Venice Biennale 2014: FAT, Crimson Explore the Foundation of British Modernism

Curators FAT Architecture and Crimson Architectural Historians have released more details on this year’s British Pavilion for the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. Responding to Rem Koolhaas’ theme, "Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014,” A Clockwork Jerusalem will “explore the diverse cultural influences that shaped and were shaped by British Modernism in the post war era and over the last 100 years.”

"A Clockwork Jerusalem will offer the opportunity to explore and rethink fundamental aspects of British modernity, beyond architecture,” described Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council. “As the Venice Biennale evolves into a global research project, we are keen to make a significant contribution to the cultural debate around the past, present and future of UK and global architecture.”

More from the curators, after the break...

As stated by the curators, “A Clockwork Jerusalem explores how a specifically British form of Modernism emerged from a modernity that combined traditions of the romantic, sublime and pastoral with a fascination and fear of the industrial, technology and science fiction to create new visions of society.

“Taking the large scale projects of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s as a point of departure, the exhibition explores the mature flowering of British Modernism, the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious but also the moment that witnessed its collapse.

“The exhibition tells the story of how British modernity emerged out of an unlikely combination of interests and how these modern visions continue to create our physical and imaginative landscapes. From Stonehenge to council estates, from Ebenezer Howard to Cliff Richard, from ruins and destruction to back-to-the-land rural fantasies, through architecture, records, books and adverts, A Clockwork Jerusalem explores the culture and products of British modernity as an architectural project and as a wider cultural experience.

Originally British journalist Owen Hatherley was selected as part of the curatorial team, but he has since decided to not participate.

The British Pavilion, Venice. John Riddy. Image © British Council
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Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "Venice Biennale 2014: FAT, Crimson Explore the Foundation of British Modernism" 14 Mar 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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