The 17th International Architecture Exhibition will soon close (November 21, 2021). It opened in May, to the surprise of many, including the exhibiting countries ( my guess).
It is always lovely to go to Venice and visit the biennale. However, the curiosity was even more immense this year because it was the first big event to (re)open after the COVID limitations.
There were people, just not as many as we were used to seeing, which was a good thing after all. No lines and easy access to all pavilions.
In entering the Venezia Giardini Della Biennale, one is greeted by a sign that poses a question:
How Will We Live Together?
That was a good question, but I am not sure they gave an answer to that question.
I started from the Italian Pavillion because it is meant to be visited first. My very first impression was puzzlement. It looked like an exposition made by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History!
Undoubtedly exciting, but it was not architecture.
Unfortunately, I must say that nobody answered that question.
The theme could not be more urgent in these times of climate emergency, migrants crisis, and Covid-19.
The pavilions were a mixed bag, mostly deviating from the theme to show whatever they wanted. Some had exciting results, but not all.
However, I thought the USA Pavillion was fascinating, probably my favorite one.
As I said, few participants seem willing to attempt an answer, most notably the German Pavillion; some dreadfully empty rooms, all white with nothing but a QR code. So all you get is a photo of a building (I did not check them all).
After all, I left with the impression that nobody answered that critical question, but most of everything, I thought that it was done in a hurry. It seemed that nobody really expected the event to happen, and at the last minute, they provided input that is not always well sought after.