Being able to be alone, this is the trial of the century.
This biennial is a call for an archipelago of solitudes.
The second edition of the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans is intended as “landscapes”: landscapes of solitudes throughout the world. The urgency is here. This is how we came to add six associate curators to our ranks, who we have asked to tell us the tales of solitude throughout the world, where architecture is still a “promise” for freedoms that may be impossible to maintain. The solitude of Arquitetura Nova confronted by the Brazilian dictatorship in the 1960s and 1970s (Des rêves vus de près) is the focal point from which the second edition of the Biennial emerges. The figure of Fernand Pouillon, in this first sensitive monograph that we are dedicating to him (Mes réalisations parleront pour moi), is another way of presenting the political commitment of an architect. Between these two tutelary figures, in the public space, the Rue Jeanne d’Arc in Orléans is bedecked with the radical imaginaries of architects from the Arab world, who strive to smash any repressive identity constructs to smithereens (Al majhoola min al-ard). The polyptych of the Biennial is completed, on the one hand, by an uncompromising analysis of the Mexican territory following the dismantlement of state facilities (From solitude to desolation). On the other hand, architecture in its most contemporary practice emerges like a mutant animal in which the ideas of creative artists from all disciplines are mutually contaminated (The architectural beast). A new promise for the future?
The Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans has identified itself since its creation as a biennial of collections. Two aspects will set the tone of this orientation. Firstly, the invitation extended to the MAXXI collection in Rome in conversation with the project Waiting Land, by Stefano de Martino and Karen Lohrmann. Then the monograph dedicated to one of the major figures of the Frac collection, Günter Günschel (Homo faber: un récit) in order to capture the permanency of architecture as destruction/reconstruction of natural landscapes.
We were saying that this Biennial is like an archipelago. Like any archipelago, there is an Aegean Sea that supports these islands. Our “Aegean Sea” will be an alphabet unpacking the notion of solitude – both desired and feared – and understanding it, from the work of Hejduk, to that of Absalon, Ahmed Mater, Driss Ouadahi and John Cage, and to the research of Bêka & Lemoine, or Lacaton & Vassal, who we have not asked to reveal their œuvre but rather the errant geography of their thought.
And all of the Biennial will hang on Julie Nioche’s Nos solitudes.
– Abdelkader Damani and Luca Galofaro
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