGregor
- 49th International Theatre Festival, from 2 to 11 July, directed by Stefano Ricci and Gianni Forte
- 78th Venice International Film Festival, from 1 to 11 September, directed by Alberto Barbera.
- 65th International Festival of Contemporary Music, from 17 to 26 September, directed by Lucia Ronchetti
Take a short time trip through the Venice Film Festival poster art over the years.
Where are the exhibition areas of the Venice Biennale?
The Venice Biennale is situated at two locations in the eastern part of Venice: the Arsenale, and the Giardini in the area of the city called Castello.
The Arsenale used to be the largest pre-industrial production centre in the world and has been transformed into a 50,000 sqm exhibition space. The Giardini, which is a park-like area, hosts the central pavilion together with 29 national pavilions that represent specific countries or regions. These pavilions are permanent and managed by the ministries of culture of their respective countries.
Countries that do not have their own pavilion host their exhibitions in different buildings scattered across the historical city. This edition will see 90 nations featured at the Biennale with five new first-time countries Ghana, Algeria, Madagascar, Malaysia and Pakistan.
The Giardini reflects to a great extend the geopolitical relationships of the 20th century, but it is also a place that has undergone a profound transformation during the last 100 years. Originally, the country pavilions were meant as exhibition places based on 19th century concepts of nationalism.
During the 20th century, these views made room for an unconditional belief in the universal values of modernism. Today shows that both views are outdated, with a permanent flux of humans and objects breaking through national boundaries, leading to the creation of new identities. Places and societies now mix and interweave with one another in our globalised world.
When is the Venice Biennale?
This year 2021 the Venice Biennale is open to the public from 22 May to 21 November in the Giardini and the Arsenale.
To make your visit worthwhile, it’s best to reserve at least five days, unless you have put together in advance your own curated list of your favourite spots to visit.
Tickets and prices for the Venice Biennale 2021
Tickets will become available here.
Hotels in Venice
To find the best accommodation deals in Venice as well as the cheapest worldwide flights, please search via our booking portal, which compares prices between all the major booking sites.
For more information on the Venice Biennale 2021:
Visit the Biennale’s official website for full details on programming, venues, ticketing etc.
Cover image: Gonzalez-Foerster, Dominique: “Cosmorama”. All images courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.