16th International Architecture Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia
26 May - 25 November 2018
Preview: 24 and 25 May
The Board of La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, has appointed Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara as curators of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition in 2018.
On the occasion of this decision, President Paolo Baratta declared:
"The exhibition curated by Alejandro Aravena offered visitors a critical overview of the worldwide evolution of architecture and underlined how important it is that a qualified demand on the part of individuals and communities be met by an equally effective response, thereby confirming that architecture is one of civil society’s instruments for organizing the space in which it lives and works.
Along these lines, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara will continue to address the same theme but from the point of view of the quality of the public and private space, of urban space, of the territory and of the landscape as the main ends of architecture. The curators, who are well-known for the refinement of their work, are also known for their intense didactic activity and their ability to involve and fascinate new generations."
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara titled the 16th International Architecture Exhibition Freespace, and explained their choice with the following words:
Freespace describes a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture's agenda, focusing on the quality of space itself. Freespace focuses on architecture’s ability to provide free and additional spatial gifts to those who use it and on its ability to address the unspoken wishes of strangers.
Freespace celebrates architecture’s capacity to find additional and unexpected generosity in each project - even within the most private, defensive, exclusive or commercially restricted conditions.
Freespace provides the opportunity to emphasise nature’s free gifts of light - sunlight and moonlight, air, gravity, materials - natural and man-made resources.
Freespace encourages reviewing ways of thinking, new ways of seeing the world, of inventing solutions where architecture provides for the well being and dignity of each citizen of this fragile planet.
Freespace can be a space for opportunity, a democratic space, un-programmed and free for uses not yet conceived. There is an exchange between people and buildings that happens, even if not intended or designed, so buildings themselves find ways of sharing and engaging with people over time, long after the architect has left the scene. Architecture has an active as well as a passive life.
Freespace encompasses freedom to imagine, the free space of time and memory, binding past, present and future together, building on inherited cultural layers, weaving the archaic with the contemporary.
"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in" - Greek Proverb.
President Paolo Baratta stated: "As was the case for the previous editions of Biennale Architettura, we continue our investigation into the relationship between architecture and civil society. The divide between architecture and civil society, caused by the latter's increasing difficulty in expressing its own needs and finding appropriate answers, has led to dramatic urban developments whose main feature is the marked absence of public spaces, or the growth of other areas dominated by indifference in the suburbs and peripheries of our cities.
The absence of architecture makes the world poorer and diminishes the level of public welfare, otherwise reached by economic and demographic developments. To rediscover architecture means to renew a strong desire for the quality of the spaces where we live, which are a form of public wealth that needs to be constantly protected, renovated and created. This is the path taken by the next Biennale Architettura."
(From press information.
© Photo of Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara:
Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia)
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57th International Art Exhibition
13 May - 26 November 2017
Artistic director: Christine Macel
56th International Art Exhibition
9 May - 22 November 2015
Artistic director: Okwui Enwezor