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Fundamentals – “Biennale di Venezia” on Arhitectura Magazine 2014, Bucharest, Romania

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Arhitectura Magazine, issue no.3 (651), “Collective Dwellings“, Bucharest 2014


reporter, Biennale di Venezia © Alexandru Crisan 2014

FUNDAMENTALS-BIENNALE DI VENEZIA

[Venezia 2014]

Fundamentals
Biennale di Venezia 2014

Evenimentele Bienalei au loc la Venetia in perioada 7 iunie – 23 noiembrie 2014. Pavilioanele respectiv participarile nationale (Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014) sunt grupate in zonele Giardini si Arsenale. Evenimente colaterale Bienalei, o parte a participarilor nationale la care se adauga numeroase expozitii si evenimente au loc in diferite zone ale Venetiei grupate tipologic dupa o schema pusa la dispozitia vizitatorilor la intrarea in Bienala.

Tema propusa anul acesta de Rem Koolhaas pentru Bienala de Arhitectura de la Venetia a constituit o dubla provocare. Fundamentals a urmarit determinarea generata de necesitatea transmiterii unui mesaj coerent legat de fenomenul arhitectural. Secundar af fi de remarcat tentativa de exprimare a identitatii conceptuale aplicate demersului arhitectural care reia o tema mai veche propusa pentru Bienala in anii `70. Asa cum remarca Paolo Baratta, President of Biennale di Venezia, bienala de anul acesta constituie “A research-based Exhibition”. “For the first time, the national pavilions are invited to respond to a single theme…65 countries – in the Giardini, at the Arsenale and elsewhere in the city – examine key moments from a century of modernization. Together, the presentations start to reveal how diverse material cultures and political environments transformed a generic modernity into a specific one. Participating countries show, each in their own way, a radical splintering of modernities in a century where the homogenizing process of globalization appeared to be the master narrative…” (Rem Koolhas)

Tema este aproape metafizica incercand prin elemente simplificate sa evidentieze nu un intreg interpretativ sustinand mediul contextual ce ar putea da nastere interpretarilor personalizate. Absorbing Modernity constituie cadrul propice pentru analiza transformarilor specifice care au avut loc in ultima suta de ani, respectiv 1914-2014. Tema arhivei, al rememorarii evenimentelor care au determinat intr-o anumita perioada temporala arhitectura unei regiuni, constituie premizele cercetarii unui fenomen distinct sau al unei reactii la nivelul fenomenului arhitectural.

Se remarca tema de cercetare dezvoltata in mai multe directii in cadrul pavilioanelor prezentate in cadrul Bienalei. In cadrul pavilioanelor Koreei sau Japoniei se remarca tipologia cecetarii tip arhiva (laborator, atelier) si extensia acesteia in cadrul prezentarii pavilionul Rusiei care transforma elementele arhivei in bunuri comerciale similar unui targ de produse. Pavilioane precum Slovachia sau Polonia au urmarit o directia poetica dezvoltand subiectul prin accentuare unui element specific. O abordare distincta, mizand pe identitatea si expresia vizuala prezentata prin intermediul filmelor sau machetelor, transpune privitorul intr-o lume in miscare in care aspecte ale temporalitatii devin elementele cheie ale evolutiei fenomenului arhitectural (pavilioanele Frantei sau Romaniei). Intalnim si a patra directie de abordare in pavilioanele Greciei, Spaniei sau Braziliei, care traduc modernitatea prin capacitatea de expunere, pavilioanele fiind un spatiu al nuantarilor diverse -un conglomerat vizual de imagini statice dispuse cronologic sau momente cheie in timp.

