FREESPACE”, this is the title of the 16th  International Architecture Exhibition that it is possible to visit at the Giardini and the Arsenale until November 25, 2018. This year’s edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale is curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara and organized by La Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta.

Farrell and McNamara focused on the question of space, the quality of space, open and free space with examples, teachings, and topics of discussion. Indeed, they used the FREESPACE Manifesto that they issued in June 2017, as a reference point for putting this Exhibition together. «We have found it to be a robust tool» they stated. «It has acted as a measure and a guide to finding cohesion within the diversity of an Exhibition of this enormous scale.»

The FREESPACE Exhibition develops from the Central Pavilion (Giardini) to the Arsenale, and it includes 71 participants joined by others gathered in two Special Sections: “Close Encounter, meetings with remarkable projects” – with 16 participants presenting works that originate in a reflection on well-known buildings of the past -, and  “The Practice of Teaching” – with 13 participants presenting projects developed as part of teaching experiences. Out of the 63 National Participations present in the historic Pavilions at the Giardini, at the Arsenale, as well as in the historic city center of Venice, 6 are countries participating for the first time: Antigua & Barbuda, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Pakistan, and the Holy See. The Italian Pavilion at the Tese delle Vergini in the Arsenale, sponsored and promoted by the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, Direzione Generale Arte e Architettura Contemporanee e Periferie Urbane, is curated by Mario Cucinella and entitled “Arcipelago Italia”.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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