New dates for the Venice Architecture Biennale, Expo Dubai and Cersaie 2020

Hashim Sarkis,

Venice, Italy, Dubai, Bologna, Italy,


Cersaie, Venice Biennale, Expo 2020 Dubai, ACTIVE SURFACES,

Biennale di Venezia’s 17th International Architecture Exhibition is the latest in a long list of international events rescheduled due to the travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements imposed to limit the spread of the covid-19 pandemic. Before the Venice event, new dates had already been announced for Expo in Dubai, originally scheduled for the autumn of 2020 but now postponed until 2021, and Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings in Bologna, traditionally held in September but postponed until November in 2020.

New dates for the Venice Architecture Biennale, Expo Dubai and Cersaie 2020

Biennale di Venezia has announced the new dates of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – How will we live together? – curated by architect Hashim Sarkis. The event has been postponed until 22 May through 21 November 2021: a change which also resulted in postponement of the 59th International Art Exhibition, curated by Cecilia Alemani, from 2021 to 2022, between 23 April and 27 November. The dates of a number of other important events have remained unchanged: the 77th Venice International Film Festival (2 - 12 September), the 48th International Theatre Festival (14 - 24 September), the 64th International Contemporary Music Festival (25 September - 4 October), and the 14th International Contemporary Dance Festival (13 - 25 October).
The 17th International Architecture Exhibition was to be held for six months, according to tradition, from the end of May until November, but the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the covid-19 pandemic initially led the organisers to shift the opening date to 29 August 2020. The continued uncertainty surrounding the current emergency and the resulting barriers to travel and physical distancing requirements prevent the transportation and construction of the works on site and therefore compromise the quality of the event, so the organisers’ decision to further postpone the event came as no surprise and was, in a certain sense, only to be hoped for. The Venice Architecture Biennale is the most recent in a long list of international events that have been postponed due to the difficulties associated with the covid-19 pandemic; before the Venice event, date changes were announced for Expo Dubai, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”, initially scheduled for the autumn of 2020 and postponed by one year, to 2021, and Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings held in Bologna, normally held in September but postponed until November this year.

The 38th edition of Cersaie will be held in Bologna’s trade fair district on 9 - 13 November 2020. The date change was necessary to permit preparation of a safe exhibition format in accordance with the latest regulations for containment of the covid-19 pandemic and to permit completion of the new Pavilion 37, which, like all construction sites in Italy, ground to a halt in the initial phase of the lockdown. A series of initiatives such as webinars and online talks offer previews of the upcoming event, including a series of meetings moderated by Fulvio Irace with architects Elisabetta Trezzani, Patricia Viel and Benedetta Tagliabue and conversations between Francesco Dal Co and six important contemporary architects (Toyo Ito, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Smiljan Radic, and Eduardo Souto de Moura). The title and theme of the 38th Cersaie, "The healthiness of ceramics for rethinking home design and architecture", is inevitably a result of the general situation in the past few months, forcefully confirming ceramic’s role as a material that has always combined healthfulness with beauty.

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