This podcast collection includes essays by 33 authors on the 29 national pavilions as well as the Bookshop in the “Giardini” of Venice, the setting for both the Art Biennale and the Architecture Biennale.
These essays, written by architects, historians of art and architecture, artists, and philosophers, discuss the identity of the architecture and its perception in this unique public space. These essays, as contemporary documents, are in the tradition of historical “instructions” on art enjoyment, for example Jacob Burckhardt’s The cicerone: Art guide to painting in Italy, first published in Basel in 1855.
Hearing these essays, the listener gets a purely art-historical description of architecture as well as a perspective on these buildings from a different set of eyes. Correspondingly, the writers demonstrate, in an exemplary manner, how, in the eyes of the viewer the architecture becomes an inexhaustibly rich experience.
The authors either outline the premises and concepts that underpin the pavilions’ form to develop a loose history of ideas; discuss the ways the pavilions have been outfitted over time; or else talk about their own personal engagement with the architecture.
Listening to the author’s text in spoken form while visiting the pavilions on location, the visitor is brought into an immediate experience and analysis of architecture—that is to say, into the heart of architecture as a “Common Ground.”
Written in the respective national languages of the pavilions, the essays have been translated for the podcast into English and recorded by actors and presenters. Printed versions of the essays are included on the website and made available to as wide an audience as possible.
The essays are exhibited in their original language at Common Pavilions, the eponymous exhibition in the Giardini during this year’s biennale.
Exhibited along with the essays are photographs of the pavilions by the Italian photographer Gabriele Basilico. The images were curated by Adele Re Rebaudengo.
Diener & Diener Architects, August 2012