Together, the presentations start to reveal how diverse material cultures and political environments transformed a generic modernity into a specific one. Participating countries show, each in their own way, a radical splintering of modernities in a century where the homogenizing process of globalization appeared to be the master narrative…” (Rem Koolhaas)

In spiritul viziunii complexe, Rem Koolhaas contrabalanseaza abordarea radicala, contextuala (arhivele pavilioanelor) cu cercetarea globala (abordarea fundamentala esentiala), din cadrul Elements desfasurata in pavilionul central din Giardini. “The history of the past one hundred years prelude to the Elements of Architecture section hosted in the Central Pavilion, where the curator offers the contemporary world those elements that should represent the reference points for the discipline: for the architects but also for its dialogue with clients and society.” (Paolo Baratta)

Cercetarea accentueaza expresia limitelor si abilitatea de a controla complexitatea relatiilor stabilite intre elementele reper ale limbajului arhitectural. Complementar abordarii pavilioanelor Rem Koolhaas propune analiza elementelor de baza in (Elements of Architecture) specifice limbajului arhitectural (fereastra, usa, scara etc.), elemente care transpun definirea complexitatii codificatorilor supusi unor instrumente de operare specifice: spatiu, norme, reguli, inaltimi, modulor, etc. Unul dintre elementele cheie il constituie spatialitatea sau relatiile spatiale: compunerea si dispunerea elementelor in spatiu, provocare complexa ce constituie esentializarea fenomenului arhitectural. Determinarea relatiilor spatiale intre elementele arhitecturale transpune spatial o zona experientiala: o fereastra nu constituie doar un gol intr-un element vertical opac (sau constituind o rezultanta a unui calcul matematic) ci un rezultat a ceea ce poti vedea dincolo, prin acel element arhitectural (vezi Corbusier)… Arhitectura devine contextual un instrument care genereaza relatii emotionale, dezvoltand creativitatea – modernitatea exprimata in termenii complexitatii.

Concluzionand, nu putem sa nu remarcam amploarea si diversitatea abordarilor fara precedent, o adevarata “Choral Research on Architecture!”. “This time, the exhibition is the result of research effected under the guidance of the curator. There are some historic precedents to this in some of the early Architecture Biennales, but nothing comparable. The spirit of research is always something with which la Biennale concerns itself; but here it is la Biennale itself that is doing the research. And we are convinced of the importance of this development and this extraordinary opportunity Rem has offered us.” (Paolo Baratta)

Castigatorii editiei din acest an sunt:
1.Korea cu pavilionul Crow’s Eye View: The Korean Peninsula (premiul leul de aur);
2.Chile cu Monolith Controversies, (premiul leul de argint);
3.Monditalia pentru sectiunea proiect de cercetare (premiul leul de argint);

Au fost acordate 3 mentiuni speciale pentru participari nationale:
1.Canada (Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15);
2.Franta (Modernity: promise or menace?);
3.Russia (Fair Enough: Russia’s past our Present);

Trei mentiuni speciale au fost acordate pentru proiecte de cercetare la sectiunea Monditalia (Fundamentals):
1.Radical Pedagogies-Action-Reaction-Interaction;
2.Intermundia;
3.Italian Limes.

Fundamentals
Biennale di Venezia 2014

Biennial events take place in Venice from June 7 to November 23, 2014. Pavilions and National Participations (Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014) are grouped in the Giardini and Arsenale areas. The Biennale’s collateral events, part of the national participations, plus numerous exhibitions and events, take place in different areas of Venice, typologically grouped by a scheme made available to visitors at the Biennial entrance.

The theme proposed by Rem Koolhaas this year for the Venice Biennial Architecture was a double challenge. Fundamentals tracked the determination generated by the need to transmit a coherent message about the architectural phenomenon. Secondly, it should be noted the attempt to express the conceptual identity applied to the architectural approach that resumes an earlier theme proposed for the Biennale in the 1970s. As Paulo Baratta, President of the Biennale di Venezia, remembers this year’s biennial “A Research-Based Exhibition”. For the first time, the national pavilions are invited to respond to a single theme…65 countries – in the Giardini, at the Arsenale and elsewhere in the city – examine key moments from a century of modernization. Together, the presentations start to reveal how diverse material cultures and political environments transformed a generic modernity into a specific one. Participating countries show, each in their own way, a radical splintering of modernities in a century where the homogenizing process of globalization appeared to be the master narrative…” (Rem Koolhas)

The theme is almost metaphysical, trying by simplified elements to highlight not an interpretative whole supporting the contextual environment that could give birth to personalized interpretations. Absorbing Modernity provides the framework for analyzing the specific transformations that took place in the last hundred years, namely 1914-2014. The theme of the archive, the remembrance of the events that determined the architecture of a region in a certain period of time, are the premises of research into a distinct phenomenon or a reaction to the architectural phenomenon.

