At Architecture Biennale, 'spaces' for living together

Exhibition opens to public on 22/5 with controls to avoid crowds

13 April, 12:54

    (di Roberto Nardi) (ANSAmed) - VENEZIA, 13 APR - This year's Venice Architecture Biennale will open to the public on May 22 and run through November 21 at the venues of the Giardini, Arsenale and Forte Marghera.

    The challenge of this year's exhibition is that of imagining "spaces in which we can generously live together" - not an easy task in the age of the pandemic, where "together" is almost hard to recall. The exhibition's title, "How Will We Live Together", was decided upon prior to Covid but now seems prophetic.

    Curated by Hashim Sarkis, this year's exhibition was postponed for a year from its original 2020 date because of the virus.

    Sarkis said it will face questions such as "the intensification of the climate crisis, mass population movements, political instability worldwide and growing racial, social and economic inequality".

    He said the pandemic "without a doubt made the question posed by this Architecture Biennale even more relevant and appropriate, although in some way ironic, given the imposed isolation".

    It is an open question, that of living together, on the role of the architect as a catalyst in the relationship with other realities as well as a "custodian" of the new spatial contract, which the events of the past year have made even more urgent and charged with new meaning.

    So much so that some projects had to remain postponed, given the use of interactions with the public, while others gained strength.

    The outdoor events, where architecture will dialogue with the visual arts, will perhaps be read in multiple ways.

    "We put this question to the architects because we aren't satisfied with the answers given today by politics," Sarkis said.

    "In the context of the Architecture Biennale we are putting this question to architects because we believe they have the ability to give more stimulating responses that those that politics has thus far offered in most of the world," he said.

    Biennale President Roberto Cicutto said the year-long postponement "was not a lost year".

    He said it served to put together an exhibition that is broader than ever in scope, both in terms of the number of participants as well as in connected events across more media platforms.

    The international exhibition is organised in five categories, or "scales", divided between the Giardini and Arsenale venues, and includes 112 participants from 46 countries, with increased representation from Africa, Latin America and Asia, and equal representation from men and women.

    One part of the exhibition is also a specific project dedicated to play, set up at Forte Marghera with the contribution of five international architects.

    There are 63 national participations, with four countries participating for the first time: Grenada, Iraq, Uzbekistan and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

    The Italian Pavilion, sponsored by the Italian Culture Ministry, is curated by Alessandro Melis.

    There will also be a series of participants out of competition - including an installation by the artist Giuseppe Penone - a special project with the Victoria and Albert Museum of London.

    In terms of "collective-community" and "do-it-yourself" projects related to three shows, a collaboration with Biennale Danza, 17 collateral events, and discussions with architects and academics from around the world.

    Cicutto said even this year, the organisation of the exhibition "was surrounded by a climate of uncertainty", but it is opening "even more aware of how the work of the Biennale reflects the modern world, which here is interpreted and sometimes anticipated by the proposals of the curators and those who participate with their own work". (ANSAmed).

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