At the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice Russia Will Present It’s V.D.N.H. Urban Phenomenon Project
On March 28th a press conference was held at the TASS press centre to present Russia’s architecture and art project for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, which is to open in Venice exactly two months after the press conference, on May 28th, 2016. The journalists present were told what to expect at the Russian Pavilion by Semyon Mikhailovsky, Commissar of the Russian Pavilion in Venice and Rector of the Repin Russian Academy of Arts; Sergey Kuznetsov, curator of the exhibition and Chief Architect of Moscow; and Yekaterina Pronicheva, General Director of the V.D.N.H.
Entitled ‘V.D.N.H. URBAN PHENOMENON’, the project is an account of how the V.D.N.H. [‘Exhibition of Attainments of the National Economy’], a complex which is unique in terms of its scale and architecture, is today being transformed into a multi-format cultural and educational space which is accessible to all. The V.D.N.H. phenomenon is significant not just for Moscow and Russia, but for the rest of the world too, given that the whole world is concerned by the question of how to develop society’s intellectual potential and how to create effective mechanisms for cultural assimilation.
“The V.D.N.H. today is an example of a space in which the fight for an audience is being conducted using urban design, architecture, and education, and in this sense it makes an ideal fit with the theme for the 15th International Biennale of Architecture, which the latter’s curator Alejandro Aravena has defined as ‘Reporting from the Front’”, said Semyon Mikhailovsky, Commissar of the Russian Pavilion in Venice.
“Unlike most theme and amusements parks, the V.D.N.H. does not merely provide citizens with leisure, but has an educational and cultural mission — which it carries out with success. Taken together, the coherence of this urban ensemble, the diversity of its public spaces, and its necklace of national and thematic pavilions create a territory which is capable of accumulating and multiplying society’s intellectual and cultural energy, and it is this which in the final analysis is helping us win the battle for quality of life,” said Sergey Kuznetsov, Chief Architect of Moscow and curator of the exhibition.
“In 2014, when the city took over management of the exhibition grounds, we faced the question of what to do with the exhibition. By this time the Government of Moscow had accumulated considerable experience in creating and recreating public spaces, equal-opportunities places which are accessible to all, and it was utterly self-evident that if further development of the V.D.N.H. is possible, then it must be along this path. In order to ensure that this process would be well thought-out and meet the needs of end users, we are being very attentive to dialogue with residents, architects, and urban planners. The presentation of the V.D.N.H. at the biennale will for us be yet another opportunity to conduct a large-scale study, even if in a slightly metaphorical form, on the subject of what the future development of this unique exhibition and park complex might be like,” explained Yekaterina Pronicheva, General Director of the V.D.N.H. and co-curator of the exhibition.
Sergey Kuznetsov, curator of the exhibition, told journalists at the press conference that details of the exhibition project to be shown at the Russian Pavilion will be kept under wraps until the biennale opens. However, the outline of his concept is as follows: three key sections of the exhibition will employ art and multimedia technologies to talk about the past, present, and future of the V.D.N.H. A section dealing with the history of the exhibition will present artefacts from Soviet times. There will be a video installation immersing visitors in the atmosphere of the V.D.N.H. today. And possibilities for the exhibition’s future development will be the main subject at a research room and laboratory of the future. Semyon Mikhailovsky added that the researchers invited to take part will include young artists — sculptors, graphic artists, and students from Moscow Architecture Institute, the Russian Academy of Arts, and a number of other institutions of higher education in Russia.
When the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice is over, the V.D.N.H. URBAN PHENOMEON project will return to Moscow and become part of the permanent exhibition at the V.D.N.H.
Illustrative material (portraits of the speakers, views of the V.D.N.H., a selection of sketches and renders of the exhibition) can be found here.
- Venice Biennale