Biennale Architettura 2023
by Modem – Posted May 16 2023
© Modem

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition, titled The Laboratory of the Future, will be open to the public from Saturday May 20 to Sunday November 26, 2023 at the Giardini and the Arsenale, and at Forte Marghera; it will be curated by Lesley Lokko and organized by La Biennale di Venezia. The theme and title of this edition will consider the African continent as the protagonist of the future. “There is one place on this planet where all these questions of equity, race, hope, and fear converge and coalesce. Africa. At an anthropological level, we are all African. And what happens in Africa happens to us all”, said Lokko. Imagining the exhibition as a workshop, a laboratory, the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale invites “architects and practitioners across an expanded field of creative disciplines [to] draw out examples from their contemporary practices that chart a path for the audience to weave through, imagining for themselves what the future can hold”.

“The Laboratory of the Future is an exhibition in six parts. It includes 89 Participants, over half of whom are from Africa or the African Diaspora. The Laboratory of the Future begins in the Central Pavilion in the Giardini, where 16 practices who represent a distilled force majeure of African and Diasporic architectural production have been gathered. It moves to the Arsenale complex, where participants in the Dangerous Liaisons section, also represented in Forte Marghera in Mestre, rub shoulders with the Curator’s Special Projects, for the first time a category that is as large as the others. Threaded through and amongst the works in both venues are young African and Diasporan practitioners, our Guests from the Future, whose work engages directly with the twin themes of this exhibition, decolonisation and decarbonisation, providing a snapshot, a glimpse of future practices and ways of seeing and being in the world.

“A laboratory of the future must necessarily begin from a specific starting point, from one or more hypotheses seeking confirmation. Lokko starts with her continent of origin, Africa, to talk about its historical, economic, climate and political criticalities and to let us all know 'that much of what is happening to the rest of the world has already happened to us. Let’s work together to understand where we have gone wrong so far and how we must face the future'", commented Roberto Cicutto, president of La Biennale di Venezia. "This is a starting point that seeks to heed those segments of humanity that have been left out of the debate and opens to a multiplicity of voices that have been silenced for so long by the one that considered itself to be rightfully dominant in a vital and unavoidable contest."

“For the first time ever, the Biennale Architettura will include the Biennale College Architettura, which will run from June 25 to July 22, 2023. Fifteen renowned international tutors - Samia Henni, Marina Otero, Nana Biamah-Ofosu, Thireshen Govender, Lorenzo Romito, Jacopo Galli, Philippa Tumubweinee, Ngillan Gbadebo Faal, Rahesh Ram, Guillermo Fernández-Abascal, Urtzi Grau, Samir Pandya, Alice Clancy, Sarah de Villiers and Manijeh Verghese - will work with fifty students, early career practitioners and academics from around the world, selected by Lesley Lokko through an Open Call process over the four weeks of the teaching programme," concluded the president.

The Laboratory of the Future programme is enriched by Carnival, a six-month-long cycle of events, lectures, panel discussions, films, and performances, that explore the themes of the Biennale Architettura 2023.

64 National Participations will organize their exhibitions in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini (27), at the Arsenale (22) and in the city centre of Venice (14). Niger participates for the first time at the Biennale Architettura; Panama participates for the first time with its own pavilion and has already participated in previous editions as part of the I.I.L.A. (Italo-Latin American International Organization). The Holy See returns to the Biennale Architettura, participating with its own Pavilion on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore (it participated in the Biennale Architettura for the first time in 2018). The Italian Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale, sponsored and promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, is curated by the Fosbury Architecture collective, consisting of Giacomo Ardesio, Alessandro Bonizzoni, Nicola Campri, Veronica Caprino, Claudia Mainardi. The title of the exhibition is Spaziale: Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else.

Nine Collateral Events are scheduled for the 18th International Architecture Exhibition. Admitted by the curator and promoted by non–profit national and international bodies and institutions, they take place in several locations; they offer a wide range of contributions and participations that enrich the diversity of voices that characterizes the exhibition of Venice.

Finally, La Biennale di Venezia and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London present for the seventh consecutive year the Applied Arts Pavilion Special Project (Arsenale, Sale d’Armi A) titled Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Power in West Africa, curated by Christopher Turner (V&A) with Nana Biamah-Ofosu and Bushra Mohamed (AA). The presentation is organised in collaboration with the Architectural Association (AA), London and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.

Biennale Venezia 2023
May 20-November 26, 2023
Giardini / Arsenale / Forte Marghera
Venice, Italy

Courtesy image La Biennale Architettura

© Modem