April 12 saw the official presentation via live streaming of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, entitled How will we live together? curated by architect Hashim Sarkis, organised by La Biennale di Venezia. The dates have been confirmed: the exhibition will officially open to the public on Saturday, May 22 at the Giardini, the Arsenale and Forte Marghera. The usual pre-opening will be held on May 20 and 21, while the event will close on Sunday, November 21, 2021.
During the live-streamed event, Biennale President Roberto Cicutto discussed this unusual edition, postponed for a year due to the pandemic. This year of suspension offered an opportunity to reflect on the open question raised by the title of the international architecture exhibition, reconsidered in the light of the pandemic, an event as real as it was unexpected. A year in which the Biennale nonetheless succeeded in staging the International Film Festival and the Dance, Music and Theatre Festivals, setting up an exhibition curated for the first time by the directors of all six of the arts featured at the Biennale for the first time: “Le muse inquiete. La Biennale di Venezia di fronte alla Storia”(The Disquieted Muses. When La Biennale di Venezia Meets History). Roberto Cicutto provided some important figures on the architecture Biennale: 63 national pavilions will be participating, with four countries represented for the first time at the Biennale, Grenada, Iraq, Uzbekistan, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Italian pavilion, in its usual location at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale, will be curated by architect Alessandro Melis.
In his speech, Hashim Sarkis recalled that the exhibition "How will we live together?" will be divided into five theme areas, referred to as “scales”. Three of these will be set up in the spaces of the Arsenale and two in the Central Pavilion in the Giardini. The five scales will be represented in a series of themes through works by 112 participants from 46 different countries all over the world, with increased representation from Africa, Latin America and Asia and comparable representation of men and women.
The exhibition will also include “How will we play together?” a project focusing on play set up in Forte Marghera, with contributions from five international architects.
The virtual meeting also offered an opportunity to discuss a number of related events and important partnerships in this year’s edition, including the Dance Biennale and the 15th International Contemporary Dance Festival.
Connecting up from London, Christopher Turner, curator along with Ella Kilgallon, presented the Applied Arts Pavilion, a special project organised under a five-year partnership between La Biennale di Venezia and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Three British Mosques, an exhibition created with architect Shahed Saleem, will offer a cross section of the "do-it-yourself world" through three British mosque projects constructed by converting buildings originally constructed for different functions.
Lastly, architect Hashim Sarkis recalled that a special Memorial Golden Lion has been awarded to architect Lina Bo Bardi, whose work and career ideally represent the theme of the 2021 Architecture Biennale.
All images courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia
La Biennale di Venezia
17th International Architecture Exhibition
How will we live together?
Curator: Hashim Sarkis
Date: (preview May 20th and 21st) May 22nd 2021 – November 21st 2021
Location: Giardini and Arsenale, Venezia - Italy.
Official website of the Biennale Architettura 2021: www.labiennale.org
Official hashtag: #BiennaleArchitettura2021 #HowWillWeLiveTogether