Monday, September 11, 2006

Venice Super Post

If you've already visited the Venice Superblog, you probably know too much. No intention to describe the Venice Biennial here, just to post some nice things I saw along the way, like this photo as a representation of Los Angeles, in the Arsenale. As has been written all over the place, this was not the most fascinating exhibition, as the main part consisted of facts prettily illustrated to look a bit like contemporary art, a bit like science, a bit like wacky corporate info and a whole lot like Koolhaas' WIRED issue of a couple years ago. I'm more interested in proposals than facts so I'll concentrate more on the pavilions that didn't take the main theme too seriously.

First off the ultra fabulous and supremely weird Japanese pavilion which featured the work and inspirations of architect Terunobu Fujimori. Not only is his work , umm, particular, but what can I say about carving an architectural model AND it's base out of a single tree trunk? The only place I'd seen his work in the past was of course Casa Vogue...
The Austrian Pavilion featured an exhibitit called Rock over Barock (!) and featured 2 Hans Hollein and one Frederic Kiesler project from the 60's and some contemporary works inspired by these. Holleins' Superbuilding is propably the single most inspiring image in the biennale... The Korean Pavilion featured a show on Housing: how it gets chosen, built, placed in the city etc. Apparently housing gets built by catalogues; you draw the building, a pamphlet gets published, people choose and buy from the catalogue and from 1-1 mock ups, and the thing gets built if it sells well enough. Also apparently they are running out of "last homes" or graves, and they have to invent new techniques to properly bury their own. The French pavilion featured Daniel Buren's fantastic striped cylinders on the facade, something I seem to have subconciously reffered to in the Cloud House, though I'd never actually seen them. Inside the pavilion had been turned into a squat with 20 young architects DJs artists bla bla living and rotating for the duration of the biennale. The idea is great and fresh etc but I found the scaffolding thing kind of ugly and borng and even passe, if I may say so. Other things to check out are the Cypriot participation which featured projects about the "green line", and I particularly liked this inhabitable frame that could be transfered and transformed into many differered buildings. The idea is not new but the result was super interesting. The Dutch pavilion featured a historical exhibition of utopian projects for cities, like Constants' bridges etc. Not a challenging or attention grabbing show but definetly full of great encyclopedic content, and the set-up was hip as usual. Finally the Americal pavilion focused on the destruction from Hurricane Katrina, and projects that propose solutions for the flood striken area.

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