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Director Biennale Architecture, 1996
25th September 2010, 2:00 p.m.
Budgetary problems forced us to give up this endeavour in favour of a presentation in 1996 – the year of the Architecture Biennale. After further uncertainty about the realisation it finally was decided that – in the interest of the public, the City of Venice and the participating architects and nations – the 6th International Architecture Exhibition should be held 1996 with a new program – according to schedule despite restricted means – under the directorship of Hans Hollein – the first time by a non-Italian director.
Thus work could be started in April 1996 and the commitment and enthusiasm of everyone involved allowed us to develop a fully fledged program covering the whole Giardini area. This program, drafted by the Director of Architecture in consultation with the Committee of International Experts was realised with the support of the Biennale staff, the collaborators and assistants and the cooperation of the participating nations. The theme of this Architecture Biennale is «Sensing the future – the architect as seismograph».
New ideas, trends, visions of the future are exemplified by the positions and work of individuals.
The experts (Francois Burkhardt, Jorge Glusberg, Arata Isozaki, Paolo Portoghesi, Terence Riley) advised on a general program and took part in the selection process which was then approved by the Consiglio Direttivo.
Thus the central show on the architect as seismograph is not only extended by other special exhibitions and by the contributions in the National Pavilions but also by accompanying events and symposia providing a broader scope of architecture beyond what a mere exhibition can provide. The main accompanying exhibition is the «Radicals» show (curated by Gianni Pettena) – a dialectical approach to the central topic in reaction to the history of the visionary approaches of the sixties and the seventies. (As also the special show in the Austrian Pavilion «Visionary Architecture in Austria in the Sixties and Seventies» by Günther Feuerstein.)
Directly connected with the main show is also the Italian Section, the national contribution to this year's Architecture Biennale selected by Marino Folin and presented in full scale mock-ups of the work of 26 Italian architects under fifty.
A number of these Pavilions even take up and extend the concept in areas where we were restricted in our provisions, as in the case with the presentation of the architectural initiatives and accomplishment of Disney in the US Pavilion.
Outside the Giardini exhibitions take place as extensions of the Biennale with «Hic Saxa Loquuntur» or with other presentations which have the patronage of the Architecture Biennale as «Architectural Visions» and «The Renaissance of the Railways Stations» and the «Hombroich» initiative (all at the Zitelle), and other exhibitions elsewhere.