10 aprile 1997
10 aprile 2001


29 May – 22 June 1999

 The City of Rome joined the circuit of the Biennial in 1997, after Turin, and was selected to realize the project of a Biennial to be held in two connected phases (1999 and 2001) together with Sarajevo: the two Biennials, in fact, shared some projects, such as an architecture contest and the realization of six workshops.

For the city the Biennial represented an opportunity to improve the guidelines it had outlined in the previous years with regard to the field of youth policies and in particular to give birth, by the City of Rome, to Zoneattive, a private company owned by the City that in the following years was the main local actor in the production of contemporary cultural events. Moreover, the Biennial changed the urban destiny of one of the fundamental quadrants of the city, contributing to the development of the old slaughterhouse of the city, the “Mattatoio of Testaccio”, main venue of the Biennial, changing its use for cultural activities.

The Rome editions proposed a new disciplinary articulation that grouped together the traditional disciplines into the following ones: Applied Arts, Visual Arts, Cinema and Video, Music, Writing, Contemporary Music, Gastronomy, Fashion, Architecture and Perfromance. Furthermore, internationally renowned artists and intellectuals agreed to curate the various sections: Manuel Vazquez Montalban for Writing, Jannis Kounellis for Visual art, Javier Mariscal for Applied arts, Gianfranco Vissani for Gastronomy, Ferzan Ozpetec for Cinema, the band Agrcantus for Music, Jean Claude Gallotta for Performance, Veniero Rizzardi for Contemporary music, Ennio Capasa (Costume National) for Fashion and Zaha Adid for Architecture.

In order to give strength and visibility to the most generally cultural dimension, Rome also hosted a series of conferences that stimulated the debate around the theme of the Biennial: the Other.

Theme: the Other

The theme of this edition was The Other, conceived as the relation with diversities and mostly inspired by the special link between Rome and Sarajevo. The logo of the event was designed by Javier Mariscal, Spanish designer who previously realized the logo for the Barcelona Olympic Games.


The Biennial of Rome hosted the works of more than 600 artists from 21 Countries (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cyprus, Croatia, Egypt, France, Jordan, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Republic of San Marino, Spain, Slovenia, Turkey, Tunisia) and 3 host Countries (Finland, Hungary and Serbia).

The Biennial was also the occasion for an international architecture competition for the design of the Sarajevo Concert-Hall, which would be built in the Parliament Square. To the pre-selection were sent more that 400 projects and the competition ended up with the selection of the winning project (from the architectural office UFO). Although there was a winner, the project couldn’t be realized.

Moreover, like in Turin, a Biennial Off was organized, with a rich program, which included hundreds of local artists. Nearly 90.000 people visited the complex of the Mattatoio.

Some of the most outstanding works of this edition were presented by: Accademia degli Artefatti, theatre company from Rome, Vasco Araujo, visual artist from Portugal, Enna Chaton, visual artist from Marseille, Ziga Kariz, visual artist from Ljubljana, Andreja Kuluncic, visual artist from Rijeka, Giovanni Davide Maderna, video-maker from Milan, Arnaud Mercier, graphic and interactive designer and video-maker from Marseille, Polys Peslikas, visual artists from Cyprus, Tobias Putrih, visual artist from Ljubljana, Second, rock band from Spain, Muruvvet Turkyilmaz, visual artist from Turkey and Zu, band from Rome.


All the exhibitions took place in the Mattatoio of Testaccio, built at the beginning of the century to industrialize the slaughter of livestock and abandoned for almost 20 years.

The Biennial represented the occasion to develop the entire complex and was the start for a renewal project for a multidisciplinary Cultural Production Centre: La Pelanda, 6.000 squared metres, finally inaugurated on February 2010. 

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Albania: Ministry of Culture Youth Council; Algeria: Association ABIT; Bosnia-Herzegovina: City of Sarajevo, International Winter Festival of Sarajevo; Cyprus: Ministry of Education; Croatia: Moderna Galerija Rijeka; Egypt: Ministry of Culture, Egypt Academy in Italy; France: City of Lyon, City of Marseille, City of Montpellier, City of Paris; Finland: City of Helsinki; Jordan: Ministry of Culture; Greece: Ministry of Culture, City of Thessaloniki; Israel: City of Tel-Aviv, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design; Italy: City of Rome, City of Ancona, City of Arezzo, City of Bologna, City of Campobasso, City of Caserta, City of Catania, City of Catanzaro, City of Ferrara, City of Florence, City of Forlì, City of Genoa, City of Grosseto, City of Messina, City of Milan, City of Modena, City of Palermo, City of Padua, City of Parma, City of Pisa, City of Prato, City of Reggio Emilia, City of Siracusa, City of Turin, City of Trieste, City of Udine, City of Venice, ARCI Italy, ARCI Bari, ARCI Friuli Venezia Giulia, ARCI Milan, ARCI Pescara, ARCI Turin; Lebanon: Lebanon Association Cultural Movement; Malta: Association Inizjamed; Morocco: City of Casablanca; Palestine: Ministry of Culture and Arts; Portugal: Portuguese Institut for Youth, Clube Portugues de Artes e Ideas; Republic of San Marino: Public Education Department; Spain: City of Almeria, City of Barcelona, City of Madrid, City of Malaga, City of Murcia, City of Seville, City of Valencia, RAI Barcelona; Slovenia: SKUC Students Cultural Centre; Tunisia: City of Tunis; Hungary: European House; Serbia: Fund for an Open Society; Open University of Subotica


