Fundamentalists and Other Modernisms: the Pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the Venice Architecture Biennale

DATE June 7 - November 23, 2014
PLACE Pavilion at the Arsenale - Venice Architecture Biennale
COMMISONNER Ministry of Culture - Sh. Mai Al Khalifa
CURATORS George Arbid, Bernard Khoury - Arab Center for Architecture

Links to articles and interviews with the curators

The Arab Center for Architecture curates the Pavilion of the Kingdom of Bahrain at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale.
"Fundamentalists and Other Arab Modernisms"  is the Kingdom of Bahrain's National Participation at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - Venice Biennale. The pavilion, located at the Arsenale Artigliere in Venice was commissioned by Her Excellency Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Read more on the Bahrain's Pavilion website

Extract from the press release of the Kingdom of Bahrain Pavilion
"For its third participation, the Kingdom of Bahrain decided to concentrate on the wider Arab World and use the opportunity of the pavilion to support the efforts of the Arab Center for Architecture in creating a centralized database of architectural documents from across the Arab world. In parallel to the exhibition in Venice, significant efforts have been made toward the collection of a number of documents that have been added to the database of the ACA that will be online to coincide with the opening of the Biennale. It is hoped that this will highlight the importance of collecting architecture archives; a task that the Arab Center for Architecture is undertaking."
Read the full Press release [PDF]


About the Biennale
The 14th International Architecture Exhibition, entitled Fundamentals, directed by Rem Koolhaas and organized by la Biennale di Venezia, will take place from 7 June  to  23 November 2014, in the Giardini and the Arsenale. 
Rem Koolhaas states: 
Fundamentals consists of three interlocking exhibitions – Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014Elements of Architecture and Monditalia – that together illuminate the past, present and future of our discipline. After several architecture Biennales dedicated to the celebration of the contemporary, Fundamentals will look at histories, attempt to reconstruct how architecture finds itself in its current situation, and speculate on its future.
Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014  is an invitation to the national pavilions to show, each in their own way, the process of the erasure of national characteristics in architecture in favor of the almost universal adoption of a single modern language and a single repertoire of typologies – a more complex process than we typically recognize, involving significant encounters between cultures, technical inventions, and hidden ways of remaining “national”.
Elements of Architecture, in the Central Pavilion, will pay close attention to the fundamentals of our buildings, used by any architect, anywhere, anytime: the floor, the wall, the ceiling, the roof, the door, the window, the façade, the balcony, the corridor, the fireplace, the toilet, the stair, the escalator, the elevator, the ramp…
Monditalia dedicates the Arsenale to a single theme – Italy – with exhibitions, events, and theatrical productions engaging architecture, politics, economics, religion, technology, industry. The other festivals of la Biennale di Venezia – film, dance, theatre, and music – will be mobilized to contribute to a comprehensive portrait of the host country.”


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