Architecture Non Finito

Iñaqui Carnicero

Excerpt from Unfinished, published by Actar Publishers.

The theme proposed by the main curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale often reacts ideologically to that of the previous one. For many years the selected title defined a relatively lax framework that permitted the incorporation of a large number of prestigious architects who, in addition to magnificent architecture, brought glamour to the Giardini during the days of the inauguration. Surprisingly, in the last Biennale, Rem Koolhaas proposed focusing all of the attention of the exhibition on architecture itself. The “Elements of Architecture” exhibition was organized around an investigation analyzing the design of fundamental elements used to construct architecture in different historical periods and contexts. The result was tremendously effective in resolving the contradiction between his position as curator of an exhibition positioned against architecture as spectacle, and his own condition as an architectural celebrity. The exhibition contents were generated through the analysis of building fragments, the majority of them anonymous, which left the so-called “starchitects” out of the conversation.

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