This year for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Portugal will be officially represented by newspaper. This choice in media corresponds to the possibility of framing worldviews by revelling events, culture traits and socio-economic challenges of a country.
Extensively distributed in three different editions, over the six month period of the Biennale, Homeland, News from Portugal intends to report news about current architectural, social and economic life in Portugal, reflecting on and informing about a variety of aspects of the modernization of the country over the past 100 years.
More from the curator, after the break...
Specifically, Homeland aims to address the issues raised by architect Rem Koolhaas (Fundamentals - Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014) through a critical and purposeful reflection on housing, a field of excellence for experimentation with modernity which has always been an essential element of urban and rural environments and a social and cultural reflection of its inhabitants.
The housing crisis doesn’t stem directly from the lack of accommodation, but is a symptom of a larger and more comprehensive paradox, led by logistical and migration processes, but also speculative, economic and political ones. In this context architecture was "set aside" to work in isolation, self-enclosed, focused on the limits of plots or in delusional and academic speculation. Housing was always a fertile ground for experimentation and one of the main subjects of modernity. Often in the history of our national architecture, it was housing that was the main subject of the debate about building society. It is important to reopen this debate today, reflecting not only on the reasons for this paradox, but also on the performance and positioning of architecture towards a very diverse and fragmented (housing) reality.
Therefore, Homeland will report the design process of six groups of architects, working in six Portuguese cities, concerning six different types of housing (Temporary, Informal, Collective, Requalification, Detached, Rural), and will take place over the six months of the Venice Biennale. The reflection carried out by these architects intends to be a critical and proposal seeking one.
Aiming to help break the current stalemate which the practice of architecture is facing and the transformation that it is occurring within the discipline, this opportunity is expected to lay claim to new ways of practicing Architecture and to promote a more effective role for architects in contemporary society.
Homeland commissioner and curator Pedro Campos Costa will be assisted by editorial director Alessia Allegri. Exhibition participants include:
- André Tavares
- Artéria; Ateliermob
- Like Architects
- Mariana Pestana
- Miguel Eufrásia
- Miguel Marcelino
- Paulo Moreira
- Pedro Clarke
- Sami Arquitectos
- Susana Ventura
Text and image via the curatorial team.