Venice Biennale Curated by Yellowtrace

 

The Venice Biennale has been one of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions for over a century, alternating each year between hosting Art and Architecture exhibitions. This year, the  takes place from 7 June to 23 November at the Giardini, the Arsenale and various other venues throughout Venice. The title chosen for the exhibition by this year’s curator & prominent Dutch architect, , is Fundamentals.

Fundamentals consists of three interlocking exhibitions:  – an invitation to the national pavilions to show the process of the erasure of national characteristics; , in the Central Pavilion, which pays close attention to the fundamentals of our buildings used by any architect, anywhere, anytime; and  dedicates the Arsenale to a single theme – Italy – with exhibitions, events, and theatrical productions.

Here is a selection of some of my favourite things on show this year. You’re welcome.

Related Articles:
Highlights From The 55th Venice Biennale 2013.
All posts relating to Venice Biennale on Yellowtrace.

 

Video courtesy of .


 

Luminarie at ‘Monditalia’ // Arsenale Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014. Luminaire.

Monditalia by Rem Koolhaas at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Monditalia by Rem Koolhaas at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Monditalia by Rem Koolhaas at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Monditalia by Rem Koolhaas at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

The show, titled Monditalia, fills the Corderie in Venice’s Arsenale pavilion, including views of Italian architecture, as well as art, film, dance performances, and other programmes. The goal, according to Rem Koolhaas, is to present a portrait of Italy as a “fundamental” country, a characterisation he explains as a place with a singular history but one that also faces challenges found in many other parts of the world. Shown above is the spectacular ‘Luminaire’ entry – a collaboration between OMA with Swarovski.

Photography © Gilbert McCarragher & Architectural Record.


 

‘La Maison Dom-ino’ // Pavilion in the Giardini at the Venice Biennale 2014.

La Maison Dom-ino // Pavilion in the Giardini at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

Among the national pavilions in the Giardini, the Architectural Association School in London commissioned a 1:1 scale model of Dom-ino, a realisation of the legendary, never-built Maison Dom-ino, designed by Le Corbusier in 1914 . Project architect Valentin Bontjes van Beek worked with Sreerag Palangat Veetil, Joshua Penk, , and engineer Juerg Stauffer to build the engineered-timber structure. The structural system allowed by the new materials and the search for broader flexibility distributive allows the theorisation of a new way of living, as well as the testing of all variants that modernity has so far allowed.

Photo by Giorgio Zucchiatti.


 

‘Fundamentalists and Other Arab Modernisms’ // Kingdom of Bahrain Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Bahrain Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Bahrain Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Bahrain Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

The pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain presents a survey on the modern architectural models imposed to the Arab world by the European colonialism. From the Algiers master-plan to the Soviet Union influence on the urban transformations of Damascus, and the Deco architecture built with mud bricks in Baghdad; modern style architecture has been perceived as an alien element although somehow adapted to the local tradition models during the 1950s and 1970s.

Images © Andrea Avezzù,  Courtesy of la Biennale di Venezia.


 

‘Interior’ // Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Spanish Pavilion by Aki Balos at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Spanish Pavilion by Aki Balos at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Spanish Pavilion by Aki Balos at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Spanish Pavilion by Aki Balos at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Spanish Pavilion by Aki Balos at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Spanish Pavilion by Aki Balos at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

By focusing on the architecture of interiors, , the curator of this year’s Spanish Pavilion, highlights the spaces within 12 Spanish buildings. These projects, mostly completed within the past three years, serve as specifically important instances of refurbishment and regeneration of Spain’s built heritage. The exhibition is a study not only of the architecture itself, but of the cultural material that gave rise to the specific forms. Through large-scale photographs and sections of each of the presented spaces, Interior seeks “the place where life unfolds, the central theme of architecture.”


 

‘Visibility (Imposed Modernity)’ // Kosovo Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

'Visibility Imposed Modernity' Kosovo's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

'Visibility Imposed Modernity' Kosovo's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

'Visibility Imposed Modernity' Kosovo's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

For the Republic of Kosovo the forms of modernity were the symbols of the authoritarianism of the regime, and have never been assimilated by the society. The installation shkëmbi tower, made by stacking 720 “shkëmbi”, a traditional stool which name also means rock, emphasises the recovering of memory as a necessary step toward Kosovo’s advancement. (P.S. I have pretty fkn strong personal and political views on this one, but I shall carry on graciously and bite my tongue in the name of design, k?)


 

‘Interiors, Notes and Figures’ // Belgium Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Belgium Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Belgium Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Belgium Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Belgium Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Belgium Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Belgium Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

The curators of the Belgian Pavilion visited 260 homes around the country, using their findings to produce a minimal recreation of common domestic architecture within their Venice biennale exhibition. Architects ,  and Sarah Levy worked with curator Judith Wielander on the Interiors. Notes and Figures project, which focusses on the domestic interiors of Belgian homes to tell the story of the country’s vernacular of the last century.


