Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale – 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆

City Report - 01 Jun 2018

Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale

From the chapels of the first ever Vatican Pavilion to representing Britain in the era of Brexit, the national presentations for the 16th edition

By Declan Long

The morning after Ireland’s historic referendum on women’s reproductive rights – resulting in a glorious, landslide victory over religious conservatism – I am, rather absurdly, sitting in a chapel. It’s one of ten temporary ‘places of worship’ installed on the island of­­­­ San Giorgio Maggiore as part of the first ever Vatican Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Some of these mini-churches are reverently site-sensitive, subtly inserted into an atmospheric woodland setting. Others are indulgent, inconsequential follies: a timber-lattice temple by Foster + Partners feels, for instance, like a fancy entrance to a forest-park playground. One, however, is exceptional. This is Eduardo Souto de Moura’s beautifully elemental contribution: a rudimentary rectangular enclosure (constructed from bulky sandstone blocks) that forms a simple, unadorned sanctuary. As I linger inside after wandering through this island’s otherworldly gardens – suddenly tearful about who-knows-what – Souto de Moura’s chapel seems, for a moment, like a thrillingly pure and perfect piece of architecture, as stripped-back and settled as a centuries-old ruin.

Eduardo Souto de Moura chapel for Vatican City presentation, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Photograph: Alessandra Chemollo

Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆

Eduardo Souto de Moura chapel for Vatican City presentation, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Photograph: Alessandra Chemollo

Even so, I’m inclined to resist the rarified intensity and emotional impact of Souto de Moura’s building – preferring, indeed, to reject the Vatican Pavilion and all its works. Curators of this year’s biennale, Irish architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, have named ‘freespace’ as their title and guiding theme – and in this spirit, valuing situations of intellectual liberty and commitment over detached, submissive worship seems centrally important. Praise be, then, that among the biennale’s other national pavilions, significantly less pious and pacifying encounters with ‘freespace’ are possible.

Finnish pavilion, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆

Finnish pavilion, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

Some such varieties of architectural freespace are humbly grounded in the occupations, urgencies and routine necessities of quotidian experience. I’m not (too) embarrassed to admit that many of my life’s most exciting moments have happened in libraries – and so I’m drawn with geeky delight to the Finnish exhibition ‘Mind-Building’: a multi-contributor micro-museum of library design. Conceived by Hanna Harris and curated by Anni Vartola, this is a celebration of past and future buildings – beginning with the stately Rikhardinkatu Library in Helsinki (founded in 1881) and looking forward to the opening of the state-of-the-art Oodi Helsinki Central Library later this year. The show is a rich, focused curatorial paean to the transformative power of public libraries, both on the individual imagination and on the wider society. In a similar civic, educational spirit, Greece’s exhibition ‘The School of Athens’ (curated by London-based architects Xristina Argyros and Ryan Neiheiser) calmly asserts the teaching and learning value of ‘unprogrammed spaces’, fitting out the serene white environment of their sizeable Giardini gallery with adjoining sets of wide wooden steps, onto which elevated 3D-printed models of academic ‘common spaces’ are presented for easygoing study. (Among the examples are courtyards at Cambridge University and Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center at Harvard.) It’s an understated tribute to campus quads, staircases, corridors, quiet corners – to zones of casual, occasional conversation and, consequently to those incidental, unpredictable educational situations that occur outside the classroom, free from the prescriptive constraints of ‘learning outcomes’. (Over in the Arsenale, the Turkish Pavilion has taken education as its freespace topic too: handing the production of its exhibition project over to architecture students from all around the globe.)

