Photography: Rosella Degori

18 May 2020: It’s official, the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale is postponed until 22 May 2021 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organisers of the biennale acknowledged: ‘It is impossible to move forward – within the set time limits – in the realisation of such a complex and worldwide exhibition.’ The international event will explore the timely theme, How will we live together? It is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to Venice from across the globe – a serious hazard given the ongoing threat of Coronavirus.

The biennale’s curator Hashim Sarkis said: ‘I hope that the new opening date will allow [participants] first to catch their breath, and then to complete their work with the time and vigor it truly deserves.’

Photography: Luca Tessari

He added: ‘We are in some ways fortunate because we are well equipped to absorb the immediate and longer-term implications of the crisis into the Biennale Architettura 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 the Architecture.’

The announcement is unsurprising but means that the 59th International Art Exhibition, which was meant to take place in 2021 and is curated by Cecilia Alemani, will now be postponed until 2022.


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