Venice Biennale

August 29, 2016

Venice Biennale
By Mason Cowle – Reporting from the front

In a recent trip to Europe I was fortunate to visit the 15th Annual Biennale in Venice. This immense undertaking includes art architecture music, cinema and dance. The architecture Exhibition includes 88 Participants from 37 different countries, as well as 62 National Participations.

The new Australia Pavilion by DCM
Photography: Laurian Ghinitoiu

Curated by Alejandro Aravena the overall proposal of the Biennale is “Reporting from the Front”;
“We believe that the advancement of architecture is not a goal in itself but a way to improve people’s quality of life. Given life ranges from very basic physical needs to the most intangible dimensions of the human condition, consequently, improving the quality of the built environment is an endeavour that has to tackle many fronts”

Arsenale Pavilion
Photography: Laurian Ghinitoiu

The Biennale is quite overwhelming in both scale and content. Many pavilions attempt to deal with the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, and the impacts of mass movement of people across borders and their need for emergency (and permanent) shelter. The UN pavilion stood out with its visual representation of the scale and cost of the last one hundred years of conflicts throughout the world.

UN Blue Pavilion
Photography: Laurian Ghinitoiu

On a lighter note Australia is well represented with its own permanent pavilion designed by DCM, the first new building built in Venice in over 20 years. The installation “The Pool ‘” by Aileen Sage Architects explores the importance of swimming, water and pools in the Australian culture and identity. It was a very calm oasis in the middle of an intense day out.

Australia Pavilion – The Pool
Photography: Laurian Ghinitoiu

For more information see and
If you have the opportunity to visit the Biennale (open until November) I suggest you wear comfortable shoes and break it up over several days!