The 14th International Architecture Exhibition, "Fundamentals" -- a.k.a. the 2014 Venice Biennale -- officially opened on a festive note with the awards ceremony that took place on June 7 at the Giardini at la Biennale.
Awards and Special Mentions were given to national pavilions and individuals to what the Biennale Jury considered to convey the most compelling approaches to the "Fundamentals" theme, which examines how societies worldwide have progressed, adapted to, or even rejected modernism. The theme also highlights countries and regions whose contributions to the global discussion on modernism are typically overlooked.
Below is a list of the winners:
Golden Lion for Best National Participation: Korea - "Crow’s Eye View: The Korean Peninsula"
Commissioner/Curator: Minsuk Cho
Curators: Hyungmin Pai, Changmo Ahn
Deputy Curator: Jihoi Lee
Summary: "The jury wishes to recognize Korea with a Golden Lion for the extraordinary achievement of presenting a new and rich body of knowledge of architecture and urbanism in a highly charged political situation. Using diverse modes of representation that encourage interaction, it is research-in-action, which expands the spatial and architectural narrative into a geopolitical reality."
Silver Lion for a National Participation: Chile - "Monolith Controversies"
Commissioner: Cristóbal Molina (National Council of Culture and the Arts of Chile)
Curators: Pedro Alonso, Hugo Palmarola
Summary: "The jury recognizes Chile with the Silver Lion for revealing a critical chapter of the history of global circulation of modernity. Focusing on one essential element of modern architecture - a prefabricated concrete wall - it critically highlights the role of elements of architecture in different ideological and political contexts"
Silver Lion for the best research project of the section Monditalia part of the International Exhibition:
"Sales Oddity. Milano 2 and the Politics of Direct-to-home TV Urbanism"
By Andrés Jaque/Office for Political Innovation
Summary: "The project presents critically a fundamental aspect of modern societies: how the power of media occupies other social spaces, both physically and politically. It is based on innovative research combining surveys and interviews with planners and residents and re-appropriation of the mass media language. While based on an Italian case, this issue is present in many international contexts dominated by contemporary technological and neo-liberal cultures."
Special Mentions for National Participation:
Canada - Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15
Commissioner: Barry Johns (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).
Deputy Commissioner: Sascha Hastings (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada)
Curators: Lola Sheppard, Matthew Spremulli, Mason White (Lateral Office)
Summary: "A Special mention goes to Canada for Arctic Adaptations: Nunavut at 15 for its in-depth study of how modernity adapts to a unique climatic condition and a local minority culture."
France - Modernity: promise or menace?
Commissioner: Institut Français, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Direction Générale des Patrimoines, in collaboration with the Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine
Curator: Jean Louis Cohen
Summary: "A Special mention goes to France for Modernity: promise or menace? for addressing the successes and the traumas embedded in its utopian visions of modernity."
Russia - Fair Enough: Russia’s past our Present
Commissioner: Semyon Mikhailovsky
Curators: Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design (Anton Kalgaev, Brendan McGetrick, Daria Paramonova)
Summary: "A Special mention goes to Russia for Fair Enough: Russia’s past our Present for showcasing the contemporary language of commercialization of architecture."
Special Mentions to research projects of the Monditalia section of the International Exhibition:
"Radical Pedagogies: ACTION-REACTION-INTERACTION"
Beatriz Colomina, Britt Eversole, Ignacio G. Galán, Evangelos Kotsioris, Anna-Maria Meister, Federica Vannucchi, Amunátegui Valdés Architects, Smog.tv
Summary: "The project illustrates how Italian Architectural thinking was disseminated and impacted in different parts of the world. It highlights the emergence of new poles of architectural thinking in the current world and makes these accessible as a living archive. The research project is part of an ongoing global project that shows that knowledge is produced and develops in a networked way beyond national borders and national identities."
Ana Dana Beroš
Summary: "Echoing the ongoing tragedy of Lampedusa, the project evokes, with new documentation and through an immersive experience, the reality of migration and border-crossing from the South to the North as a defining element of today's European societies."
Summary: "The project deals with the question of borders in the European context. By showing how climate change and new technologies impact on territorial delimitation in the North of Italy, it demonstrates how intra-European borders move, revealing tensions between self-protection and free-circulation."
Under the proposal of director Rem Koolhaas, the Board of the Biennale also presented the 2014 Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement to Phyllis Lambert, who was announced as the recipient last month.
For more articles on the 2014 Venice Biennale, click here.