12 March 2014. The president of the Biennale Paolo Barattaand Rem Koolhaas, curator of the upcoming biennale architettura (opening on June 7, 2014) present their project at the Italian embassy in Berlin.
Judging from the presentation, the projects promises to change the understanding of the Biennale as we have known it so far for a number of structural reasons that involve the process ans the venues selected. The following:
It is a project that promises to make all departments of the Biennale interact with each other, as if they actually were part of the same institution―indeed a surprise for everyone who is accustomed to the reclusive walls which characterized the Biennale in recent times. It is a project called Absorbing modernity 1904-2014, which is to say an investigations of what has happened to the urban and domestic scenery since the outbreak of World War I.
It is a projects that project Italy at the center of the stage, by suggesting that the Italian present miserable condition is emblematic of a more widely spread general condition of increasing difficulty. This is the section called Monditalia at the Corderie, split in two halves and reproducing the map of Italy in its lay-out.
It is a project that, for the first time, aims at producing a dialogue between the main exhibition called Fundamentals (held at the former Italian Pavillion in the Giardini) and all others pavilions
it is a project that is the result of 18 months of coordinated research that stays away from the reigning culture of the star system and brings the attention back to the basic, fundamental elements of architecture―doors, balcony, ceiling, windows, walls―called Elements of Architecture
it is a project that propose to use the structure of the Biennale for meetings, debates, talks and conversations for a six-month long time period.
It is a projects that says, among the lines, that the Biennale has an obligation of becoming a center of research, rather than being a market-dictated parade of the who is who in architecture
it is a project that emphatically promises to criticize the growing divide between architecture and civil society, a divide that has created an artificial and ill-directed dichotomy between excess and indifference, one fostered by ‘economy and technology.’
The seven points, when considered together, seem designed to set the stage for the most important thesis that would likely emerge from the entire operation, namely to suggest that architects should shoot for a more generic, anonymous kind of architecture made of basic, fundamental elements that ‘should act as a reference for a regenerated relationship between human beings and architecture.’ The 2014 edition promises to be a giant intellectual leap from Chipperfield’s ‘common ground’ edition, which ranks, according to many, as the most recent low of the Biennale.
The only ‘bad’ news seem the anti-human pink catalogue of the fundamental elements which promises to make S,M,L,XL look like a minor affair.