On View> Radical Pedagogies: ACTION-REACTION-INTERACTION at the 2014 Venice Biennale

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The Radical Pedagogies: Action-Reaction-Interaction exhibition at the Corderie dell’Arsenale with dancers rehearsing for the Dance Festival in the foreground.

AN just had a quick Arsenale walkthrough of Radical Pedagogies: ACTION-REACTION-INTERACTION by creator and Princeton professor Beatriz Colomina. The Arsenale has been given over in this biennale to Monditalia, a single-theme exhibition with exhibits, events, and theatrical productions engaging Italian architecture with politics, economics, religion, technology, and industry. In this installation the other festivals of la Biennale di Venezia—film, dance, theatre, and music—will be mobilized through the architecture event to contribute to a comprehensive portrait of the host country.

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Students march on the streets of Rome with shields reproducing covers of seminal books in protest against the latest University reforms. The scene captures the intersection of protest, education and Italian design, with the brightly colored shields lined up as a visual manifesto. Rome, 2010. (AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli)

In Radical-Pedagogies, Colomina’s team (that includes Britt Eversole, Ignacio G. Galán, Evangelos Kotsioris, Anna-Maria Meister, Federica Vannucchi, Amunátegui Valdés Architects, and Smog.tv) has created a wondrous wall display of the effects of the radical years in Italy and as their influence spread around the world to architecture schools and movements on every content. The display is a wall of information that, rather than make definitive claims to all inclusiveness, uses an open-source strategy to feature what’s known so far about the these multiple international movements and that asks others to add their own information to the wall. The wall includes original journals, fantastic period images of major protagonists from Giancarlo de Carlo, Manfredo Tafuri, and many others. The display makes use of augmented reality that allows users with mobile devices to scan the display which then creates an interactive display of films, videos, images, and other displays. Its is a not-to-be-missed part of Monditalia in the biennale.

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Giancarlo de Carlo debates with Gianemilio Simonetti as protesting students take over the Milan Triennale in May 1968. The whole ecology of architectural education is destabilized, twisting restlessly around itself in a kind of vortex. The circle of students has become a classroom, and the line between urban life and education has dissolved. Protest has become pedagogy. (Cesare Colombo)

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Gianni Pettena performing “Carabinieri” at the City Hall in Modena as a provocation to the status quo. As the students’ installations moved from the Architectural Schools to the streets, “Carabinieri” entered the heart of the city administration. Modena, 1968. (Ugo Mulas)

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Manfredo Tafuri and Marco De Michelis, Venice 1980. (Odile Seyler)

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The group UFO traverses the center of Florence with their “Urboeffimero n. 6,” an inflatable manufactured in the courtyard of San Clemente, one of the architectural buildings at the Università degli Studi di Firenze. Conceived as a pedagogical exercise within the school walls, the unauthorized performance disrupted the urban routine as it entered the city streets. Florence, 1968. (Courtesy UFO Archive)

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