For Img Credits and Rights: Paolo Ferrarini
Venice Biennale – Alejandro Aravena
He was appointed by the Board of the Biennale di Venezia the director of the 15th exhibition of architecture and could not elude us the opportunity to present two great brand.
The first is that of the Venice Biennale, known throughout the world, both for the art exhibition and for the architecture as well, which take place every other year reversed, in the even years there is architecture, in those odd there is art.
The Biennale has always been a crossroads for cultural issues that pervade these two arts, or perhaps I should say disciplines, in fact, it is better not to label them otherwise the philological discourse on the etymology would lead us already in an endless discussion.
The fact is that the Biennale is a brand that unlike the art exhibitions around the world, where the glass of champagne is a must exactly how the conceptual installation and glamorous characters are as important as, and perhaps more than art critics and artists, the academic component, deeply conceptual, serious and earnest, is essential and is one of the hallmarks of the personality of this brand.
The distinctive feature of the Biennale than other art exhibitions is its institutionalization, given by the fact that it is not a real art exhibition in one exhibition site, but almost a festival, a public event in which the whole town takes part, where in fact the public institutions have great importance and provide academic support to the establishment of the brand identity.
To give further support to the authority of the exhibition there is, as usual, also the Director of the Biennale, which this year is the newly appointed Pritzker Prize, Chilean architect, Alejandro Aravena.
Graduate of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile in 1992, had then followed postgraduate courses right in the lagoon city, both at the University Institute of Architecture in Venice that the Academy of Fine Arts. Already professor at the Catholic University of Chile and at the Harvard University, is also a member of the jury that awards the Pritzker Prize of which he is the winner of 2016. it was also named International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Since 2006 he is executive director of Elemental S.A. project, an association working in collaboration with the Catholic University of Chile, and which has as its purpose the design and implementation of urban projects of social housing.
This program is based on VSDsD program (Vivienda Social Dinamica sin Deuda, approved by the Ministry of House and Urbanism of Chile) addressed to poor sections of the population, which not have to support investments because “The homes subsidised from this program [VSDsD ] are transferred directly from public funds to poor families “.
Portfolio ELEMENTAL S.A. Website.
So we can say that even the director, among all the famous architects eligible to the nomination, was a choice fully in line with the institutional authority of the brand Venice Biennale, which does not seem at all to be looking for spectacular architecture, but rather looks toward an architecture that instead of deal only with the space also want a relations with the needs of the people living those spaces.
In fact, the statement of the President of the Biennale, Paolo Baratta, there seems to indicate right that as a guideline of the 15th Biennale. His words at the presentation were in fact these:
“After the great research Biennale developed by Rem Koolhaas, and fully dedicated to the research of the curator, it is deemed necessary to give life to a Biennale that summon architects and dedicated to the investigation on the frontier of accomplishments that demonstrate the vitality of the architecture, frontier that crossing various parts of the world and sees architecture committed to give precise answers to specific questions. A Biennial wishing once again reacting to the disconnect between architecture and civil society, which in recent decades has led on the one hand to the spectacularization of the architecture and the other to the waiver thereof. Alejandro Aravena seems to us, among the new generation of architects, the one most able to tell these realities and to discover its vitality. “