It is remarked the theme of research developed in several directions within the pavilions presented at the Biennial. In the pavilions of Korea or Japan, the typology of the archive type (laboratory, workshop) and its extension in the presentation of Russia’s pavilion that transforms the elements of the archive into commercial goods similar to a product fair is noted. Pavilions such as Slovacia or Poland followed a poetical direction developing the subject by emphasizing a specific element. A distinct approach, relying on the visual identity and expression presented through films or layouts, transposes the viewer into a moving world where aspects of temporality become the key elements of the evolution of the architectural phenomenon (pavilions of France or Romania). We also come to the fourth approach in the pavilions of Greece, Spain or Brazil, which translate modernity through exposure, the pavilions being a space of various nuances – a visual conglomerate of static images chronologically arranged or key moments over time.

Together, the presentations start to reveal how diverse material cultures and political environments transformed a generic modernity into a specific one. Participating countries show, each in their own way, a radical splintering of modernities in a century where the homogenizing process of globalization appeared to be the master narrative…” (Rem Koolhaas)

In the spirit of complex vision, Rem Koolhaas counterbalances the radical, contextual approach (archive of pavilions) with the global research (Essential Fundamental Approach) of the Elements deployed in the central pavilion of Giardini. “The history of the past one hundred years passes to the Elements of Architecture section hosted in the Central Pavilion, where the curator offers the contemporary world those elements that should represent the reference points for the discipline: for architects but also for its dialogue with clients and society. “(Paolo Baratta)

Research emphasizes the expression of boundaries and the ability to control the complexity of relationships established among the landmark elements of architectural language. Complementary to pavement approach Rem Koolhaas proposes to analyze basic Elements of Architecture specific to architectural language (window, door, staircase, etc.), elements that translate the definition of the complexity of encoders subject to specific operating tools: space, rules, rules, modulator, etc. One of the key elements is the space or spatial relationships: the composition and layout of the elements in space, the complex challenge that is the essence of the architectural phenomenon. Determining spatial relationships between architectural elements translates space into an experimental area: a window is not just a hollow in a vertical opaque element (or a result of a mathematical calculation) but a result of what you can see through that architectural element see Corbusier) … Architecture becomes a contextual instrument that generates emotional relationships, developing creativity – modernity expressed in terms of complexity.

Concluding, we can not fail to notice the scale and diversity of unprecedented approaches, a true “Choral Research on Architecture!”. “This time, the exhibition is the result of research effected under the guidance of the curator. There are some historic precedents to this in some of the early Architecture Biennales, but nothing comparable. The spirit of research is always something with which la Biennale concerns itself; but here it is la Biennale itself that is doing the research. And we are convinced of the importance of this development and this extraordinary opportunity Rem has offered us.” (Paolo Baratta)

Winners of this year’s edition are:
1.Korea with Crow’s Eye View: The Korean Peninsula (Gold Lion Prize);
2.Chile with Monolith Controversies, (silver lion prize);
3.Monday for the research project section (silver lion prize);

3 Special Mentions for National Participations:
1.Canada (Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15);
2.France (Modernity: promise or threat?);
3.Russia (Fair Enough: Russia’s Past Our Present);

Three special mentions were given for research projects at the “Fundamentals” section:
1.Radical Pedagogies-Action-Reaction-Interaction;
2.Intermundia;
3.Italian Limes.

reporter, Biennale di Venezia © Alexandru Crisan 2014
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