At the 13th International Architecture Exhibition curated by David Chipperfield and entitled Common Ground, wandering the Arsenal you feel the strong presence of Latin America, that is gaining an increased visibility with the opening of Argentine Pavilion, which was acquired on a permanent basis, and the birth of the Pavilion of Peru, for the first time independent from IILA.
The jury has been impressed by the freshness of the interpretations proposed, and has awarded Torre David / Gran Horizonte by Urban-Think Tank the Golden Lion for the best project representative of the theme of the exhibition. Torre David reproduces the atmosphere of a spontaneous occupation of an unfinished skyscraper in Caracas, elevating it to an example of vertical urbanization for the contemporary metropolis.
The Chilean Pavilion, with Cancha – that means, in the pre-Hispanic Quechua language, white space dedicated to social relations -, creates a strong visual impact, bringing 18 tn of salt from the great expanse of Tarapacás to the Isolotto, in order to assert a connection with the soil of a territorial nature, rather than urban. Another project featuring an amazing poetic strenght is Ruta del Peregrino, made in Mexico by a diverse group of architects, including stand out for fame Alejandro Aravena of Elemental and Ai Weiwei architecture. The intervention comes as a huge sign in the landscape, the boundary between architecture and land art, brightening new goals along the visual journey of the pilgrims to the Virgin of the Rosary.
Common Ground opens to new national participations enriched, in addition to Peru, the presence of the Republic of Kosovo, Kuwait, Turkey and Angola. A special attention has been given to the only national pavilion of the African continent, Angola, which, with Beyond Entropy, strikes for its simplicity and concreteness of the project exposed, reminding us of how poorly represented Africa is in this Biennale, barely touched by Valerio Olgiati interrogating the imaginary of David Adjaye, or Noero Architects with the representation of an urban fabric torn from Apartheid.
Finally, at the Giardini, do not miss Riposatevi, the historic installation of Lúcio Costa in the Pavilion of Brazil, while in the Arsenal you will find the uncut documentary by Cristian Manzutto on Ruta del Peregrino. And for a pleasant walk, barefoot, enjoy the salt of the Chilean Pavilion, Cancha. Chilean Soilscape before the vision of Atelier Peter Zumthor by Wim Wenders. And if you’re brave enough to push up the Artiglierie for The Four Seasons, which is neither a pizza nor a work of Vivaldi, but the Italian Pavilion curated by Luca Zevi, remember to bring the Autan to fight the side effects of Green Economy!

Andrea Montesi

Giardini – Arsenale – other venues
web: www.labiennale.org

Venice, until November 25, 2012