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Saturday, 28 November 2020

Venice Architecture Biennale postponed until 2021 due to pandemic

AFP , Monday 18 May 2020
Hashim Sarkis
Lebanese professor Hashim Sarkis (Photo: AFP)
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Italy's La Biennale di Venezia said on Monday its 17th International Architecture Exhibition would be postponed until 2021, the latest high-profile cultural event to be disrupted by the coronavirus crisis.

The show, entitled "How will we live together?" and curated by Hashim Sarkis, will now take place from May 22 through November 21 next year. It was originally scheduled to run August 29 until November 29.

The cultural institution, which organizes internationally prestigious events in arts and architecture, as well as cinema, dance, music and theatre, said that it was "impossible to move forward" in organizing the exhibit before August due to the coronavirus emergency.

"The current situation, up to now, has definitely prejudiced the realization of the exhibition in its entirety, jeopardizing the realization, transport and presence of the works and consequently the quality of the exhibition itself," the Biennale said in a statement.

Venice hosts in alternate years a Biennale of contemporary art and one for architecture. The order will now be reversed with the contemporary art show to take place in 2022.

Curator Sarkis, who is Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said he hoped that participants would be able 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," Sarkis said, noting that the theme of the exhibit allows for "the possibility to respond to the pandemic in its immediacy."

The Biennale has already announced that its most famous event, the Venice Film Festival, is scheduled to take place September 2-12 this year.

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