May 19, 2020

La Biennale di Venezia Postpones Architecture Exhibition until 2021

Wall created under the leadership of architect Riccardo Blumer for the 2018 Biennale. Photography by Paolo Mazzo.

La Biennale di Venezia announced that the 17th International Architecture ExhibitionHow Will We Live Together?—is postponed due to the global pandemic and will now open May 22, 2021 and remain on view through November 21, 2021, with the 59th annual International Art Exhibition planned for 2022. 

The Biennale Architettura, curated by Hashim Sarkis, was initially scheduled to take place from August 29 through November 29 this year, but event organizers acknowledged in a statement that it is impossible to move forward within the set time limits. “The last few days,” said Roberto Cicutto, president of the Biennale, “have clarified the real state of the situation we are all facing… We now plan to open the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in May 2021 and allow it a longer life until November, as it was before the pandemic. Nevertheless Architecture will be in Venice this Fall organizing several events keeping at the center of the stage the question, more relevant than ever, of How will we live together?.”

Sarkis echoed Cicutto’s sentiment, adding: I hope that the new opening date will allow [participants] first to catch their breath, and then to complete their work with the time and vigor it truly deserves. We did not plan it this way. Neither the question I asked How will we live together? nor the wealth of ways in response to it, were meant to address the crisis they are living, but here we are.” 

Many of the fair’s planned exhibitions will still appear next year, such as the U.S. Pavilion commissioned by the University of Illinois at Chicago. “In light of the current pandemic’s global impact, we fully concur with the Biennale’s plan to move the opening date of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia to May 2021,” said Paul Andersen and Paul Preissner, co-curators of the U.S. Pavilion. “In the meantime, we are continuing our work with the team at UIC to tell the story of wood-framed construction in American architecture and look forward to presenting American Framing to the world in the U.S. Pavilion next year.” 

Read next: Riccardo Blumer Explores Architecture in Motion at the Venice Biennale

Recent DesignWire