28 September 2009 | by Gemma Battenbough | Architecture & Design
Architectural photographer John Gollings and Melbourne-based architect Ivan Rijavec will head the creative team for the Australian Pavilion at the upcoming 12th Venice International Architecture Biennale.
The team’s two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism’ exhibition will highlight three of Australia’s most interesting urban regions as they are ‘now’, before dramatically representing futuristic urban environments as they may be ‘when’ we reach 2100.
Opening in September 2010, the exhibition will feature a range of dazzlingly visceral digital stereoscopic (three-dimensional) images, which will fill the two-level Philip Cox-designed Australian Pavilion and represent both the NOW and WHEN components.
On the pavilion’s upper level, NOW will feature current urban environments in Sydney, Melbourne and Surfers Paradise. Stereoscopic visuals will show contrasting views of these cities from macro-scapes at 20,000 feet to ‘helicoptering’ views of urban and architectural icons at close range. All three cities will be filmed at dusk, when the “Australian urban spectacle becomes luminous and articulate in conveying the way our cities work”, the proposal states.
On the pavilion’s lower level, WHEN will imagine Australian urban spaces in 91 years time, with the intent of “catapulting urban debate into eye-popping visceral entertainment set in a soundscape”. Australian architects will be asked to submit 3D entries for inclusion by entering ‘Ideas for Australian Cities 2100’, a national competition. A range of entries will then be chosen focusing on the creative potential of architecture.
Two stereo screens mounted back-to-back at the rear of the upper and lower exhibition spaces will be the focus of the installation. An urban themed black and white geometric matrix will be projected on the walls, floors and ceilings of both levels leading to two stereo screens, which will feature the urban environments in continuous three-minute loop cycles.
“As countries around the world continue to move into a post-GFC economic recovery phase, it’s vital that Australia maximises every opportunity to reinforce the nation’s competitive strengths and standing on the world stage,” recently appointed Venice Biennale commissioner, Janet Holmes à Court, said.?
The Venice Architecture Biennale, now widely regarded as the most important event on the international architecture calendar, is “un-missable”, Holmes à Court said. The 2008 event attracted 130,000 informed visitors from around the globe over 10 weeks and the 2010 Biennale is expected to eclipse this, she said.??
“I have every confidence that the appointment of our 2010 creative director team – led by John Gollings and Ivan Rijavec – affords us a great head-start in the promotion of the nation’s incredibly rich and diverse architectural talent,” Holmes à Court said.
The full 2010 creative directors team comprises Australia’s pre-eminent architectural photographer John Gollings, leading Melbourne-based architect Ivan Rijavec, graphic designer David Pidgeon, astrophysicist Professor Jeffrey Shaw, architect and sound designer Nick Murray and 3D experts Sam Slicer and Daniel Flood.
A total of 29 submissions were received for the role of creative director, with five proposals shortlisted in a rigorous selection process ahead of today’s announcement of the winning team.
The Venice Architecture Biennale was inaugurated in 1980 and is now held every two years, alternating with the Art Biennale. Thousands of the world’s leading architects and city planners plus more than 52,000 people visited the 2008 Australian Pavilion.
Australia’s attendance at the Venice Architecture Biennale is an initiative of the Australian Institute of Architects, which pledged funding for each of three Venice Architecture Biennales – 2006, 2008 and 2010. Fundraising efforts continue to guarantee an ongoing presence in Venice.