Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 2 December 2020

'Time to catch breath': Venice Biennale exhibitions for architecture and art postponed

The architecture biennale will now take place in 2021 instead of this year, and the art exhibition is scheduled for 2022

 Lorenzo Quinn’s ‘Building Bridges’ sculpture at the Venice Biennale, which has postponed its exhibitions. Getty Images
 Lorenzo Quinn’s ‘Building Bridges’ sculpture at the Venice Biennale, which has postponed its exhibitions. Getty Images

The Venice Biennale has postponed two of its major international exhibitions to 2021 and 2022.

The architecture biennale, officially named the 17th International Architecture Exhibition and originally scheduled for May 2020, will now open in May 2021.

The 59th International Art Exhibition will now take place in April 2022 instead of May 2021.

This is the second time the architecture biennale has been rescheduled. In March, organisers pushed the event from May 2020 to August 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The further postponement indicates that the effects of the pandemic continue to ripple across the art world, even as some of Italy’s museums and galleries have begun to reopen.

In a statement, organisers acknowledged the “impossibility of proceeding – within the set time limits – in the creation of such a complex and worldwide exhibition, due to the persistence of a series of objective difficulties due to the ongoing international health emergency".

Curated by Lebanese architect Hashim Sarkis, the architecture biennale is themed How Will We Live Together?, which looks at structural problems within society and seeks ways to address it politically, socially and spatially.

“I hope the new opening date will allow [participants] to catch their breath to complete the job with the time and vigour it deserves,” said Sarkis in a statement.

“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 … We are in some ways fortunate because we are well equipped to absorb the immediate and longer-term implications of the crisis into the [Architecture Biennale] 2021.”

Due to these schedule changes, the art biennale had to be pushed by a year as well and will be open for seven months starting April 23, 2022.

The event will now coincide with the next outing of Documenta, also a major contemporary art exhibition in Europe held in Kassel Germany, that is scheduled for June 2022.

Updated: May 19, 2020 05:34 PM

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