Greek pavilion, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆

Greek pavilion, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

Here and there at the biennale, assorted scenes from the presumed freespaces of ordinary life are documented in either optimistic or unsettled states. There’s an ebullient charm, for example, to the French Pavilion’s exploration of what the show’s curators, Paris-based practice Encore Heureux, have termed ‘infinite places’. Their pitch is that permanent renewal can be a primary architectural goal; and, taking ten converted historical buildings as case studies, they argue for perpetually re-imagining what, and who, an existing piece of architecture is for. (It’s a proposition that begins at home: the wooden display structures used in the exhibition have been re-purposed from Xavier Veilhan’s installation at the art biennale in 2017). Dominating the display – dwarfing a relatively conventional selection of models and drawings – is a wall-hung, ceiling-high collection of miscellaneous household items borrowed from each of the represented buildings: there are deckchairs, stereo speakers, cooking pans, skateboards, squash rackets, clocks, crockery, family photos, and a great deal more besides. These accumulated things are granted the Proustian designation of ‘madeleines’ – and collectively they become an anti-heroic memorial to the depth and diversity of everyday experience, calling to mind Robert Walser’s remark that ‘we don’t need to see anything out of the ordinary. We already see so much.’

Swiss pavilion, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆

Swiss pavilion, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

But more anxious accounts of daily life are insistently present. The Swiss Pavilion’s Golden Lion-winning House Tour – a bright, mazy, mocked-up domestic interior, featuring freakish shifts in scale between rooms – has an undoubted comic lightness, but it’s uncanny and alienating too. Katerina Seda’s project for the Czech and Slovak Pavilion is a spoof agency tasked with re-populating city centres blighted by excess tourism. Remodelled as headquarters of the fictional ‘United Nations Real Life Organization’, the pavilion promotes job opportunities for people prepared to ‘visibly engage in normal life’, gaining payment for participating in ‘endangered activities’ such as ‘meeting neighbours and taking out the garbage’. The point is surely important for planners and architects – even if, as grandly sarcastic satire, the exhibition itself feels unproductively overblown.

Irish pavilion, ‘Free Market’, installation view, Venice Architectur Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Francesco Galli

Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆

Irish pavilion, ‘Free Market’, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Francesco Galli

There’s greater restraint to the Irish Pavilion’s reflection on landscapes where real life has been eroded. Co-ordinated by the Free Market Collective – a group of six architects: Jeffrey Bolhuis, Jo Anne Butler, Miriam Delaney, Tara Kennedy, Laurence Lord and Orla Murphy – this exhibition is an involving curatorial essay on the decline of Irish market towns, once the commercial hubs of rural communities, now bypassed into circumstances of increasing neglect. Depressed social conditions are here, nonetheless, presented in a relaxed, upbeat mode, as the Free Market collective creatively speculate on the return of vitality to marginalized localities. (The exhibition space itself, furnished with seats like the outside windowsills of country pubs, is understood as a situation of amiable, informal encounter). Not so – or not straightforwardly – at the British Pavilion. It is right, I think, to praise the British show as the most problematic and provocative to feature in Venice this year. Entitled ‘Island’, and curated by Caruso St John Architects with artist Marcus Taylor, this is a complex, contradictory exhibition: a troubled take on the term ‘freespace’, that forcefully demonstrates the deep difficulty of trying to represent Britain in the era of Brexit.

British pavilion, ‘Island’, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆

British pavilion, ‘Island’, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

At Britain’s imposing Giardini building, two contrasting open spaces have been created. One is a dramatic new terrace on the roof of the pavilion, accessed by a steep external staircase: it’s a lofty position from which to look out over the Venetian lagoon – or even, dare I say it, to look down on the pavilions of neighbouring nations. Up there on the roof, tea is served each day at four, as if nothing else in the world need matter. And what, then, of the second open space? This is the building’s interior, which contains nothing at all. As with Santiago Sierra’s Spanish exhibition at the art biennale in 2003, the galleries have been left entirely empty. Combining spheres of detached distraction and disconcerting negativity, Caruso St John have produced a pavilion of self-consciously uneasy ‘freespace’ that seems commendably subversive: facing into difficult circumstances, while also effacing their own presence as representatives of the nation. 

Main image: French pavilion, ‘Infinite Places’, installation view, Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018. Courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia; photograph: Italo Rondinella

Declan Long

Declan Long is programme director of the MA course Art in the Contemporary World at the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, Ireland.

