Posts tagged with "U.S. Pavilion":
The Venice biennale will just not end! It opened in the warmth of September with mobs of well-known architects in attendance and officially closed on a cold November Sunday with scores of Italian schoolchildren roaming the pavilion grounds. I locked the doors of the U.S. Pavilion, put models and drawings into shipping containers (the show will be reprised at Parsons School of Design in February), and floated our Kartell-donated furniture down the Grand Canal on a barge—just in time for the highest floods in La Serenissima’s post–global warming history. Fortunately, the pavilion sits on high ground, and the stored work is safe.
The pavilion's furniture in stylish transit.
But there were pieces of the pavilion (story boards and a long blue table) not being returned to the States, and these we donated to a group called Commons Beyond Building (a collective whose members include Stalker, 2012, Millegomme, and EXYST), who were commissioned to create RE-Biennale: a recycled artwork of objects from the architecture biennale to be placed in the upcoming art biennale in June. Now we hear from biennale curator Emiliano Gandolfi that La Biennale di Venezia believes the project will be too costly, and are shutting it down. The group is appealing to art curator Daniel Birnbaum to rescue the effort.
Meanwhile, as we were closing the biennale, a water taxi roared up, and out stepped architecture critic, philosopher, and Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari, who scurried off to a meeting in the Accademia. The Venetian water taxis—absolutely the most elegant form of public transportation imaginable—are designed and built by a company called Riva, which is in New York this week at the Javits boat show. Riva sent along a photo of one of their boats with BB, and a temporary showroom in Rockefeller Center in 1964. A used wooden Riva is yours for just $500,000.
Visions of architecture, practical and inspired, International Herald Tribune
The American pavilion - with the best exhibition it has hosted in years, from which celebrity architects are notably absent - showcases 16 projects from all over the country that illustrate how this absence of the state has fostered a roll-up-your-sleeves, do-it-yourself culture, which is proving fruitful and productive in local architecture.
It only took a few hours—and espressos—to catch the jitters going around Venice the day before press opening. Since I was in tow with the Commissioner of the US Pavilion, our own Bill Menking, and crew it was a privileged view, but no less insane as architect elves, ie support staff, scurried around town trying to find that last minute acetate binder, glue gun, 6-color color printer etc etc. The big guns don’t arrive til later today or even tomorrow if they were not invited to Zaha Hadid’s super-dinner at Palladio’s Malcontenta, a powerbroking hour away, at least. (We heard that Thomas Krens was planning to rechannel some back canal in order to take a shortcut there).
Aaron Betsky, the curator of the whole to-do, was troubleshooting from his post on a low wall outside the Italian Pavilion in the Giardini across a gravel path from the Dutch Pavilion, his old haunts. Ole Bauman, the current director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, was nearby wondering if Rem Koolhaas might show up to see the Dutch Pavilion’s “Archiphoenix,” a research project as only the Dutch can do research projects on the educational implications for architecture on the fire that recently wiped out the Faculty of Architetcure in Delft University. (Hint: He’s won’t. Rem is headed for New York to unveil the design on Thursday for 23 E 22, his luxury high-concept carbuncle condo attached to One Madison Park). Bauman was hosting a kind of hallow’s eve party for all the worker bees from all the national pavilions (there are 32 of them) fueled by kegs of peach juice and prosecco, hummus, and pasta made by an imported organic Dutch chef. Benjamin Ball of Ball Norgues of Los Angeles was on hand happy and hyper about his string installation at the Italian Pavilion whose theme features 50 experimenters and 4 master iconoclasts. Betsksy was explaining what exactly that meant when a staffer whispered in his ear that some Gehry drawings weren’t fitting their frames and he dashed off….