La Biennale di Venezia announces that the 17th International Architecture Exhibition—How Will We Live Together?—curated by Hashim Sarkis, which was to take place in Venice from August 29th through November 29th 2020, has been postponed to 2021, to be held Saturday, May 22 to Sunday, November 21.
Consequently, the 59th International Art Exhibition, curated by Cecilia Alemani, which was to take place in 2021, has in turn been postponed to 2022. It will last 7 months and will be held from Saturday, April 23 to Sunday, November 27.
The decision to postpone the Venice Architecture Biennale to May 2021 is an acknowledgment that it is impossible to move forward—within the set time limits—in the realization of such a complex and worldwide exhibition, due to the persistence of a series of objective difficulties caused by the effects by the health emergency underway.
The current situation, up to now, has definitely prejudiced the realization of the Exhibition in its entirety, jeopardizing the realization, transport, and presence of the works and consequently the quality of the Exhibition itself. Therefore, after consulting with the Curator Hashim Sarkis and in consideration of the problems, the invited architects, participating countries, institutions, Collateral Events are facing, thanking all of them for their efforts so far, La Biennale has decided to postpone the opening date of the Venice Architecture Biennale to the year 2021, extending its duration back to the customary six months, from May 22 to November 21.
“The last few days,” declared Biennale President Roberto Cicutto, “have clarified the real state of the situation we are all facing. With the utmost respect for the work done by all of us, the investments made by the participants, and considering the difficulties that all countries, institutions, universities, architectural studios have met together with the uncertainty of the shipments, personal travel restraints, and Covid-19 protective measures that are being and were being adopted, we have decided to listen to those, the majority, who requested that the Venice Architecture Biennale be postponed. I have received many messages asking for a postponement to 2021. We now plan to open the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in May 2021 and allow it a longer life until November, as it was before the pandemic. Nevertheless Architecture will be in Venice this fall organizing several events keeping at the center of the stage the question, more relevant than ever, of How will we live together?.”
“I am deeply moved by the perseverance of all the participants during the last three months,” stated Curator Hashim Sarkis. “I hope that the new opening date will allow them first to catch their breath, and then to complete their work with the time and vigor it truly deserves. We did not plan it this way. Neither the question I asked How will we live together? nor the wealth of ways in response to it, were meant to address the crisis they are living, but here we are. We are in some ways fortunate because we are well equipped to absorb the immediate and longer-term implications of the crisis into the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. The theme does also provide us with the possibility to respond to the pandemic in its immediacy. This is why we will return to Venice in the coming months for a series of activities devoted to Architecture.”