Venice Biennale

The Architecture Biennale 2021 will officially open on May 22

Roberto Cicutto and Hashim Sarkis announced that the long-awaited 17. International Architecture Exhibition “How will we live together?” will open its doors on May 22, 2021. But how?

“A year has gone by and, unlike last year, we are here to tell you that the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia opens on May 22, 2021,” Roberto Cicutto told the press conference on April 12, streaming live from La Biennale’s social channels.
The President of the foundation La Biennale di Venezia quotes the movie director Ermanno Olmi while narrating of this past year: “don’t think that downtime is useless. Downtime is very important if it serves to understand what we had to do, what we have to do and what the objectives of our action are”.

Cicutto stated that the presence of visitors and staff “will be regulated by precise emergency protocols and anti-Covid health safety” and that these measures “have already been made available to the people who are providing for the preparations”. It is not entirely clear what these measures will be with less than a month and a half to go before the opening. What is certain is that, in thanking the directors of the Film Festival and the 2020 Festival of Theater, Music and Dance for having forged a first experience of the Biennale in times of a health emergency, Cicutto emphasizes the word ‘challenge’ that this opening inevitably brings with it. Moreover, this Exhibition will have as its leading figures Vittorio Gregotti (Special Golden Lion 2020) and, above all, Lina Bo Bardi (awarded the Special Golden Lion for Memory) to answer the question posed by Hashim Sarkis.

Following the President’s announcement, the curator himself recounted how this year’s Exhibition is going beyond its usual appointments. It is doing so by revealing the behind-the-scenes of the event, expanding the catalogue with the publications Cohabitats and Expansions, making more and more content available in digital form, and new appointments as Weekends on Architecture and the collaboration with the Dance Biennale. At the Architecture Biennale 2021, there will be 110 participants, 63 national participants, including four new ones (the Republic of Azerbaijan, Grenada, Iraq and Uzbekistan) and 17 collateral events.

Closing the announcement is curator Christopher Turner of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, which has been collaborating with La Biennale since 2015. Following the project at the 2016 Exhibition on the social housing of Alison and Peter Smithson’s 1972 Robin Hood Gardens, this year, the Applied Arts Pavilion at the Arsenale will host three community projects for Britain’s mosques.

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