Friday, June 13, 2014

La Biennale di Venezia - 14th International Architecture Exhibition: Venezia – Switzerland – Japan – Cyprus Pavilions

La Biennale di Venezia - 14th International Architecture Exhibition: Venice Pavilion - Daniel Libeskind - Sonnets in Babylon.  The Venice Pavilion showcases an installation by Daniel Libeskind exploring the fundamental tension between architecture and drawing. Sonnets in Babylon extends a line of questioning begun by the architect nearly three decades ago with the debut of Three Lessons in Architecture at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice  “I am always posing lessons for myself, always trying to go further into the nature of architecture,” says Libeskind. “In this project, using the particular materiality of the hand-drawn mark, glass, and metal structure, I’m exploring the questions of contemporary life and the fundamentals of architecture: is form disappearing into Techne or is it a permanent expression of being human?”

Daniel Libeskind - Sonnets in Babylon. Some 100 never-before-exhibited drawings by Libeskind, created by hand from pen and sepia-toned washes of coffee, comprise the principal element of the pavilion. The series is screen-printed by Lasvit, the architectural glass-maker, using a ceramic process, on large-scale glass panels and arranged around the curved wall of the pavilion. Using state of the art technology, ribbons of aluminum panels fixed with discreet LED lights will create a luminous wall of light and transparency.
The drawings themselves depict explosive un-couplings of ambiguous forms that alternately evoke favelas, futuristic cities, mechanical parts, and even parts of the human body. Mr. Libeskind extends these forms into the room environment through the diaphanous layering of glass that will create a continuous landscape.

La Biennale di Venezia - 14th International Architecture Exhibition:  Swiss Pavilion – A Stroll Through A Fun Palace.  Lucius Burckhardt and Cedric Price A Stroll Through a Fun Palace is a multi-faceted project by Hans Ulrich Obrist in the Swiss pavilion.  In a digital time of unlimited access to information, where everyone can be an architect, a curator, an intellectual thinker, Hans Ulrich Obrist’s project revisits the recent past of architecture through retrospectives of Lucius Burckhardt (1925–2003) and Cedric Price (1934–2003), reflecting on its future in the 21st century.
Above. Retrospective on Lucius Burckhardt and Cedric Price.
Swiss Pavilion – A Stroll Through A Fun Palace. ‘We often invent the future with elements from the past. Lucius Burckhardt (1925–2003) and Cedric Price (1934–2003) were two great visionaries whose work resonates and inspires new generations in the 21st century. At the core of both their work is a practice of drawing. 
At the center of the project will be the archives of drawings of Cedric and Lucius, of which different aspects will be revealed throughout the Biennale. ‘A stroll through a fun palace’ in collaboration with architects and artists will present a laboratory where the ideas of Cedric and Lucius can be toolboxes to invent the future.’ Hans Ulrich Obrist, February 2014.
Above. Archives.


Swiss Pavilion – A Stroll Through A Fun Palace. The pavilion will function as an architectural school under the leadership of Italian architect Stefano Boeri with Lorenza Baroncelli. It will welcome and connect students in a worldwide network of thinkers, schools and researchers, enabling them to reflect on how the contemporary landscape is changing. This network will produce a digital daily and a weekly print magazine titled The Tomorrow.
Above. Summer school.

La Biennale di Venezia - 14th International Architecture Exhibition:  Japan Pavilion – In the Real World. In the Japan pavilion, the exhibition In the Real World. With the theme Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014 the commissioner, Kayoko Ota stated, “The Japan Pavilion attempts to weave a continuous history of the one hundred years of the country’s architecture through a systematic research, which has actually rarely been done. We see this as an ideal opportunity to tell the story of unparalleled architectural development in Japan (a country that underwent drastic modernization in an effort to catch up with the West), and to feature the finest buildings and strongest concepts that arose as a result by a century’s worth of Japan’s absorbing or confronting with modernity.
Above.The Japan Pavilion is transformed into a “storehouse” filled with the testaments in various forms of the 100year history of Japanese architecture. 

 Yamakawa Cottage – Riken Yamamoto, 1977

  Farmer’s House Sugadaira – Osamu Ishiyama, 1986

Notebooks of Terunobu Fujimori, taken on duty as an architectural detective, 1970s

In the Real World. Architectural Detectives on the road, Terunobu Fujimori and Masayoshi Hori, circa 1974

La Biennale di Venezia - 14th International Architecture Exhibition: Cyprus Pavilion – Anatomy of the Wallpaper. In the Cyprus pavilion, Anatomy of Wallpaper exhibition, an endeavor towards a creative and retrospective reconstruction of island’s history, and specifically of Nicosia. Cyprus has suffered throughout its history from invaders, conquerors and colonial powers, who left their marks indelibly on the form and structure of island’s settlements. Nicosia, a city of innumerable historical, social and cultural layers, was constructed in the same way as History, persistently by the victors, and according to their history. The Island’s capital forms a polyphony of diverse paradigms of architectural forms and cultures. It’s presented in an allegory. In a literary device, with its immense power to illustrate multifaceted ideas and concepts, easily assimilated and tangible to its viewers. The city required a Wallpaper to stimulate its growth. Suspended right along its center, the Wallpaper gave it a striking imaginary background: a spectacle through the years, contributing to an unexpected Scenario. Gradually opposed along either side of the Wallpaper, the City’s two different parts, developing different aspirations, abut an aggressive confrontation. A developing megalomania led both sides into a non-comprehensive settlement. Space became the battlefield of conflicting ideologies.

Co-curator; with Stefanos Roimpas, above Michael Hadjistyllis.

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