La Biennale di Venezia: 11th Annual Architecture Exhibition

The 11th International Architecture Exhibition, directed by Aaron Betsky and entitled Out There: Architecture Beyond Building and organized by La Biennale di Venezia presided over by Paolo Baratta, will take place in Venice from Sunday, September 14th to Sunday, November 23rd, 2008. The preview will be on September 11th to 13th.

According to Aaron Betsky, the 11th Architecture Biennale points out what should be an obvious fact: architecture is not building. Betsky has for six years been the director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam, one of the most prestigious museums and architecture centres in the world. He states that, “Buildings are objects and the act of building leads to such objects, but architecture is something else. It is the way we think and talk about buildings, how we represent them, how we build them. This is architecture. More generally, architecture is a way of representing, shaping and perhaps even offering critical alternatives to the human-made environment. In this world it is not enough to keep the rain out, create room for office cubicles, or fit into a context that either changes continually or becomes artificially frozen. In fact, buildings are not enough. They are the tombs of architecture, the residue of the desire to make another world, a better world, and a world open to possibilities beyond the everyday.”

Out There: Architecture Beyond Building will present, in the Venice Arsenale, more than a dozen large-scale site-specific installations that will ask the question how we can be at home in the modern world. There it will offer an alternative to urban planning in viral architecture. It will present manifestos for an architecture beyond building. It will show visions that might become the building blocks for such an architecture. It will finally bring us back to Eden. Participants will include Diller Scofidio+Renfro, UN Studio, Jurgen Mayer H., Massimiliano Fuksas, Nigel Coates, Erik Adigard, Work Architecture, Droog Design, Philippe Rahm and Kathryn Gustafson, as well as architects who will create viral forms.

In the Padiglione Italia, a survey of experimental architecture will show the work firms from around the world who are engaged in such work. This survey will be anchored by small monographic shows on firms whose work has been based on such experimentation: Frank Gehry, Herzog & de Meuron, Morphosis, Zaha Hadid and Coop Himmelb(l)au. A presentation of experiments one can find on the internet and beyond will further enhance this collection of forms and images.

The 11th Venice Architecture Biennale is being assembled by Aaron Betsky with the help of an international curatorial team consisting of Francesco Delogu, Emiliano Gandolfi, Casey Jones, Reed Kroloff, Marcin Szczelina and Saskia van Stein. The Amsterdam firm of Thonik will work with him to design the 11th Venice Architecture Biennale’s identity and presentations.

The 11th International Architecture Exhibition will also present numerous national participations with exhibitions inside the pavilions at Giardini and through the historic centre in Venice. Collateral events organized by cultural institutions from all over the world will also be part of the exhibition in Venice.

The catalogue of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition will be published by Marsilio. The official website is