Paolo Baratta, President of la Biennale di Venezia
This year, la Biennale di Venezia has chosen to become directly involved in the Venice Pavilion in an initiative that is time-honoured yet looks to the future.
The Pavilion was also dedicated to the Applied Arts in the past. Well we would like to pick up that thread, though in a different, up-to-date, direction: towards the most recent applications of advanced technology.
We wonder whether the progress of technology, and in particular the spread of digital technology, is leading us towards horizons of standardization and uniformity, or whether on the contrary it offers new opportunities for development, for creative diversification and hence for experimentation with new forms.
To be more specific, we wonder whether the progress of technology, and in particular of digital technology, is proceeding towards its designated fate of celibacy and a growing banality of forms, or whether on the contrary, the marriage of experience and technology, of handcrafting, understood as the direct application of man and his expertise, and the solutions that this very technology has made it possible to invent, is more fertile than ever.
La Biennale wishes to explore this phenomenon, and it does so in an initiative that explores the theme of “digital – not only digital”, with the intent to examine those specific instances in which the two Muses, the Muse of technology and the Muse of knowledge born of experience, together can generate significant phenomena in the evolution of forms.
La Biennale is taking its first step in this direction. This is a field of research to which it intends to dedicate part of its energies in the future. We will start by observing the reality that surrounds us. We have chosen, in fact, to explore the phenomena that have developed most recently in the Veneto region. Our intention is to broaden our outlook in the future. We are in the process of establishing relationships with important international institutions.
It is no easy task to represent this state of affairs in an exhibition; these are results, but they are also stories which led to those results, the complexity of which cannot be ignored. This is the direction undertaken by curator Aldo Cibic.
This phenomenon raises and inspires many questions, and for this reason we have chosen, in the autumn, to organize an event that will offer an opportunity for reflection and debate with leading national and international experts.
In conclusion, while in a certain sense it may be seen as a return to the past of the Venice Pavilion, in other ways and in the light of its contents, this choice may be considered to be the cornerstone of a building we are beginning to construct, an area of research that we intend to develop: we are fully convinced that this initiative responds to the demands and interests that are arising from society and from industry, which are grappling with radical yet inevitable change, and that la Biennale, whose mission is to explore the “form” given to the creations of man in many different sectors, for which the issues being raised here may well be pertinent, cannot ignore.