 

Venice Architecture Biennale
National Pavilions
Vatican
Eduardo Souto de Moura
Hanna Harris
Anni Vartola
Caruso St John
Free Market Collective
Encore Heureux


城市报告- 01军2018聚集和崩溃:在威尼斯建筑双年展的国家展馆从第一次梵蒂冈馆的教堂代表英国在布雷克斯时代,国家代表Declan Long的第十六版,在爱尔兰对妇女生育权的历史公投之后的第二天早上,我对宗教保守主义产生了光荣的、压倒性的胜利。这是在威尼斯建筑双年展上第一次梵蒂冈馆的一部分,安装在吉奥吉奥圣马格罗岛上的十个临时的“礼拜场所”之一。这些迷你教堂中的一些是对场地敏感的,巧妙地插入到一个常绿的林地环境中。其他人则是放纵的、无关紧要的蠢事:比如福斯特+伙伴的一个木格神庙,感觉就像一个森林公园游乐场的华丽入口。然而,其中一个例外。这是艾德瓦尔多·苏托·德·莫拉美丽的元素贡献:一个简陋的矩形外壳(由庞大的砂岩块构成),形成一个简单,朴实的避难所。当我徘徊在这座岛屿的异域花园里时,突然泪流满面地知道谁是——Souto de Moura的教堂似乎暂时像一个令人惊叹的纯洁而完美的建筑,像一个几百年的废墟一样被掀开并安顿下来。梵蒂冈城市介绍艾德瓦尔多·苏托·德·莫拉教堂,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。图片来源:亚历山德拉凯莫洛WAPP6021602MIG EduARDO Souto de Moua教堂梵蒂冈城市介绍,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。照片:Alessandra Chemollo,尽管如此,我还是倾向于抵制Souto de Moura建筑的强烈的强度和情感的影响,事实上,它拒绝梵蒂冈馆及其所有作品。今年的双年展策展人,爱尔兰建筑师Yvonne Farrell和Shelley McNamara,把自由空间作为他们的头衔和指导主题,本着这种精神,重视知识自由和对超脱、顺从崇拜的承诺似乎是重要的。那么,在双年展的其他国家展馆中,赞美与“自由空间”的虔诚和安抚相遇是不太可能的。芬兰馆,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯双年展;照片:Italo Rodiina Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆芬兰展馆,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯的双年展;照片:Italo Rodiina,一些这样的建筑自由空间在谦虚的职业、紧急情况和日常生活必需品中谦卑地扎根。我不(太)尴尬地承认我的生活中许多激动人心的时刻都发生在图书馆里,所以我被芬兰展览《心智大厦》吸引了,这是一个多贡献的图书馆设计的微型博物馆。由Hanna Harris构思并由Anni Vartola策划,这是一个庆祝过去和未来的建筑-从赫尔辛基的Rik硬kutu图书馆(建于1881)开始,期待着今年晚些时候开放最先进的OODI赫尔辛基中央图书馆。该展览是一个丰富的,集中的策展赞助商公共图书馆的变革力量,无论是在个人想象力和更广泛的社会。在类似的公民教育精神下,希腊展览“Athens学派”(由伦敦建筑师Xristina Argyros和Ryan Neiheiser策划)平静地宣称“未编程空间”的教学和学习价值,适应其庞大G的宁静的白色环境。IARDINI画廊与毗邻的宽木制步幅,其中高架3D打印的学术“共同空间”模型是为随和的研究。(其中的例子是剑桥大学的庭院和哈佛大学的柯布西耶木匠中心),这是对校园四方、楼梯、走廊、安静角落的一种朴素的敬意——对随意的、偶尔的对话区,以及那些偶然的、不可预知的EDU。课堂以外发生的情境,不受“学习结果”的规定性约束。(在阿萨尔语中,土耳其馆也将教育作为其自由空间的主题:将展览项目的生产移交给世界各地的建筑学学生。)希腊馆,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯双年展;照片:Italo Rodiina WPAP6023 602IMG希腊馆,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼节:威尼斯的双年展;照片:Italo Rundiela在双年展上到处都是,从普通生活中假定的自由空间的各种场景被记录在乐观或不安定的状态中。