Tag Archives: giardini

venice biennale 2013

The Biennale this year went by the name of The Encyclopedic Palace curated by Massimiliano Gioni. It investigates the desire to see and know everything: it is a show about obsessions and about the transformative power of the imagination.

The ‘Encyclopedic Palace’ (‘il palazzo enciclopedico’) serves as the conceptual heart and organizing theme of this year’s art biennale. The title comes from a patent filed by self-taught italian-american artist Marino Auriti in 1955 for his ‘Palazzo Enciclopedico’, a proposed museum that would house all human knowledge and innovation.

Hmmm, well it’s a deeply conservative offering this year which is interesting considering the curator is one of the youngest curators ever for the Venice Biennale…and (changing the subject) the ticket price has gone up…25 Euros now!!! but as ever if you are in Italy, you should go and see it…First up, something old, but granted, very beautiful, The Red Book by Carl Gustav Jung:

…and more historical drawings regarding the unconscious mind this time by Emma Kunz…beautiful again…and yes i understand the idea of displaying these old works, bringing them to light for a new audience…but like i said this is a very VERY conservative biennial…

optional extra…

If you want to see 36 hours of Biennale in 1 and a half minutes…this is the film for you!

other posts on Venice Architecture Biennale 2012:

architecture biennale architecture

biennale and other priorities

spaces in between

islands of LA and other installations

hidden meditation

parametric semiology

biennale miscellany

architecture biennale architecture…

…So i went to the Architecture Biennale of Venice with hight hopes, i generally like it better than the art version it alternates with bi-annually…the next few posts will feature what i saw there. But i want to start with a few more of the national pavilions in the Giardini venue (see previous post). I love these little venues – they don’t really relate much to one another but instead reflect the architecture of their times bouncing between classical – modernist – post modernist… I photographed them in and between sporadic showers of torrential rain:

(recently refurbished) Finnish Pavilion designed by Alvar Aalto in 1956 (one of my favourites!)

Austrian Pavilion designed by Joseph Hoffmann in 1934 – a modernist white cube

Canadian Pavilion designed by Milan-based architecture firm BBPR in 1958

Uruguayan Pavilion – apparently it used to be a warehouse for the biennale and it’s the smallest pavilion – hidden amongst the trees…

South Korean Pavilion designed by Seok Chul Kim and Franco Mancuso in 1995

Israeli Pavilion designed by Zeev Rechter in 1952

Swiss Pavilion designed by Bruno Giacometti in 1952

For more pavilion architecture see my flickr set

giardini – catch that pigeon…

Arriving in the Giardini, the first thing i noticed were the pigeons…which at first i thought were real…

but as i entered the Central Pavilion (often called the Italian Pavilion) of the Venice Biennale and i found them everywhere, invading the art space i realised it was in fact an old work by Maurizio Cattelan called Others

…how appropriate as the pigeons metaphorically crapped over some of the pretty dubious choices made by the “controversial” curator of the Central (Italian) Pavilion, Vittorio Sgarbi. However let’s dwell on the positive…

Polish artist Monika Sosnowska conceived a star shaped, wallpapered Para-Pavilion, inside which hangs the powerful and effecting photography of South African photographer, David Goldblatt. If you have the time, read the stories under the photographs, it is really worth the effort…

Ex Offenders at the Scene of the Crime is the title given to Goldblatt’s series…

David Goldblatt on the series Ex Offenders: “Very many South Africans have been the victims of crime, often violent. We have either suffered it personally or we know someone close who has. With much stress and considerable expenditure of income we try to protect our persons and property. Yet withal we remain extremely vulnerable to attack by people who would seize our property and damage or end our lives. Having been a victim of armed robbers, muggers and thieves I asked myself who are the people who are doing this to us. Are they monsters? Ordinary people? Could they be my children? Are they you and me? I wanted to burrow under the statistics and meet some of these doers of crime as individuals. I wanted to do portraits and ask, Who are you, what makes you tick, what did you do, how did you come to do it, what do you think of what you did, what will you do now? Who to photograph and where? Even if I could meet active criminals they would not be likely to agree to being photographed or to answering such questions. I did not want to photograph prisoners in jail. I wanted to meet perpetrators as ‘ordinary’ people such as one might encounter in a street or supermarket. And I wanted to do this in situations that were somehow related to the crimes they had committed or of which they had been accused. So I came to people who had been accused of crime, found guilty and been punished. If they had been in prison, they were now free or on parole. Where to do the portraits? It seemed to me that the scene of crime is likely to be a place of special significance. Life-changing events were probably experienced there. So, with the exception of two portraits that I did at the place of arrest, it is at the scene of crime that I have been doing the photographs. Thus these photographs and the stories of the people within them. Most were trying, often in desperately difficult circumstances, to go straight. Hence I call them not criminals, not offenders, but ex-offenders.”

other posts on the venice biennale 2011 in this blog

pavilions inside gardens inside the biennale

stars of track and field we are

my “i imposter”

stars of track and field we are

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