Fundamentals: 14th International Architecture Exhibition
The President of la Biennale di Venezia, Paolo Baratta, accompanied by the curator of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Rem Koolhaas, announce the 14th Exhibition, which will take place from 7 June to 23 November 2014 at the Giardini and at the Arsenale (Preview on 5 and 6 June) and in various other venues in Venice. The title chosen by Rem Koolhaas for the International Architecture Exhibition is: Fundamentals. This edition will also include selected collateral events, presented by international entities and institutions, which will present their exhibitions and initiatives in Venice concurrently with the 14th Exhibition.
Rem Koolhaas has stated: “Fundamentals will be a Biennale about architecture, not architects. 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 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. 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. 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, 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.
President Paolo Baratta explained the evolution of the Architecture Biennale and consequently the choice of Rem Koolhaas: “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 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. The countries are offered the opportunity for a better integration into this research project.”