Fundamentals: Rem Koolhaas presents his Biennale

Rem Koolhaas presented today the guiding principles of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale: Fundamentals will be an exhibition about architecture, not architects, while the national pavilions will be invited to engage with the theme Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014.

In a press conference that took place this morning at the headquarters of La Biennale di Venezia , the newly appointed director of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Rem Koolhaas , alongside President of La Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta, presented the theme and guiding principles of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition.

Titled Fundamentals , the Koolhaas-directed Biennale promises to be "about architecture, not architects". Rem Koolhaas remarked how "after several Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will focus on histories — on the inevitable elements of all architecture used by any architect, anywhere, anytime (the door, the floor, the ceiling etc.) and on the evolution of national architectures in the last 100 years. In three complementary manifestations – taking place in the Central Pavilion, the Arsenale, and the National Pavilions – this retrospective will generate a fresh understanding of the richness of architecture's fundamental repertoire, apparently so exhausted today."

"In 1914, it made sense to talk about a "Chinese" architecture, a "Swiss" architecture, an "Indian" architecture," Koolhaas continued. "One hundred years later, under the influence of wars, diverse political regimes, different states of development, national and international architectural movements, individual talents, friendships, random personal trajectories and technological developments, architectures that were once specific and local have become interchangeable and global. National identity has seemingly been sacrificed to modernity."
Rem Koolhaas presents the guiding principles of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale: <em>Fundamentals</em>
Rem Koolhaas presents the guiding principles of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale: Fundamentals
Koolhaas will use the early announcement and the extra year he has been given "to introduce a degree of coordination and coherence among the National Pavilions. Ideally, we would want the represented countries to engage a single theme — Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 — and to show, each in their own way, the process of the erasure of national characteristics in favour of the almost universal adoption of a single modern language in a single repertoire of typologies."
"We will focus on the basic, elementary particles of architecture, such as the wall, floor or ceiling, that every architect has tackled," declared Rem Koolhaas
"We will focus on the basic, elementary particles of architecture, such as the wall, floor or ceiling, that every architect has tackled," declared Rem Koolhaas
"The First World War — the beginning of modern globalization — serves a starting point for the range of narratives," Koolhaas continued. "The transition to what seems like a universal architectural language is a more complex process than we typically recognize, involving significant encounters between cultures, technical inventions and imperceptible ways of remaining "national." In a time of ubiquitous google research and the flattening of cultural memory, it is crucial for the future of architecture to resurrect and expose these narratives."

"By telling the history of the last 100 years cumulatively, the exhibitions in the National Pavilions will generate a global overview of architecture's evolution into a single, modern aesthetic," remarked the Dutch architect, "and at the same time uncover within globalization the survival of unique national features and mentalities that continue to exist and flourish even as international collaboration and exchange intensify…"
Koolhaas will use the early announcement and the extra year he has been given to introduce a degree of coordination and coherence among the National Pavilions
Paolo Baratta presents the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale: <em>Fundamentals</em>
Paolo Baratta presents the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale: Fundamentals
During the presentation, President of La Biennale Paolo Baratta remarked that "we are universally recognized as the most important event in the world for Architecture; we are the place where Architecture talks about itself and meets life and society at large. For this reason over the past few years our choices of curators and themes have been based on the awareness of the gap between the "spectacularization" of architecture on the one hand, and the waning capacity of society to express its demands and its needs on the other hand. The architects are called upon prevalently to create awe-inspiring buildings and the "ordinary" is going astray, towards banality if not squalor: a modernity lived bad."
The Koolhaas-directed Biennale promises to be "about architecture, not architects"
The Koolhaas-directed Biennale promises to be "about architecture, not architects"
"At the culmination of this process we have asked Rem Koolhaas to engage himself in an original research project," Baratta continued. "The Exhibition is also evolving in the way it is organized. Born as an "imitation" of the Art Exhibition and developed to "invite" architects to bring us their installations, just like for the Art Biennale, it is evolving into a major Exhibition-research project conducted directly by the curator (who is in fact appointed as the director of the Architecture sector of the Biennale). The countries are offered the opportunity for a better integration into this research project. The Exhibition will be enhanced by an increasing number of activities throughout its duration, with workshops and seminars that enrich it as an active-Exhibition. For this reason we have decided to anticipate the opening date to 7 June and to make the Exhibition last as long as the Art Exhibition (about 6 months)."
Rem Koolhaas presents the guiding principles of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale: <em>Fundamentals</em>
Rem Koolhaas presents the guiding principles of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale: Fundamentals
The now 6 month-long event will include the National Participations with their own exhibitions in the Pavilions at the Giardini and at the Arsenale, and in the historic city centre of Venice. The 14 International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia will also include selected Collateral Events, presented by international entities and institutions, which will present their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice concurrently with the main Exhibition.

Latest on News

Latest on Domus

Read more
China Germany India Mexico, Central America and Caribbean Sri Lanka Korea icon-camera close icon-comments icon-down-sm icon-download icon-facebook icon-heart icon-heart icon-next-sm icon-next icon-pinterest icon-play icon-plus icon-prev-sm icon-prev Search icon-twitter icon-views icon-instagram