Brief report on international architecture exhibition at the Venice Biennale.
From 28 May to November 27, 2016 opens the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale. The President as always is Paolo Baratta while the main exhibit is curated by the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena.
Many are the novelties of this year’s show, especially the extension until November 27, then six months as for the Biennale art exhibition, thanks to the constant increase in years by the same Faculty of architecture from around the world who joined the two-year project Sessions, and who have made a pilgrimage site Architecture Biennale of students and professors from universities of many countries from the United States to China.
Alongside the main exhibition hall exhibitions will be curated by Aravena of 63 participating countries and numerous exhibitions. The Italy Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale, was entrusted to the curatorial team of TAM Associates: Chris Lam, Raul Pacheco, Simone Sahu.
The biennial will devote three pavilions on special projects, the first organized by the Biennale, the other two the result of agreements with other institutions. In particular, the project Forte Marghera, entitled Reporting from Marghera and Other Waterfronts, designed by architect Stefano Recalcati, will analyse the exhibition of Forte Marghera significant projects of urban regeneration of industrial ports, helping to stimulate a reflection on the productive reconversion of Porto Marghera.
The two-year project is already active Sessions with 53 Faculty of architecture from around the world who have joined. The collaboration agreement with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London will be his first step into the Hall to the rooms of Weapons arsenal devoted to applied arts, under the title A World of Fragile Parts, edited by Brendan Cormier.
- in anticipation of the World Conference of the United Nations “Habitat III”, to be held in Quito in Equador in October 2016.
- the annual Urban Age Conference to be held this year within the 15th exhibition of architecture;
- in the context of the Urban Age programme, jointly organised by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Alfred Herrhausen Society;
There will be a Pavilion dedicated to issues of urbanization – Reports from Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age-with particular attention to the relationship between public and private space, curated by Ricky Burdett.
The title found by the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, curator of the exhibition this year is: REPORTING FROM THE FRONT, that is, REPORTING from the front.
Title and image that Alejandro Aravena has dedicated to the German archaeologist Maria Reiche. Choosing Aravena starts from a memory of Bruce Charles Chatwin, British writer and traveler. On a trip through South America, Chatwin met an old lady crossing the desert of Nazca in southern Peru, bringing an aluminum ladder. It was just the German archaeologist Maria Reiche who studied the Nazca lines, traced on the arid soil of the plateau. The more than 13,000 lines which form more than 800 designs, including stylized profiles of common animals in the area (the whale, the Parrot, the lizard, the Hummingbird, the condor, as well as a huge spider) of plants, human figures, of mazes, etc. have been preserved perfectly until today because the area is one of the most arid regions of the world and almost completely devoid of wind and rain.
Seen standing on the ground, the stones are meaningless; seem to be nothing but rubble. But from the top of the scale of the archaeologist, the same stones form a bird, a Jaguar, a tree or a flower.
With this view of geometry on the plateau of the Nazca plain, which result in spectacular fashion images, the Chilean architect wanted to remember certain principles of architecture, namely: art and technique combined together to conceptualize, design and create forms for functional and aesthetic use. Then the architecture is tied to the geometry and then to abstraction that becomes obvious-thanks to form interpretation of the signals that our senses. Architecture is also the Genius Loci, the spirit of the place-the endless plains of Nazca-which manifests through signs perfectly pure form of becoming plane geometrical figures: triangles, squares, rectangles, circles and semi-circles.
Aravena hopes so that the architecture Biennale 2016 offers a new perspective as that of Maria Reiche from the scale. In the face of the complexity and variety of challenges that architecture must give reply, REPORTING FROM THE FRONT intends to listen to those who were able to gain a perspective and are thus able to share knowledge and experiences with us that we are standing on the ground. We believe that the advancement of architecture is not a goal in itself, but a means to improve people’s quality of life. Given that life oscillates between physical needs most essential and most intangible dimensions of the human condition, it follows that the commitment to improve the quality of the built environment must act on many fronts: the guarantee of living standards are very practical and concrete, to interpretation and satisfaction of human desires, by respect for the individual care of the common good, the efficiency in accommodating the daily activities to expand the boundaries of civilization. “
Some historical data on the Venice Biennale.
- Arte-international art exhibition in Venice, often referred to as the Venice Biennale and was born with the institution itself in 1895;
- Music-International Festival of contemporary music, founded in 1930, was the first manifestation of the Biennale art exhibition placed side which had characterized the Biennale since its origins;
- Cinema-Mostra internazionale d’Arte cinematografica di Venezia, established in 1932, is the oldest film festival in the world
- Theater-International Theatre Festival, established in 1934 as the third event to complement the Venice Biennale;
- Architecture-international architecture exhibition in Venice, established in 1980;
- Dance-international contemporary dance Festival, established in 1999.
The central part of the exhibition of the Biennale is located in the gardens that host 29 pavilions of different countries plus the Central Pavilion (once home of Italy) which houses the main exhibition event.
As a curiosity I remember that in 1907 in the gardens of the Biennale was built the first National Pavilion, the Belgian. The last country admitted to building a Pavilion at the Giardini was the South Korea, in 1995. Australian Pavilion was reconstructed in 2015 instead of the previous erected in 1988.