Sandro Bisà (Italian, b.1973) of Bisà Associati (Italy, est.2012), Nicholas de Monchaux (American, b.1973), and Kathryn Moll (American, b.1978) of modem (USA, est.2017), in collaboration with catalogtree (The Netherlands, est.2001) and William Sherman (American, b.1955) of the University of Virginia Venice Program (est.1979)
Sandro Bisà; Nicholas de Monchaux; Kathryn Moll
Servizio Modificato (Amended Service)
For all the continuities represented by Venice, the city– lagoon system is deeply threatened. Once a metropolis, Venice now hosts less than 51,000 permanent residents, who in recent years serve an annual tourist population of 12 to 20 million. The lagoon, for thousands of years a cultivated balance between sea and silt, has in the past 40 years undergone ecological shifts – of level, composition, ecology, and salinity – that threaten its very existence.
Historically, Venice was not confined to the dense network of isole shaped from sandbars in the early Middle Ages and cleaved by the Grand Canal. Rather, it was an interlinked archipelago stretching the length and breadth of the lagoon, in which a variety of innovative, incompatible, or inconvenient functions were diffused. Today, communities in the lagoon and its margins – tourists, residents, and commuters alike – move separately along highly prescribed routes, yet rarely across the surface of the water that connects them.
Taking very literally the challenge of this 17th International Architecture Exhibition to ‘work together [. . .] to imagine new geographies and associations’, this project is a catalyst for new journeys and trajectories. Its framework, extending from a point of departure in the space of the Arsenale with a development indipendent from the Exhibition, will expand to encompass the mediated journeys of students, critics, ecologists, and architects in the fall of 2021; a symposium at the Biennale’s conclusion; and ongoing research by the University of Virginia Venice Program and other partners.
It is in the nature of Venice that one encounters debates about the future not in the linear language of policy documents, but rather through labyrinthine arguments on causes and effects. This quality of conversation reasserts the essential complexity and interconnectedness of any city and its ecology. Here, particularly, Venice remains essential.
WITH THE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT OF
Valmarana Memorial Fund
Steel fabrication Bacciolo Gelsomino e Figli