VENICE.- The Venice Biennale, which has its offices in Ca' Giustinian (San Marco, 1364/A), has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation in 1895, it has been in the avant-garde, promoting new artistic trends and organising international events in contemporary arts. It is world-beating for the International Film Festival, for the International Art Exhibition and for the International Architecture Exhibition, and continues the great tradition of the Festival of Contemporary Music, the Theatre Festival, now flanked by the Festival of Contemporary Dance.
The 12th International Architecture Exhibition, with the title of People meet in architecture, directed by Kazuyo Sejima and organized by la Biennale di Venezia under the presidency of Paolo Baratta will be open to the public from Sunday 29th August to Sunday 21st November 2010 in the Giardini, Arsenale and in various locations throughout Venice.
After a series of editions of the Architecture Biennale directed by eminent critics and historians, this Sector is once again in the hands of an architect, Kazuyo Sejima. The first woman to direct the Architecture Sector of the Biennale, Sejima has recently been awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize 2010 (together with Ryue Nishizawa).
The exhibition People meet in architecture will be laid out in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni della Biennale (Giardini) and in the Arsenale, forming a single itinerary, with 48 participants: firms, architects, engineers and artists from around the world.
As usual, the Exhibition will present 53 National Participations to be held in the historical Pavilions in the Giardini, in the Arsenale and in various locations throughout the city of Venice. The title of the Padiglione Italia is AILATI. Reflections from the future. Organized by The Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities, with thePaBAAC - General Direction for the landscape, fine arts, architecture and contemporary art, it is conceived by Luca Molinari.The first-time national participations include Albania, Kingdom of Bahrain, Iran, Malaysia, Morocco, Republic of Rwanda.
In addition numerous Collateral events have been proposed by international organizations and institutions, which will organize their own exhibitions and initiatives in Venice during the occasion.
The 2010 Architecture Biennale should be a reflection on architecture - says Director Kazuyo Sejima. The twenty-first century has just started. Many radical changes are taking place. In such a rapid-changing context, can architecture clarify new values and a new lifestyle for the present? Hopefully, this show will be a chance to experience the manifold possibilities of architecture, as well as to account for its plurality of approaches, each one of them being a different way of living.
There will be an independent space for each participant, in order to make them show their understanding of the theme and their personal response to it - says Director Kazuyo Sejima. Individuals will be showing their position towards the interaction of new social and natural environments; all of which means that each person is his or her own curator. This way the atmosphere of the exhibition itself will be achieved through multiple points of view rather than a single orientation.
There will be two main projects within the 12th Exhibition: Architecture Saturdays and Destination Biennale di Venezia. Universities meet in architecture.
Architecture Saturdays is the title of an initiative organized by the Biennale and consists of a series of conversations and opportunities for discussion held weekly with architects, critics and figures from the world of architecture in Italy and abroad for the entire period of the Exhibitions opening. Thirty-five years after the first architecture exhibition to be held by the Biennale di Venezia entitled A proposito del Mulino Stucky and organized by Vittorio Gregotti at the Magazzini del Sale on the Zattere the cycle of Architecture Saturdays intends to explore the history of the exhibitions that have been held since then, inviting the directors of those editions to a meeting with the public. Each Saturday there will be a meeting, moderated not only by the current director, Kazuyo Sejima, but also by each director of the preceding editions of the Exhibition: Vittorio Gregotti (1975, 1976, 1978), Paolo Portoghesi (1980, 1982, 1992), Francesco Dal Co (1988, 1991), Hans Hollein (1996), Massimiliano Fuksas (2000), Deyan Sudjic (2002), Kurt W. Forster (2004), Richard Burdett (2006), Aaron Betsky (2008).
With Destination Biennale di Venezia. Universities meet in architecture, the Biennale turns to universities and educational institutes, offering a visit to the Exhibition planned and organized by the institutions and representing a significant didactic and training experience. The project foresees the possibility of setting up specific agreements with the Universities for accrediting groups of at least 50 students, accompanied by lecturers, to transform the visit into university credits. The participating faculties are responsible for organizing the visit programme, which can last up to three days and may include a two-hour seminar organized independently by the faculty itself within a space offered free of charge by the Biennale. Participants in the programme can also take part in one of the Architecture Saturdays if their visit takes place at the end of the week.
A new Biennale is born says Paolo Baratta an exhibition that hosts foreign pavilions as participants, and different universities as visitors. Its a new alliance under the name of architecture and its related disciplines, as well as a renewed impulse to see the Architecture Biennale as an International pilgrimage spot for teachers and students alike.
Even in 2010, Educational Activities destined to any school group (regardless of their level and kind), professionals, companies, experts, art lovers and families alike have been scheduled. Such initiatives, guided by selected operators trained by the Biennale di Venezia, aim at actively involving participants, and are divided into Guided Visits and Lab Activities.