The 11th International Architecture Exhibition entitled Out There: Architecture Beyond Building, directed by Aaron Betsky and organised by La Biennale di Venezia presided over by Paolo Baratta, will take place in Venice from Sunday, September 14th to Sunday, November 23rd 2008. The preview will be on September 11th, 12th and 13th.
According to Aaron Betsky – for six years director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam, one of the most prestigious museums and architecture centres in the world, and from last year Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum – the 11th Architecture Biennale, entitled Out There: Architecture Beyond Building, “will point the way towards an architecture liberated from buildings to engage the central issues of our society; instead of the tombs of architecture, which is to say buildings, it will present site specific installations, visions and experiments that help us figure out, make sense of and feel at home in our modern world.”
Betsky goes on to point out “what should be an obvious fact: architecture is not building. Buildings are objects and the act of building leads to such objects, but architecture is something else. It is the way we think and talk about buildings, how we represent them, how we build them. This is architecture. More generally, architecture is a way of representing, shaping and perhaps even offering critical alternatives to the human-made environment. In fact, buildings are not enough. They are the tombs of architecture, the residue of the desire to make another world, a better world, and a world open to possibilities beyond the everyday. In a concrete sense, architecture is that which allows us to be at home in the world”.
“The challenge of the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale – underlines Betsky – is to collect and encourage experimentation in architecture. Such experimentation can take the form of momentary constructions, visions of other worlds, or the building blocks of a better world. This Biennale does not want to present buildings that are already in existence and can be enjoyed in real life. It does not want to propose abstract solutions to social problems, but wants to see if architecture, by experimenting in and on the real world, can offer some concrete forms or seductive images”.
The 11th Architecture Biennale, Out There: Architecture Beyond Building, will therefore present in the venues of Arsenale and Padiglione Italia at the Giardini, site specific installations, manifestos and utopian, dystopian or heterotopian visions. In the Arsenale, visitors will encounter almost two dozen such works. At Padiglione Italia a survey of experimental work by mainly young designers and five Masters of the Experiment will be on display.
The beginning of the Corderie of Arsenale will present Hall of Fragments, by Reed Kroloff and Casey Jones together with Rockwell Associates. An architecture before building in the form selections of science fiction films that once showed us what our world would look like, as well as historical films that recreated older worlds, will be projected on screens. The Corderie will present large-scale site specific Installations, that will ask the question how we can be at home in the modern world. These Installations will be accompanied by Manifestos for an architecture beyond building. These Manifestos will both be spoken on large video screens and printed. Participants will include Diller Scofidio+Renfro, UN Studio, Massimiliano Fuksas, Nigel Coates, Work Architecture, Droog Design, Philippe Rahm, M-A-D, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Vicente Guallart, Zaha Hadid, An Te Liu, Greg Lynn, MVRDV, Penezič and Rogina, Asymptote, Atelier Bow Wow, Barkow Leibinger Architects. Continuing this theme, a modern-day yurt from Kazakhstan and a “paradise garden” by Kathryn Gustafson will continue this line of installations through the remainder of the Arsenale.
The Artiglierie dell’Arsenale will show Uneternal City. Trent’anni da “Roma interrotta”, 12 projects about Rome and his suburbs by Centola Associati, Delogu Associati, Giammetta & Giammetta, Labics, n!studio, Nemesi, t-studio, BIG (Denmark), Clark Stevens-New West Land (USA), Koning Eizenberg Architecture (USA), MAD office (China), West 8 (The Netherlands). The Artiglierie will also present the work of the first 10 in the rankings and 40 honourable mentions of the international online competition, EveryVille 2008. Communities beyond Place, Civic consciousness beyond Architecture curated by Aaron Betsky in collaboration with Francesco Delogu and open to students of all disciplines from both Italian and foreign universities.
EveryVille 2008 is an initiative made possible by the collaboration between La Biennale di Venezia and Gruppo Telecom Italia, which makes available on the www.everyville.labiennale.org website the most innovative technology for the realisation of the contest and for the display of the winning projects. The software is powered by newitalianblood.com. In collaboration with domus.
While the Arsenale will map out the fragments and figments before and after architecture, in the Padiglione Italia at Giardini, the work of experimental architecture that in themselves move beyond building will be on display. A survey of experimental architecture Experimental Architecture in collaboration with Emiliano Gandolfi will show the work firms from around the world who are engaged in such work. This survey will be anchored by small monographic shows on firms whose work has been based on such experimentation: Frank Gehry, Herzog & de Meuron, Morphosis, Zaha Hadid, and Coop Himmelb(l)au.
Finally, in the second floor room of the Pavilion, Upload City in collaboration with Saskia van Stein, will show videos downloaded from YouTube and similar sources, as well as both amateur and professional music videos and in this manner will showcase experimental architecture produced by or for the next generation as they leave many of the strictures of building behind, climbing its walls in “base running” or creating fantastic collages out of digital building blocks.
The 11th Venice Architecture Biennale is being realised by Aaron Betsky assisted by a curatorial team consisting of Francesco Delogu, Emiliano Gandolfi, Casey Jones, Reed Kroloff and Saskia van Stein. The Amsterdam firm of Thonik will work with him to design the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale’s identity and presentations. This work will be the basis for a catalogue and a series of conferences and workshops.
The 11th International Architecture Exhibition will also present 65 National Participations with exhibitions inside the Pavilions at Giardini and through the historic centre in Venice. This is a record number for an Architecture Biennale. Francesco Garofalo will be curator of the Italian Pavilion at Tese delle Vergini of the Arsenale, result of the collaboration with PARC – Central office for the quality and protection of the landscape, architecture and contemporary art of the italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs and Acrivities. Garofalo’s project is entitled ITALY LOOKS FOR A HOME. Projects for living and relieving the cities, and it develops the idea of living as “central operative matter in our architectural culture”
The Award Ceremony will take place on Saturday, September 13th at Giardini in Venice. On that occasion official awards will be assigned by the international jury: Golden Lion for the Best Project within the exhibition Out There: Architecture Beyond Building; Golden Lion for the Best National Participation; Golden Lion for the best project by a young architect within the exhibition Out There: Architecture Beyond Building. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, proposed to the Board of the Foundation by the Director of the 11th Architecture Biennale, will also be awarded.
Ten selected Collateral Events organised by cultural institutions from all over the world will also be part of the 11th Architecture Biennale, setting up their shows in Venice.
The catalogue of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition will be published by Marsilio.