Resilient Communities: the Italian Pavilion at Biennale di Venezia
"Like the human brain and genome, the pavilion will be a jungle inhabited by strange and fascinating creatures, on a journey that cannot leave indifferent those seeking novel responses to urgent epochal challenges," comments curator Alessandro Melis in his introduction to "Resilient Communities", the pavilion Italy presents in the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, “How will we live together?”, curated by architect Hashim Sarkis.
The project, promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture, was presented in a live-streamed event on April 23 in the presence of Dario Franceschini, Minister of Culture, Onofrio Cutaia, Director-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture and Commissioner of the Italian Pavilion, and Roberto Cicutto, President of La Biennale di Venezia.
In videos and slides, architect Alessandro Melis introduced the themes of the pavilion, which, with the involvement of artists and masters in a number of fields, are expressed in a language intended to approach and increase the awareness of a young public. The pavilion set-up makes use of elements and images evoking "forms of expression linked to graphic novels and gaming in tones and modes inspired by cyberpunk culture” to offer visitors a voyage in search of answers to the momentous challenges facing architecture and our way of living on Earth. Presenting mechanisms of resilience for communities and reinterpreting interaction between urban space and productive territory, the exhibition, as Melis clarifies, does not seek to simplify, but to acknowledge the complexity that surrounds us and the fact that it can become the key to resilient communities.
The Italian Pavilion itself will be a resilient community, composed of 14 “sub-communities”, which will in turn consist of operative laboratories, research centres or case studies. All organised around two essential lines which architect Alessandro Melis describes as “a reflection on the state of the art in the matter of urban resilience in Italy and the world through the showing of works by eminent Italian architects, and a focus on methodologies, innovation, and research with interdisciplinary experiments straddling the ground between architecture, botany, agronomy, biology, art, and medicine.”.
The pavilion will also promote extension to architecture of the term “exaptation”, introduced by paleontologists Stephen Jay Gould and Elizabeth Vrba in 1982 to refer, in nature, to the redundant relationship between organs and functions thanks to which an organism makes use of structures already at its disposal to adapt to new functions or changed conditions.
In the same way, the Italian Pavilion at Tese delle Vergini, in the Arsenale, was made reusing and integrating materials used in the strong>2019 Italian Pavilion for the 58th International Art Exhibition at Biennale di Venezia. This new development for the 2021 Architecture Biennale allowed Italy to produce a pavilion with practically zero CO2 emissions, and, consistently with the pavilion’s goals and in order to study the life cycle of a development of this kind in a setting of resilience, a permanent relocation has been found for everything that will be produced for the pavilion. The Iris Ceramica Group is the Main Sponsor of the 2021 Italian Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, underlining its commitment to the study and production of “far-sighted” materials for building cities on a more human scale.
Images courtesy of Italian Pavilion
Italian Pavilion – Resilient Communities www.comunitaresilienti.com
curator: Alessandro Melis
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