Sejima Lands Biennale

International
Monday, November 9, 2009
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Kazuyo Sejima

Kazuyo Sejima

The president of the Venice Biennale, Paola Barrata, announced this morning that the director of the 12th International Architecture Exhibition will be Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA Architects. Last week, we reported rumors that the next director was going to be a woman—a first for this most important of international contemporary architecture expositions. The names most frequently bandied about for this major job were Sejima and Liz Diller.

In a formal statement, Sejima said, “The biennale has to be everything and all encompassing, a steady conversation with people who are doing things and the viewer or public who see what they are doing.” The 2008 Architecture Biennale was directed by Aaron Betsky whose selection was announced only in January of that year. In picking Sejima, the Biennale has chosen a practicing architect for the first time since Massimiliano Fuksas in 2000. The Biennale has also announced that the exhibition will open on August 29 (with previews starting on August 26) and run through November 21. Traditionally, the Biennale opening date has been mid September; an earlier date should allow many more people to attend the event.

8 Responses to “Sejima Lands Biennale”

  1. jack hogan says:

    FROM SEJIMA–

    The Biennale must be everything and anything, fundamentally inclusive, in dialogue with both contributors and visitors. Buildings, the atmosphere that they create and the way in which they are conceived, can be the central starting point of the coming Biennale. Very broadly, the process by which we design can be brought to bear on contemporary and future architectural discussion. I.e. we can select and arrange works such that they are understood as they are rather than as representations. This can be manifested with an architecture grounded in its use by people.

    We are now well into the 21st Century. We can take this opportunity to step back and assess the zeitgeist of now through the process of the Biennale. This can clarify contemporary essentials of architecture and the importance of new relationships as we step into the future.

    One potent point of departure could be the boundaries and adaptation of space. This might include the removal of boundaries, as well as their clarification. Any part of architecture’s inherent multiplicity of adjacencies can become a topic. It might be argued that contemporary architecture is a rethinking and perhaps softening of those borders.

    inside and outside
    individual and public
    program and form (form and function)
    physical and virtual
    contemporary and classical
    past and future
    harmony and discord
    structure partition
    art and architecture
    nature and man

    Perhaps the oxymoron can represent a productive new paradigm; can these binaries (intersections of public/private, global/local, artificial/natural, monumental/mundane, complex/simple, symbolic/pragmatic, fake/authentic, active/passive, thickness/thinness) lead to a duality capable of blurring these boundaries? How can the unexpected interdependency of extraordinary spaces create a communal/symbiotic dialogue between adjacencies?

    Equally, there is another thread of interest; people in architecture, human encounters in both public and private scenarios, both as creators and users. This is an issue of individual life in interplay with the community. It may be as simple as ‘people meet in architecture.’

    In its totality the Biennale can both a new and active forum for contemporary ideas as well as a close reading of buildings themselves.

  2. Aaron Levy says:

    I am intrigued by Sejima’s initial comment that the “Biennale must be everything and anything, fundamentally inclusive, in dialogue with both contributors and visitors.” I am sympathetic to this trajectory, which seems at once necessary and ironic. It registers at once the importance of an inclusive sensibility but also the pervasive and underlying concern today as to whether the biennale can ever live up to the impossible charge of being everything and anything to everybody. Should it even aspire to be that? What would it mean if we were to acknowledge instead the very limitations of the exhibition format, particularly in a site such as Venice that is so over-determined by a touristic economy and socio-political capital? Into the Open, our project for the US Pavilion in 2008, sought to argue just that: namely, that an exhibition, while highly symbolic and at times internationally visible, can only do so much. One of the things that exhibitions are perhaps particularly good at, however, is engaging in thought experiments about how things might be otherwise. It is in a similar regard that I read Sejima’s remarks, which I think pose a series of interesting possibilities concerning “the importance of new relationships as we step into the future,” as she suggests, both within the field of architecture but also in its interface with the public.

    Clearly, architecture today finds itself still caught between what Anthony Vidler has termed “the art of display and the accommodation of use.” This perhaps is just one more contribution to the list of binaries Sejima is interested in rethinking, softening, and “blurring,” as she remarks in her manifest. Following Vidler, I wonder if architecture as a discipline has arguably abandoned its historical aims and social ambitions in favor of celebrity and spectacularity; in the process, the line between art and design been eviscerated by the desire by leading architects to devise sculptural forms for purposes of trade and display. I am interested in what Sejima would say in response to this diagnosis, and whether she would see this perspective as unproductively polarizing. I for one feel that it is the urgent question of the day, although she is is clearly right in that we also need today another route, another approach of “interdependency” between adjacencies. Of course, this discussion is not restricted to architecture and concern curatorial practice as well, which is similarly caught up today in a desire for theatricality and spectacle, but also for reductivism and oppositional thinking.