 

‘Monolith Controversies’ // Chile Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Chile's 'Monolith Controversies' at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Chile's 'Monolith Controversies' at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Chile's 'Monolith Controversies' at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Chile's 'Monolith Controversies' at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

This piece of concrete represents a relatively marginal tradition in the historiographies of modern architecture. The panel becomes a fundamental symbol to the absorption of modernity proposed as the concept for the exhibition. ‘Monolith Controversies’ is a work by  and Hugo Palmarola based in a research project documenting the 153 housing blocks built in Chile by the KPD plant, as well as the technical, typological and conceptual reconstruction of twenty-eight large-concrete panel systems developed and disseminated worldwide between 1931 and 1981.


 

‘Forms of Freedom: African Independence and Nordic Models’ // The Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

The Nordic Pavilion exhibition explores and documents how modern Nordic architecture was an integral part of Nordic aid to East Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. The Pavilion created by Sverre Fehn shows visitors the finest Nordic social-democratic architecture built in East Africa. Architecture looking towards building a free, safe future based on the education of young generations. “Forms of Freedom” is an exhibition that showcases the highly political, incisive role of architecture in those years.


 

‘Acquiring Modernity’ // Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Photo © Andrea Avezzù.

Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Photo © Andrea Avezzù.

Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

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‘Acquiring Modernity’ in the Kuwaiti Pavilion aims to (as the website states) “…restage the celebratory opening of the Kuwait National Museum. During the rest of the six-month exhibition, the team will continue developing their investigations concerning the role of the institution towards a more meaningful definition of its program(s), preferably in unison with the renovation efforts that began in April 2014 between the NCCAL and Pace to resuscitate the currently underused building. Encouraging an expanded understanding of architectural heritage that is inclusive of modernist structures is also an important objective of this project. We ask ourselves, what is the future of heritage in Kuwait?”


 

‘Lest We Forget’ // UAE Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

'Lest We Forget' UAE's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

'Lest We Forget' UAE's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

'Lest We Forget' UAE's Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

‘Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the United Arab Emirates,’ presents the seminal findings of a larger initiative to archive the history of architectural and urban development in the UAE over the past century. The exhibition examines how public and residential architecture, built within a rapidly expanding urban context, shaped the newly established federation and prepared the foundation for its emergence on a global stage.


 

’14-14′ // Serbia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Serbia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

Serbia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

Serbia is represented by a project titled ’14-14,’the daylight-filled interior of the exhibition space is a framework for a hundred significant architectural projects between 1914 and 2014, while the surroundings are dedicated to the project of the Museum of the Revolution of Nations and Nationalities of Yugoslavia by the Croatian architect .


 

‘Condemned to be Modern’ // Mexico Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Mexico Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

“Condemned to be modern” is presented as a chronological outline of 1914-2014 of Mexican architecture, brought by the team composed of July Gaeta, Luby Springall, historian Catherine R. Ettinger, museographer Salvador Quiroz and designer Gustavo Avilés. The result is a rich architectural production in a bright ellipse in which numerous architectural works, interviews and historical events are projected. In an elliptical screen placed in the centre of the room videos featuring more than 70 works, interviews and historical events are planned.

Photography © Andrea Avezzù.


 

‘Fitting Abstraction’ // Croatian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

Croatia Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 | Yellowtrace

 

‘Fitting Abstraction’ exhibits eight fundamental attributes of Croatian architecture culture that persist as decisive qualities throughout the hundred year period, constructing the platform for the effective identity formation. It explores how architecture, through its disciplinary autonomy, responded to the intense conditions of globally impending modernity. ‘Fitting Abstraction’ demonstrates the ways in which modernism reinforced an existing design culture that extended its historical trajectories up to the present day.

Image © Andrea Avezzù.


 

‘OfficeUS’ // US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014.

US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 Yellowtrace

US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 Yellowtrace

US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 Yellowtrace

US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 Yellowtrace

US Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014 Yellowtrace

 

The US pavilion houses both a repository of information about the history of architectural firms in the US and serves as the base of operations for a new architectural firm that was created solely for this year’s biennale. OfficeUS reframes the history of US architecture though the lens of export while placing the future of the office at the centre of the story. The research, collected into booklets, lines the walls of the space. While visitors mill around the pavilion, the members of OfficeUS work at specially designed tables.


 

Related Articles:
Highlights From The 55th Venice Biennale 2013.
All posts relating to Venice Biennale on Yellowtrace.

 

About The Author

Tourismandhotels

Tourismandhotels is a small and highly dedicated bunch of cool kids who assist in the production of design stories, general admin and correspondence associated with each and every post. The team works tirelessly behind the scenes, providing invaluable support to the Editor In Chief. Extreme love and respect to the power of ten!

One Response

  1. Video: Casa Redux by Studio MK27 | Yellowtrace

    […] Studio MK27 led by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, produced this short film to accompany their recent project Redux House – a single-storey holiday home in the exclusive Quinta da Baroneza neighbourhood, north of São Paulo. The film entitled ‘This was not my dream’ by Pedro Kok & Gabriel Kogan, was designed for the exhibition “Time, Space, Existence” at the International Architecture Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia, 2014. […]

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