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How will we live together? Giardini

How will we live together? Biennale Giardini 2021

Arsenale: How will we live together?

This year, due to the Covid emergency, the Biennale of Architecture was postponed to May 2021 and will run until November 2021.

I had the privilege to visit the exhibition in the early days of its opening. It’s a stunning experience, including 112 participants from 46 countries coming from all over the world.

The whole exhibition is organised into five scales, three at the Arsenale and two in the central pavilion at the Giardini venue.

The Arsenale displays the first three scales, distributed as follows:

•Among Diverse Beings: Designing for new bodies & Living with Other Beings

•As New Household: Catering to new demographics, Inhabiting new tectonics, Living apart together

•As Emerging Communities: Appealing to civicness, Re-equipping society, Coming together in Venice, Co-Habitats

At the Giardini venue, you will embrace the other two scales: Across Borders and As One Planet.

In addition to these two shows, there are several installations scattered throughout the city of Venice, and also five related installations at Forte Marghera Park centred on a slightly different theme: How will we play together?

Significantly the curator of this Biennale is Hashim Sarkis, Chair at MIT. The Biennale Architettura displays multiple responses to the initial opening question that unfolds myriads of implications.

In his intense preface, Sarkis states that the question was asked because “we are not happy with the answers that are coming out of politics today.”

Architecture thus can offer alternative practices on how space is conceived. We need a new spatial contract. It has to be universal and inclusive.

Here’s some pictures to introduce you to this challenging journey!

Arsenale, urban mottos

Amended Service, 2021, Sandro Bisa’ Associati, Kathryn Moll, Nicholas de Monchaux
Chileans and Mapuche, Building places to get to know each other, Alejandro Aravena, Victor Oddo’, Gonzalo Arteaga, Diego Torres, Juan Cerda
Displaced Empire: Al Azraq Refugee Camp, Jordan, 2016-2019

Giuseppe Penone, Ideas of Stone, Elm, 2008

Moon Village Earth Rise, 2020, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill with European space agency
Interwoven, 2021, Leonmarcial Arquitectos
Material culture: Rethinking the physical substrate for living together, 2021 – Achim Menges, Jan Knippers, ICD, University of Stuttgart
Refuge for Resurgence, 2020, Superflux
Azra Aksamija, tessellation of the unfolded safety vests, together with the arrangement of coveralls, references to the Islamic architecture features of the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, Silk Road Works, 2020

How will we live together?

What are you waiting for?

TO BE Continued…

1600 years

Today it’s my Birthday, they say I was born on March 25th A.D. 421, according to historical chronicles that report the first stone used to built the Church of St James in Rialto, thanks to an ex-voto of a carpenter miraculously saved from a terrible fire.

I have too many memories of what has happened so far, sometimes I get confused, as each recollection entails another one and in the end each one of you out there, distracts me with another story, century after century the stories still go on.

If I have to take into account other events, today it’s also Dante’s Day, the father of the Italian language – the author of the Divine Comedy – it seems that the poet managed to come to Venice long time ago on September 1321, as ambassador for Messer Guido Novello, took malaria from a mosquito bite and died few days afterwards in Ravenna, the city with the splendid Byzantine mosaics.

They are going to celebrate me properly inside the Basilica of St Mark, my patron saint, whose story is part of my legend; his relics were stolen from Alexandria of Egypt by two Venetian merchants who covered the saint’s remains with pig’s meat in order to avoid the Muslim soldiers’ inspection, and since then he’s been buried here, despite the big fire that destroyed the whole structure in 972. Some fiction writers had also tried to link St Mark’s legend with the body of Alexander the Great, following the Macedonian star engraved in the stone of Saint Apollonia, fantarcheology or myth?

Year after year, ebb after ebb, flooding after flooding, I’m going back to my happy returns, telling just a tiny part of what I saw…

1600 anni

Oggi è il mio compleanno, dicono che sia nata il 25 Marzo 421 AD, secondo le croniche storiche che testimoniano la prima pietra usata per costruire la Chiesa di San Giacometto a Rialto, grazie all’ex-voto di un carpentiere scampato miracolosamente a un terribile incendio.

Ho troppi ricordi di quanto è successo finora, a volte mi confondo, visto che ogni ricordo si ricollega ad un altro e alla fine ciascuno di voi là fuori mi distrae con un’altra storia, secolo dopo secolo le storie continuano.

Se devo tenere conto di altri eventi, oggi è anche Dantedì, il padre della lingua italiana – l’autore della Divina Commedia – pare che il poeta riuscì a venire a Venezia molto tempo fa nel Settembre del 1321, come ambasciatore di Messere Guido Novello, prese la malaria dopo una puntura di zanzara e morì subito dopo a Ravenna, la città con gli splendidi mosaici bizantini.

Mi faranno una festa come si deve dentro la Basilica di San Marco, il mio santo patrono, la cui storia fa parte della mia leggenda, le sue reliquie vennero rubate da Alessandria di Egitto da due mercanti veneziani che coprirono le spoglie del santo con carne di maiale per evitare un’ispezione dei soldati musulmani, e da allora è sepolto qui, nonostante il grande incendio che distrusse l’intera struttura nel 972. Alcuni scrittori di narrativa hanno anche cercato di collegare la leggenda di San Marco al corpo di Alessandro il Grande, seguendo la stella macedone incisa nella stele di Sant’Apollonia, fantarcheologia o mito?

Anno dopo anno, marea dopo marea, inondazione dopo inondazione, mi rivolgo ai miei felici ritorni, raccontando solo una piccola parte di quello che ho visto…

21 Novembre – Madonna della Salute

21 Novembre Festa della Salute

Every year on November 21st, here in Venice, we celebrate the Madonna della Salute (Our Lady of Health). The event dates back to the Xviith century, the Basilica was built as a tribute to the Virgin Mary – as a sign of gratitude for the end of the terrible plague of 1630.

