The Venice Biennale of Architecture is one of world's leading events in the field and one of the most important festivals of its kind.
But the major event has been postponed twice already due to the coronavirus pandemic: from last spring to the fall, and then again in the fall to this spring.
It is now slated to run from May 22 to November 21, 2021, and is supposed to be a "physical event," organizers say. Nevertheless, it's a gamble, Biennale President Roberto Cicutto admitted during an online presentation of the event on Monday.
Architecture theorist and head curator Hashim Sarkis had already developed the theme of the 17th edition of the exhibition — "How will we live together?" — long before the pandemic. The original aim was to focus on climate change, migration and increasing political polarization with regard to architecture.
Several lockdowns have hampered installations efforts on the Lido, the barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, where the main show is to spread across the central Biennale pavilion and the sprawling halls of the Arsenale.
Curator Sarkis has invited some 110 participants from 46 countries to contribute to the exhibition, many of them from Africa, Latin America and Asia. In addition to sites in the Giardini park, the "Biennale Architettura 2021" events will take place at other stations in the lagoon city. Furthermore, 63 different national pavilions will offer up their own presentations, with Azerbaijan, Grenada, Iraq and Uzbekistan presenting their own show in Venice for the first time.
Iran is absent this year at the Venice Architecture Biennale.