例如,法国馆对这一展览的探索,有一种热情洋溢的魅力,这是巴黎的实践中的策展人。他们的想法是永久性的更新可以是一个主要的建筑目标;并且,以十个被转换的历史建筑作为案例研究,他们主张永久地重新想象一个现存的建筑的东西和谁。(这是一个从家开始的命题:在展览中使用的木制展示结构已经从Xavier Veilhan在2017的艺术双年展中重新安装。)一个壁挂式、天花板式的高楼大厦,收藏着各种各样的家居用品,从每一个有代表性的建筑中借来:有躺椅、立体声扬声器、烹饪锅、滑板、壁球Rac。皮夹,钟表,陶器,家庭照片,还有很多。这些积攒的东西被授予“马德琳”字样的命名,并集体成为对日常体验的深度和多样性的反英雄式纪念,唤起Robert Walser的评论:“我们不需要看到任何不寻常的东西。”我们已经看到这么多了。瑞士馆,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯双年展;照片:Italo Rodiina Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆瑞士馆,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯的双年展;照片:Italo Rundiela,但更焦虑的日常生活的帐户坚持提出。瑞士馆金狮奖之旅,是一个明亮的,迷宫般的,内嵌的室内,以房间间的怪诞变化为特征——无疑是喜剧般的轻盈,但它也是不可思议和疏远的。Katerina Seda的捷克和斯洛伐克馆项目是一个恶作剧机构,负责重新填充过度旅游造成的城市中心。该馆改建为虚构的“联合国现实生活组织”总部,该馆为准备“明显地参与正常生活”的人们提供就业机会,为参与“濒危活动”,例如“会见邻居”和“掏空”而获得报酬。垃圾。这一点对于规划师和建筑师来说当然是重要的,即使作为讽刺性的讽刺,展览本身也感觉不起作用。爱尔兰馆,“自由市场”,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯双年展;照片:Francesco Galli WPA6025602IMG爱尔兰馆,“自由市场”,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯的双年展;照片:Francesco Galli对爱尔兰馆对现实生活中被侵蚀的风景的反映有更大的克制。自由市场集体的协调——一组六位建筑师:Jeffrey Bolhuis、Jo Anne Butler、Miriam Delaney、Tara Kennedy、Laurence Lord和Orla Murphy——这是一个涉及爱尔兰市场城镇衰落的策展论文,曾经是农村公社的商业中心。纽带,现在绕过的情况越来越忽视。尽管如此,低迷的社会状况却呈现在一种轻松、乐观的模式中,自由市场集体创造性地推测边缘化地区的活力回归。(展览空间本身,有座位,像郊外酒吧的窗外,被理解为一种亲切、非正式的遭遇)。英国馆不那么直截了当地说。我认为,赞扬英国节目是今年威尼斯最有争议和最具挑衅性的特点是正确的。题为“岛”,并由Caruso St John建筑师与艺术家Marcus Taylor,这是一个复杂的,矛盾的展览:“自由空间”一词的困扰,这有力地表明了深刻的困难,试图代表英国在布雷克斯时代。英国馆,“岛”,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯双年展;照片:Italo Rodiina Coming Together and Falling Apart: National Pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale - 汇聚与崩溃:威尼斯建筑双年展国家馆英国馆,“岛”,安装视图,威尼斯建筑双年展,2018。礼貌:威尼斯的双年展;照片:伊塔罗隆迪拉在英国雄伟的卡蒂尼建筑中,创造了两个截然不同的开放空间。一个是一个戏剧性的新阳台,在亭子的屋顶上,一个陡峭的外部楼梯:它是一个高耸的位置,从那里俯瞰威尼斯泻湖——甚至我敢说,俯瞰邻居的亭台楼阁。


FRIZE特稿
ARThing编译


Comments are closed.