    What we perhaps also need today is a critique of curatorial practice that acknowledges not just the impossible expectations that the public brings to bear on the biennale itself, but also the political and economic entanglements it all too often breeds. We should engage in this critique from an affirmative perspective, with the express aim of exploring how exhibitions can incite new critical thinking about cultural practice and display. It would not necessarily be antithetical to Sejima’s project, after all, which closes with the hope that “the Biennale can be both a new and active forum for contemporary ideas as well as a close reading of buildings themselves.” I look forward to Sejima’s biennale and engaging with the issues it brings to the fore.

  3. Cordula Rau says:

    I love this Theme !

    Thank you, Kazuyo Sejima

  4. tedy says:

    Dofus est un dofus kamas, le joueur incarne un ou plusieurs personnages. On y retrouve une multitude acheter des dofus kamas et d’¨¦quipements en tout genre, une vingtaine de m¨¦tiers diff¨¦rents et plus d’une centaine de monstres r¨¦partis en diff¨¦rentes zones sur les 10 000 dofus kamas pas cher (portions de carte, sur lesquelles l’on se d¨¦place d’ailleurs comme sur une carte) formant l’univers de achat dofus kamas, dont 99% ne sont accessibles qu’aux abonn¨¦s.

  5. noBoblhj says:

    Très favorable journée à toutes et tous ,

    En premier lieu , donnez-moi l’occasion de vous montrer ma gratitude pour toutes les très “à propos” infos que j’ai retrouvées sur cet cool phorum .

    Je ne suis pas sure d’être au bon endroit mais je n’en ai pas trouvé de meilleure .

    Je vis à Enderby, usa. J’ai 39 années et j’éduque deux super enfants qui sont tous âgés entre 4 et 10 ans (1 est adopté). J’aime beaucoup les animaux de compagnie et je fais de mon mieux de leur donner les accessoires qui leur rendent l’existance plus à l’aise .

    Je vous remercie dès aujourd’hui pour toutes les excellentes discussions à venir et je vous remercie de votre compassion pour mon français moins qu’idéal : ma langue maternelle est l’anglais et je tempte d’apprendre mais c’est très difficile!

    A plus tard

    Arthru

  6. Marhqel says:

    Bonjour à tous,

    En premier lieu , permettez-moi de vous montrer ma gratitude pour chacune des formidables connaissances que j’ai découvertes sur cet agréable site.

    Je ne suis pas sure d’être au bon section mais je n’en ai pas trouvé de meilleur.

    Je proviens de Sidney, us . J’ai 28 années et j’éduque 2 super enfants qui sont tous âgés entre 10 et 13 ans (1 est adopté). J’aime beaucoup les animaux domestiques et je tempte de leur présenter les articles qui leur rendent la vie plus splendide.

    Je vous remercie à l’avance pour toutes les superbes délibérations dans le futur et je vous remercie surtout de votre compassion pour mon français moins que parfait: ma langue maternelle est le mandarin et j’essaie d’éviter les erreurs mais c’est très difficile!

    Au plaisir!

    Arthru

  7. Patiars says:

    Salutations à tous les participants de ce forum de discussions ,

    Premièrement, donnez-moi l’opportunité de vous montrer mon appréciation pour toutes les excellentes informations que j’ai retrouvées sur cet agréable forum.

    Je ne suis pas certaine d’être au meilleur section mais je n’en ai pas trouvé de meilleur.

    Je vis à Coboconk, us . J’ai 25 années et j’élève 2 agréables enfants qui sont tous âgés entre 2 ou 11 ans (1 est adopté). J’aime beaucoup beaucoup les animaux domestiques et je tempte de leur présenter les items qui leur rendent la vie plus agréable.

    Je vous remercie dès aujourd’hui pour toutes les formidables délibérations qui viendront et je vous remercie surtout de votre compassion pour mon français moins que parfait: ma langue maternelle est le mandarin et je fais de mon mieux de m’enseigner mais c’est très compliqué !

    A plus tard

    Arthru

  8. Mardcfn says:

    Très favorable journée à vous tous ,

    En premier lieu , permettez-moi de vous montrer ma gratitude pour toutes les superbes informations que j’ai retrouvées sur cet fantastique phorum .

    Je ne suis pas certaine d’être au meilleur endroit mais je n’en ai pas trouvé de meilleur.

    Je viens de Prince rupert, canada . J’ai 32 ans et j’ai quatre agréables enfants qui sont tous âgés entre 8 ou 10 ans (1 est adoptée ). J’adore beaucoup les animaux de compagnie et j’essaie de leur donner les accessoires pour animaux qui leur rendent la vie plus agréable.

    Merci d’avance pour toutes les super débats qui suivront et je vous remercie surtout de votre compassion pour mon français moins que parfait: ma langue de naissance est l’espagnol et je fais de mon mieux de m’enseigner mais c’est très ardu !

    A plus tard

    Arthru

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