The Venice Architecture Biennale remains one of the most anticipated, controversial and ambitious international architecture exhibitions in the world. Probably in terms of floor-area coverage, and Euros spend; it is the largest architecture show on earth. Indeed, maybe the greatest too.
Under the title Fundamentals, curator Rem Koolhaas and his team promise a radical departure from the usual survey of the current architectural scene, focusing instead on the Elements of Architecture, Absorbing Modernity 1914 – 2014, and Monditalia, conceiving the project "more as a vehicle for research than an exhibition".
Besides the special focus on architectural research in this years Fundamentals exhibition, every architecture Biennale challenges and can help each architect, educator, student and researcher to position, innovate and elaborate his/her work against the larger discourse architecture is made of, and how his/her projects sits (critically) among its peers, actuality and possible contemporary futures.
The UMA research school asked its PhD researchers: Hannes Frykholm, Katja Hogenboom, Sepideh Karami, Janek Ozmin and scientific committee members Jüri Soolep and Roemer van Toorn besides joining presentations, forum debates, talks and interviews with the curators and researchers present at the Architecture Biennale opening days, to especially, review, and position and update their own research from a critical perspective while documenting what the Biennale presents and questions. The result of this body of work you find in this exhibition.
The UMA Review Exhibition consists of: 1) one roundtable with material such as catalogues, and publications from the Architecture Biennale which can be further discussed at the roundtable, 2) a series of panels that document what the Biennale’s essence is about, 3) six review panels and video screens of each researcher, and 4) a wall of citations of other critical writers/thinkers reviewing the Biennale as backdrop of the ones by the UMA research school.
With our Review Exhibition of the Architecture Biennale we hope to stimulate debate, reveal, to some extend, what the UMA PhD School is about, what architecture is considered to be about in one of the current debates on contemporary discourse and its practice, and last but not least wish that you as visitor love to join the debate, and last but not least we strongly encourage you to go to the Architecture Biennale in Venice yourself, which is open until the 23rd of November 2014.
An ebook publication of the different review contributions is in planned for 2015.
Roemer van Toorn
Director UMA Research School
Design & production
Hannes Frykholm, Katja Hogenboom, Sepideh Karami, Janek Ozmin, Jüri Soolep, Roemer van Toorn.
Kent Brodin, Håkan Hannson, Sven-Erik Hilberer
Umeå: UMA Press , 2014.