Venetians pay tribute to the Madonna and pray together. Unfortunately, this year, due to Covid emergency, the traditional mobile pontoon that connects the two banks on the Grand Canal was not put in use, but people can still visit the Church and attend mass.

The icon of the Madonna Mesopanditissa – Mediator of Peace – was brought to Venice from Crete (Candia) by the Doge Morosini in 1670.

It is a very religious festival, still in use in these days, dedicated to all those who suffer.

Ogni anno, il 21 Novembre, qui a Venezia, celebriamo la Madonna della Salute. L’evento risale al Xvii secolo – la Basilica venne costruita come tributo alla Vergine Madre – in segno di gratitudine per la fine della terribile peste del 1630.

I Veneziani rendono omaggio alla Madonna e pregano insieme. Sfortunatamente, quest’anno, a causa dell’emergenza Covid, non è stato messo il tradizionale pontile mobile che collega le due sponde sul Canal Grande, ma le persone possono comunque visitare la Chiesa ed andare a messa.

Nel 1670 il Doge Morosini portò a Venezia da Creta (Candia) l’icona della Madonna Mesopanditissa – Mediatrice di Pace.

Una festa molto religiosa, ancora in uso in questi tempi, dedicata a tutte le persone che soffrono.

Pietro Negri – La Madonna salva Venezia dalla peste – part. 1673

The Summer of Saint Martin | L’Estate di San Martino

11th November

Today, we celebrate Saint Martin of Tours (316-397). The story dates back to the 4th century when Martin, a Hungarian army officer was in Amiens in France; it was a freezing night, and the soldier, who was working for the Roman army, was patrolling the streets. He was approached by a half-naked man, shivering in the cold. He cut his cloak in two and gave half of it to the beggar.

Martin wanted to lead a hermit’s life but the Church chose for him a different path, he was appointed Bishop of Tours.

11 Novembre

Oggi, festeggiamo San Martino di Tours (316-397). La storia risale al IV secolo quando Martino, un soldato ungherese si trovava ad Amiens in Francia. Era una notte ghiacciata, e il soldato, che lavorava per l’esercito romano, stava sorvegliando le strade. Venne avvicinato da un mendicante seminudo, che tremava per il freddo, tagliò il suo mantello in due e ne diede metà al mendicante.

Martino voleva condurre una vita da eremita ma la Chiesa scelse per lui un cammino diverso, lo nominò Vescovo di Tours.

Since that episode, there’s a legend saying that because of that act of generosity, around November the 11th, despite the season’s low temperatures, there’s a short summer that lasts just a couple of days.

Da quell’episodio, c’è una leggenda che dice che grazie a quell’atto di generosità, intorno all’11 Novembre, nonostante le basse temperature stagionali, c’è una breve estate che dura solo un paio di giorni.

In his home country he was greeted as the knight able to fight against the underworld and triumph over death. In heathen rituals he was the god of vegetation – the rebirth of nature after the winter’s death – and portrayed with a black mantle, a black horse, and beside him a wheel, symbol of the underworld. For this reason Martin of Tours became particularly popular in the northern part of Italy and in France, in those lands where there was still a strong link with the Celtic tradition.

Nel suo paese di origine venne salutato come il cavaliere capace di lottare contro il mondo ultraterreno, e di trionfare sulla morte. Nei rituali pagani era il re della vegetazione – la rinascita della natura dopo la morte dell’inverno – e ritratto con un mantello nero, su di un cavallo nero, con al suo fianco una ruota, simbolo dell’ultraterreno. Per questo motivo Martino di Tours divenne particolarmente popolare nella parte settentrionale dell’Italia e in Francia, in quelle terre dove c’era ancora un forte legame con la tradizione celtica.

When the Saint was chosen to represent christian charity, the iconography had to be changed as well. The horse’s colour became white and the god-knight embodied the everlasting victory of the good against the evil.

Quando il Santo venne scelto per rappresentare la carità cristiana, anche l’iconografia dovette essere cambiata. Il colore del cavallo divenne bianco e il dio-cavaliere incarnava la vittoria perenne del bene contro il male.

Vittore Carpaccio, San Martino

In Venice, there are two churches named after Saint Martin. One is in Burano, in the northern part of the Venetian lagoon, and can be spotted from afar for its peculiar leaning bell-tower, and the other one is in Castello, the city’s southern district, near the Arsenale. On the facade, inspired by a Jacopo Sansovino’s project (XVth century), there’s a bas-relief reliving Saint Martin’s famous episode.

A Venezia, ci sono due chiese che prendono il nome da San Martino. Una è a Burano, nella parte settentrionale della laguna veneziana, e si distingue subito da lontano per il caratteristico campanile pendente, e l’altra è a Castello, la parte meridionale della città, vicino all’Arsenale. In facciata, ispirato da un progetto di Jacopo Sansovino (XV secolo), c’è un basso rilievo che rimette in scena il famoso episodio di San Martino.

Chiesa di San Martino, Venezia (xv sec.)

Moreover, since every legend has also a culinary side, there is in this case, a cake, in the shape of the saint on horseback garnished with coloured sugar icing.

Children run in the calli, hitting big pots and asking for treats.

New wine and roasted chestnuts are a typical combination for this time of the year.

Inoltre, visto che ogni leggenda ha anche un lato culinario, abbiamo in questo caso, un dolce che ha la forma del santo a cavallo, decorato con glassa colorata.

I bambini corrono nelle calli, battendo pentoloni e chiedendo dolcetti.

Vino novello e castagne arrostite sono l’abbinamento tipico per questo periodo dell’anno.

Buon San Martino a Tutti! Happy Saint Martin to you all!

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