Event: Out There: Architecture Beyond Building
Location: Venice, 09.14-11.23.08
Hosts: La Biennale di Venezia
More commonly know as the Architecture Biennale, the 11th International Architecture Exhibition “OUT THERE: Architecture Beyond Building” opened to the public 09.14.08. Densely packed with issues, this year’s director, Aaron Betsky, curated with a vision to “point out that architecture is not building.” While limiting the number of “starchitects,” Betsky relied on familiar friends to deliver his proposition. Apprehensive to let work convey the entire message, his central exhibition in the Arsenale deployed monitors with architects sermonizing their manifestos from behind walls.
Frank Gehry, FAIA, received a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, while another went to the historian James S. Ackerman on the occasion of Palladio’s 500th anniversary. Additional Lions chosen by a jury led by Jeffrey Kipnis went to Poland for its pavilion called “Hotel Polonia, The afterlife of buildings”; to Greg Lynn for Best Installation; and a Silver Lion to the Chilean group “Elemental” for Promising Young Architect. Here are some highlights:
A survey of the Masters of the Experiment fill the old Pavilion’s numerous galleries.
The National Pavilions
In addition to the curated installations, the 11th International Architecture Exhibition presents 65 national participants with exhibitions inside the Pavilions at Giardini and the historic center of Venice. This year’s Biennale is open until 11.23.08. For more details, visit the website.
AIANY alla Veneziana
William Menking, founder and editor-in-chief of The Architect’s Newspaper, captained the 2008 United States Pavilion as its commissioner, along with co-curators Aaron Levy, executive director and senior curator at Slought Foundation, and Andrew Sturm, director of architecture for the PARC Foundation. The installation, “Into the Open: Positioning Practice,” was conceived in collaboration with architects Teddy Cruz and Deborah Gans. The pavilion pooled together initiatives from the well known to the covert, including Rural Studio, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Rebar, and The Edible Schoolyard.
“‘Into the Open’ explores how architects, urban researchers, and community activists are meeting the challenges of creating new work in response to contemporary social conditions, and addresses factors challenging traditional methods of architecture, such as shifting socio-cultural demographics, changing geo-political boundaries, uneven economic development, and the explosion of migration and urbanization,” stated Menking.