Allan Wexler Notes from the Venice Architecture Biennale

Architect Magazine May 24, 2021

What if they gave a Venice Biennale and nobody came? Luckily, that wasn’t the case, as more than 5,000 people showed up for the opening days of the world’s oldest and most respected biannual exhibition, which was also Italy’s first major public event since COVID-19. What was absent from this gathering of architecture’s most diehard fans, however, were some of the exhibitions themselves: Canada, Australia, and Germany, usually among the participants with the strongest presentations, left the doors to their national pavilions shuttered or their buildings empty, instead referring visitors to virtual presentations that could be viewed from computer screens anywhere. Others, such as the Czech Republic and Venezuela, did not show up at all, as was evident both by the shuttered pavilions in the main exhibition area, the Giardini, and in the notably smaller number of presentations and collateral events strewn around Venice itself (more about the national pavilions and collateral events in my next post). Finally, there was an absence of almost any prominent architects, who usually attract their own sizable posses.

Read more here.