The opening dates to the public of the 17th Biennale di Venezia International Architecture Exhibition, suspended last year due to the pandemic, have been confirmed.
From 22 May to 21 November 2021 it will be possible to know how the most important international architects imagine the “spaces in which we can generously live together” as underlined by the curator Hashim Sarkis who in unsuspecting times had prophetically identified in the question “How will we live together ?” the main theme of a “new spatial contract”.
“Once again this year the preparation of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition took place in a climate of uncertainty which the curator Hashim Sarkis and the invited professionals, as well as the representatives of the national participations, addressed with great determination, courage and sense of responsibility.” stated the President of La Biennale Roberto Cicutto, adding that “we have never before had such a need for Architecture”.
“The current global pandemic – affirms Hashim Sarkis – has no doubt made the question that this Biennale Architettura is asking all the more relevant and timely, even if somehow ironic, given the imposed isolation. It may indeed be a coincidence that the theme was proposed a few months before the pandemic. However, many of the reasons that initially led us to ask this question – the intensifying climate crisis, massive population displacements, political instabilities around the world, and growing racial, social, and economic inequalities, among others – have led us to this pandemic and have become all the more relevant.
We can no longer wait for politicians to propose a path towards a better future. As politics continue to divide and isolate, we can offer alternative ways of living together through architecture. The Biennale Architettura 2021 is motivated by new kinds of problems that the world is putting in front of architecture, but it is also inspired by the emerging activism of young architects and the radical revisions being proposed by the profession of architecture to take on these challenges.”
The International Exhibition includes 112 participants in competition from 46 countries, with a growing delegation from Africa, Latin America and Asia and with comparable representation of men and women.
The Exhibition is organized into five scales, three are exhibited in the Arsenale and two in the Central Pavilion: Among Diverse Beings, As New Households, As Emerging Communities, Across Borders, As One Planet.
A part of the Exhibition is titled How will we play together?, a contribution by 5 international participating architects who have designed a project dedicated to children’s play, on exhibit at Forte Marghera and open to the public.
63 national participations will bring to life the historic Pavilions in the Giardini, at the Arsenale and in the historic city centre of Venice, with 4 countries taking part in the Biennale Architettura for the first time: Grenada, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan Republic.
The Italian Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale, sponsored and promoted by the Ministry of Culture, General Direction for Contemporary Creativity, is curated by Alessandro Melis.
Leone d’Oro to Lina Bo Bardi
If there is one architect who embodies most fittingly the theme of the Biennale Architettura 2021, it is Lina Bo Bardi, who is the recipient of the Special Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in memoriam of this year edition. The acknowledgment was recommended by Hashim Sarkis and approved by the Board of Directors of La Biennale di Venezia.
“Her career as a designer, editor, curator, and activist reminds us of the role of the architect as convener and importantly, as the builder of collective visions – stated Sarkis. Lina Bo Bardi also exemplifies the perseverance of the architect in difficult times whether wars, political strife, or immigration, and her ability to remain creative, generous, and optimistic throughout.”
Text by C.T.Pagani
Dogma, “You always seemed so sure that one day we’d be fighting.” The Opposite Shore, 2016-19. Courtesy Dogma