City of Rome

Francesco Rutelli – Mayor of the City

Fiorella Farinelli – President of the International Biennial Committee and Town Councillor for Youth

Gianni Borgna – Town Councillor for Cultural Politics

Domenico Cecchini – Town Councillor for Territorial Politics

Paolo Gentiloni – Town Councillor for Tourism and International Relations

Amedeo Piva – Town Councillor for Social Politics

Stefano Tozzi – Town Councillor for Public Property

Roberto Giachetti – Head of the Mayor’s Cabinet

Pietro Barrera – General Director

Maurizio Venafro – Head of the Mayor’s Office

Marcello Fiori – Vice-Head of the Mayor‘s Cabinet

Antonio Calicchia – Director of Cultural Politics Department

Sylvana Sari – Director of Educational and Youth Politics Department

Luisa Zambrini – Director of Public Property Department

Claudio Saccotelli – Director of Youth Office

Raffaella Chiodo – International Cooperation

Coordination: Paolo Cesari, Mario Donati, Franco Michetti, Giuseppina Nurra, Gabriele Scabardi

Show: Raffaele De Lio, Roberta Sorace, Massimo Tiberi


Roberto Del Signore

Organizing Committee


Luca Bergamo

Zone Attive

Emanuele Bevilacqua – President

Gabriella Carosio, Flaminia Nardone – Board of Directors

Palazzo Delle Esposizioni

Renato Nicolini – President

Edoardo Maggini – Administration

General Coordination

Alessandro Volterra

Administration Coordination

Massimo Feliziani


Sabrina Amicone, Angela Perrone


Sabina Mastrangelo, Lucia Serpieri

Production Coordinator

Giancarlo Campora


Marcello Bellini, Fabio Rampelli, Maurizio Gigante, Antonio Paone

Organization Coordination

Luca Fornari


Davide Capizzi, Francesca Covelli, Silvia Da Vite, Fabiana D’Urso, Cristina Loriga, Filomena Pucci

Set Up Planning Coordination

Roberto Malfatto

Set Up Planning

Roberto Candelori, Luca De Vecchis, Giacomina Di Salvo, Luca Pizzo

Educational Activities Coordination

Stefano Cristante

Educational Activities

Marilia Cioni, Emi Cipriano

Young Artists Research

Davide Bennato, Sara Belleni, Andrea Miconi, Maria Teresa Torti

Cast Coordination

Simona Capecchi


Serena Ferrari

Television Production

Nicole Leghissa

Planning Organization

Giordana Lappon

Gastronomy Coordination

Giuseppina Bonerba

International Cooperation Coordination

Flavio Mongelli

Visual Arts Coordination

Flaminia Nardone

International Relations Coordinator

Gianna Nicoletti

Music Coordination

Emiliano Paoletti

Literature Coordination

Carina Pons

Architecture Coordination

Gabriella Raggi

Video and Cinema Coordination

Vincenzo Rinaldi

Contemporary Music Coordination

Caterina Santi

Workshop of Sarajevo Coordination

Alessandro Stillo

Fashion Coordination

Paola Tassinari

Applied Art Coordination

Paola Vassalli

Show Coordination

Monique Veaute


Javier Mariscal – Applied Arts

Jannis Kounellis – Visual Arts

Ferzan Ozpetec – Cinema And Video

Agricantus – Music

Manuel Vazquez Montalban – Literature

Jean Claude Gallotta – Shows

Veniero Rizzardi – Contemporary Music

Gianfranco Vissani – Gastronomy

Ennio Capasa – Fashion

Supervisor of Architecture Contest

Zaha Hadid

Communication Coordination

Loredana Di Guida


Celeste Bertolini, Gioacchino De Chirico, Mara Mariotti, Giorgio Bonifazi Razzanti, Stefania Vallati, Anna Borioni, Anna Attisano, Piergiorgio Paris, Marco Santarelli 




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