i’ve just popped down to the adriatic for a couple of days to absorb as much sun, saltwater, blue sky and ‘la dolce vita’ as i can before i return to my second winter of the year in germany.
i can tell you that it suits me to a tea here. the coffee, the chillaxed pace, the sun/water combo. even the madness of venice isn’t bothering me like it did last time and it’s so nice to hang out on the vaporetti again.
i came to check out the architecture biennale (last time i was here for the art biennale) and i kind of cheated ‘cos i pretty much followed rory hyde’s suggestions with a few added extras of my own and it was actually perfect.
i’m lucky that i’m not an architect, so whilst i have a level of critique and certainly believe that architecture needs to be political and has an undeniable relationship to people (ie, without people, architecture is dysfunctional), but i haven’t formal training, so i can be more easily pleased than when i go to the art biennale. i can also ‘skim’ things a little easier.
it was also super-nice to have a working camera. last time i was in town, my camera had just broken. boo.
rory’s suggestions are here
and it was an excellent itinerary. i had slightly different highlights, but still massive thumbs up to mr hyde. thanks rory!
here are my thumbs up:
japan – form is great, politics is satisfyingly present and videos are excellent – i watched all 3.
australia – they managed to make the cox disaster into a great space, it’s immersive, interactive and the floodslicer movie is a great clip of the best of oz architects, which i also watched all the way through. i also bought a t-shirt (sucker).
OAM preservation – it really was great. the photo index, the alternate history, the not-so-slick look relief.
the selgascano flexible corner space was also an excellent antidote to all the furrowed brow gloss.
hans ulrich obrist the ubiquitous – his interviews really were great – especially as they were still very ‘current’ – undertaken within the last few weeks. sadly, no where near enough time to watch them all.
janet cardiff – motet for 40 voices. in the round, multi-directional sound sculpture. nice to see sound relating to architecture gets a super-small look-in.
transsolar+tetsuo kondo – cloud room. it wasn’t as claustrophoic as the gormley white light, so was actually really engaging. it also managed to create a rene magritte-style space, probably by accident, which i loved.
studio mumbai – not on its own, but as a follow-up to the 1:1 architecture exhibit at v&a.
oh, and venice itself. it’s pretty fuckin’ spectacular.
wim wenders’s film – interesting idea, but could have been halved – and if i saw one more person close their eyes and ‘drink in’ the building, i was going to vomit on the carpet.
the aalto exhibit in finlandia was extra disappointing. i was hoping that would be super-rad.
still a lot of usual architecture presentations that don’t necessarily deal with real people, or the nature of public life or even have guts.
and obviously, this isn’t based on a comprehensive study of the biennale: just a snapshot.
tomorrow, i think i might go to the beach. laters!