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Is the Venice Biennale Credible?

20150506-biennale-slide-R2JG-superJumboI always thought the Venice Biennale was credible until I heard Eva Franch i Gilbert speak. There does not seem to be much this architect can take credit for, but one American Pavillon, one year, at one Biennale is something she can sure speak. Interminably, or so it seemed, I could not sit through her entire session. I use the word architect loosely here and with apologies to my friends and colleagues who actually build things.

It was really ultimately unclear how much of that event was really her work.

Franch is  the director of the Storefront for Art and Architecture, calling that institution’s judgment into question as well.

Visitors looks at Ai Wei Wei's installation Bang at the German pavilionArt and design are two different things. Sometimes, they converge, but not always. That convergence should be intentional, just as a non-convergence should be intentional. The Venice Biennale has always seemed to be a place where art and design converged and new ideas emerged, benefiting the world at large.

Franch spoke of speaking of things, thinking of things, and speaking of doing things, sometimes at the Venice Biennale. Artists and designers actually have to do things. That did not seem to matter to Franch who stated Architects and designers should build what they want, not what they are hired to make. That’s career suicide. Artists and designers need to help clients, colleagues and patrons understand and embrace new ideas. There is sales in design. Persuasion. Defiance and arrogance might work for Franch, but they aren’t going to work when trying to dance an idea or a concept.

la-et-cam-roundup-chris-burden-passes-venice-biennale-googleplex-20150511When it comes to Franch, it seems some people confuse a charlatan for a straight talker. Straight talk doesn’t ramble. Straight talk has a point other than self grandeurization.

On all levels, we have seen conversations continue forever without action. We’ve stepped away from those processes which just seem to asme time. Usually, they also waste time and resources. If anyone ever really wants to do something, call us. If you want to discuss doing something, please leave us out.

Franch is very positive about the Biennale. If the Biennale is equally enthusiastic about Franch, then the event no longer has any credibility. I keep looking for the new ideas, the follies, the amusements, the daring, but now I have to filter everything through the experience of what was termed a motivational session starring Franch. That filter casts a shadow over the whole event.

pavilion_hr_007-photo-by-authors_resize_resizeSomeone, please prove me wrong.

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