Monthly Archives: October 2010

other pavilions…

Other pavilions in the Giardini venue…The Australian pavilion was a bit like an 80’s disco, all black and dayglo…

punters walking down the stairs to: “now and when: Australian urbanism”

‘Now’ focuses on prototypical urban narratives that apply to Australian urbanism as a whole; ‘When’ utilizes 3D stereoscopic imaging to illustrate urban futures for the continent…

My friend is beginning to get annoyed as he sees very little out of one eye and all these 3D installations (there are a lot this year) are starting to make him feel a little left out!

The Serbian pavilion is equally strange…

…here they encourage us to take plants for a walk on little mad max style wheeled contraptions…hmm, not sure about the blurb above, in the end it does not really mean anything, although i did enjoy the botanic-mechanic creations below as objects…lovely cooking pots, saw similar ones when i spent some time in Zagreb, Croatia a few years back…

…what do you imagine they were thinking about when they designed this????

“Detached” – Installation from Chile by Pezo Von Ellrichschausen Architects

more architecture biennale 2010 on this blog:

plenty of money and full colour brochures

society of the spectacle


rural urbanism and rethinking happiness

more giardini

venice biennale of architecture

cicchetti tea break…

I know i came to Venice for the biennale, but actually i would almost make the trip just to eat the cicchetti at this place near Academia (discovered a few years ago thanks and infinite gratitude to a venetian friend).

So cicchetti are the Venetian version of tapas, and this place does them SO WELL…They come in many varieties but you can usually find the culinary wonder that is Baccalà Mantecato – pounded salt cod that is then whipped with olive oil till it reaches a buttery pate like consistency, you can leave it at that or add garlic, parsley, lemon juice…they also do a brie with nettle pesto that’s pretty darned good too…

2 Spritz (prosecco, campari and a spalsh of soda) plus 8 assorted cicchetti for €12, bloody bargain!

Still on the subject of food, over by the Giardini, in some adjacent public gardens, you can find a modest local bar apparently with no name,

where you can have a hefty plate of polenta plus many trimmings. Normally i hate polenta me, i find it bland and boring, i call it prison food…and you get a LOT of it in Piedmont. However, on this particular day in Venice, we were experiencing the tail end of the bora wind and there was the threat of acqua alta (and me in converse trainers) anyway you get the picture,  it was freeeeezing,  so hot polenta with many interesting accompaniments was not sounding so bad…

A big old plate of Venetian style polenta with: funghi (mushrooms), baccalà mantecato (salt cod paste), formaggio fuso (melted cheese), sopressa (salame)…never thought i would hear myself say it but really…delicious…

other foody posts on this blog:

chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break

chocolate con churros



further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

braid burn

cooking the haul



more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano

rural urbanism and rethinking happiness…

…still in the Architecture Biennale of 2010…rural urbanism – the city enters the countryside, the country enters the city

Please bear in mind that i have just spent a rather intensive über arty and not always easy 4 months working with 14 other artists. So maybe it’s just that i am rather easily pleased at the moment…but i really enjoyed this installation…am speaking pure fun and aesthetic pleasure here as i have not had time to read all the text (yet) and to understand if this is some kind of proposal for a realistic “utopia” or another kind of dogmatic enforcement of urban planning or impossible political correctness… So instead and for the moment i just want to revel in the pleasure of the installation itself…hours of fun…and pick out some of the crazy details…

“rethinking happiness” is a research project showing 4 different new possible communities on a total surface of 40mq, curated by italian architect and designer Aldo Cibic, Rural Urbanism is one of the 4 aforementioned projects:

New Communities, New Polarities – how a small centre becomes a large centre

One hour from Shanghai, a large rural territory with an ancient agricultural tradition is crushed between a growing industrial zone and a new city.

The idea is to create an agricultural park of 4 sq km inhabited by 8000 persons with low-density residential structures, preserving the agriculture and offering green spaces for the inhabitants. the project calls for a group of elevated buildings on the streets, to create a perpendicular grid that floats over the countryside.

The more time i spent looking, the more “unusual” things i found, for example a crime scene here, can you see the body outline on the ground?:

or this…architecture style of Benny Hill???…Only in Italy surely…rural urbanism…in a bikini anyone??

Studio Andrea Branzi – Per una Nuova Carta de Atene (plus art peeping tom…)

more architecture biennale 2010 on this blog:

plenty of money and full colour brochures

society of the spectacle


other pavilions

more giardini

venice biennale of architecture

more giardini…

…so why is it that i have enjoyed the Architecture Biennale way more than the art one. Is it that the participants are forced to be more creative, to create an alternative to an infinite display of blueprints and architectural models? or are artists who display at the Art Biennale just so far down their career path that they have ceased to try indulge anyone other than themselves? (can you tell am a little tired of artists – including myself – right now…). There are also many artists showing here at the Biennale of Architecture right now, but it is almost as if with the spotlight off them, off “art” that they are more free??? i don’t know…anyway here are some more images of things i have seen:


“joanna (chapter one)” by Cerith Wyn Evans

McBusier – Tom Sachs

teeny tiny Le Corbusier furniture

The 3 images above are by US artist Tom Sachs “focusing on Le Corbusier and the successes and failures of modernism…both the potential for solving the world’s housing crisis and the mismanagement of projects that incubated poverty”

Speaking of blueprints and plans (architecture is still kind of the subject matter after all). This must have been a real labour of love…

“Blueprint” an installation by artist Do ho Suh + Suh Architects from Korea

It is a literally a blueprint in 3D suspended above our heads…it is a 1:1 scale hand stitched replica of the facade of the artist’s home in NYC. Curator of the whole event, japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima said at the opening of the Biennale, ‘an architecture exhibition is a challenging concept, as actual buildings cannot be exhibited.’ But actually…looking at Do ho Suh’s work…he seems to have managed it!

Below 2 images from the Japanese Pavilion:

City of Monarchism from Tokyo Metabolising Installation

City of Capitalism from Tokyo Metabolising Installation

…and finally a gratuitous shot of Venice just because it is so pretty and i was there!

more architecture biennale 2010 on this blog:

plenty of money and full colour brochures

society of the spectacle


other pavilions

rural urbanism and rethinking happiness

venice biennale of architecture

venice biennale of architecture…

There will now follow a whole bunch of posts from Venice…

I came here specifically for the Architecture Biennale, which takes place every 2 years in between the art Biennale. Anyway it is my first time at the architecture version…

So the setup is the same as the art version with the main venues being the pavilions in the Giardini and the vast internal space of the Arsenale. My entry ticket costs €20…Venice ain’t cheap…There will be quite a lot of posts on this subject as i saw a lot of things that are worth a mention…


The Belgian pavilion was dedicated to flooring, they prised worn and much used various materials away from their original contexts and displayed them like works of art on the walls complete with a small potted history of their original use and location…

“Acrylic fibre carpet from a living room adjacent to a bedroom and a hallway. Both rooms had chimneys and gas convectors”.

“Work table next to a photocopier in a copy shop. Plywood panel later covered with a protective layer of laminated low-density fibreboard (LDF)”.

Vacant NL – where architecture meets ideas, installation in Dutch Pavilion. Ahhh the Dutch pavilion, it has been empty for the past 39 years. I already liked it when i entered and saw what i perceived to still be an empty space, with a false ceiling of suspended turquoise forms which filled the otherwise empty space with reflected colour…

but there was more…up the stairs and those forms turned into a vast Dutch cityscape

more architecture biennale 2010 on this blog:

plenty of money and full colour brochures

society of the spectacle


other pavilions

rural urbanism and rethinking happiness

more giardini