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Next year, the Philippine pavilion in the Art Biennale-for which the search for curatorial proposals is now open-will decamp from Palazzo Mora and debut at the Arsenale itself, marking yet another high point in the Philippines' reentry into the world's preeminent contemporary art and culture gathering.
And they will melt one ton of glass and it will just spill over the lawn in the garden of the Arsenale.
Bernard Tschumi made this point brilliantly during one of The Architectural Review's 'Dark Side Club' events, but this, of course, was an unofficial gig where irritation with the Arsenale had the chance to erupt.
In practice, in the Arsenale at least, this generated room after room of warps, folds, buckles, morphs, globs and blobs loosely yoked together under suitably nebulous headings ('Topography', 'Episodes', 'Surfaces', 'Atmosphere' and so on).
Truman Capote once observed that 'Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go', a sentiment that might equally apply to the city's eighth Architecture Biennale, arrayed in all its customary pomp and pretension in the Castello Gardens and the great ropeworks and munitions sheds of the Arsenale.
Giardini in 1895 (the exhibitions in the Arsenale wouldn't come for
Outwith the familiar confines of the Giardini and its assorted national pavilions, the main Biennale installations colonized parts of the Arsenale, Venice's mighty shipyard city that at its sixteenth-century height could turn out an entire galley in a day.
While not exactly a shocking revelation, this rather sweeping conclusion came forcefully to mind as I lay trapped inside a Disney-like metallic pod in the Arsenale, watching a light-and-music show--purportedly generated by my own sensor-affixed cranium.
The theme Future, Past, Present was chosen by the undoubtedly much-harrassed curator Germano Celant: the event has to be called something, after all, and the title can be made to mean what anyone chooses how unlike the Presence of the Past exhibition, one of the first architectural Biennale, which was curated by Paolo Portoghesi in the Corderie of the Arsenale, when PoMo first laid claim to respectable international attention (AR September 1980, p 132).
Indeed, something that could also be found throughout the dreary and conservative exhibitions in the Giardini and Arsenale, but here made legible on account of the art's inextricable ties with its cultural context; the aftermath of the modernist avant-garde in all its utopian optimism.
Meanwhile, Martinez--something of a professional biennialist, having curated Manifesta, the Istanbul Biennale, and SITE Santa Fe all within the last decade--takes over the Arsenale with "Always a Little Further.