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The 14th International Architecture Exhibition ‘Fundamentals’

Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition 2014's experts

Anna Lodeserto's picture

Anna Lodeserto


The 14th International Architecture Exhibition, entitled ‘Fundamentals’, directed by Rem Koolhaas and organised by the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, will take place from Saturday, June 7th, to Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 (Preview on 5 and 6 June) at the Giardini, the Arsenale and in various other venues around Venice.                                       

The exhibition will be accompanied by 65 national participations in the historical Pavilions situated in the Giardini (the gardens) and the Arsenale (restored warehouses surrounding the historic shipyards of the Venetian Republic). This year, there will be 11 countries participating for the first time: Azerbaijan, Ivory Coast, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand and Turkey.
The official collateral events of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition will be proposed by international organisations and institutions, who will set up their own exhibitions and initiatives in various areas of the city.

“Fundamentals” can already count on three main complementary manifestations:

  • Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014, which consists of an invitation to the national pavilions that will show, each one in their own way, the process of elimination of national characteristics towards an almost universal adoption of a single language and a single modern repertoire of typologies;
  • Elements of Architecture, which will focus on the fundamental elements of our buildings, used by each architect, in each time and place: floors, walls, ceilings, roofs, doors, windows, facades, balconies, hallways, fireplaces, bathrooms, stairs, escalators, elevators, ramps and so on;
  • MONDITALIA, which will host exhibitions, performances and events directly related to Italian architecture, politics, economics, religion, technology and industry.

These complementary sessions will shed light on the past, the present and the future of our architecture and design. After several editions of the Venice Biennale devoted to the celebration of contemporary products and styles, this year, the event will focus on history, with the intent of investigation the current state of architecture, as well as imagining its future.

Rem Koolhaas and Paolo Baratta

For the fifth consecutive year, and following the success of previous editions, for the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, the Biennale also proposes the ‘Biennale Sessions’ project directed at  universities, academies of fine arts, research and training institutions in the fields of architecture, visual arts and all related subjects. This project aims at facilitating a visit to the exhibition for groups of at least 50 students and teachers, who are assisted with travel and accommodation arrangement.

Through telling a cumulative history of the past 100 years, the exhibitions at the National Pavilions will generate a global overview of the evolution of architecture in a single, modern aesthetic and, at the same time, uncover the survival of unique national features and mentalities within globalisation that continue to exist and flourish, even as international collaborations and exchanges intensify.

Since its early beginnings, the International Architecture Exhibition has been, and still is, one of the most important events in the world of architecture. Over the past few years, the choices of curators and themes have been based on the awareness of the gap between the ‘spectacularisation’ of architecture on the one hand, and the waning capacity of society to express its demands and its needs on the other. The architects are called upon prevalently to create awe-inspiring buildings and the “ordinary” is going astray, towards banality, if not squalor: all the bad of modernity living today.

The Exhibition is now evolving in the way it is organised. Initially a sort of “imitation” of the Venice Art Exhibition, developed to “invite” architects to bring their installations to the northern Italian city of Venice, just like the Art Biennale, it is currently evolving into a major exhibition and research project conducted directly by the curator Rem Koolhaas. The participating countries are offered the opportunity for better integration into this research project. On top of the official collateral events and sessions, the Exhibition will be also enhanced by a number of activities throughout its duration, including a number of enriching workshops and seminars.

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 08:30
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