Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Venice Biennale, which is the Venice Film Festival’s parent organization, has moved the opening date of its Architecture Biennale – which was originally set to open May 23 – to August 29, two days before the planned start of the Venice Film Festival set to run Sept. 2-12.
It’s a signal that the Biennale’s new president Roberto Cicutto, the former chief of Italy’s film entity Luce-Cinecittà, is closely monitoring the crisis and appears optimistic that by September it will be resolved.
The architecture event’s new slot means that, barring further coronavirus complications, in September Venice could be playing host to a larger contingent of arts folks than in past years.
Italy is currently in lockdown with more than 15,000 cases and a death toll of more than 1000 that at present makes the country the European territory hardest hit by the virus. However Italy’s health ministry experts expect the situation to be normalized by early August.
The upcoming edition of the Venice Architecture Biennale is titled “How Will We Live Together?” and curated by U.S.-based Lebanese architect Hashim Sarkis. The event was postponed “as a consequence of the recent precautionary measures in the matter of mobility taken by the governments of a growing number of countries around the world,” the Biennale said in a statement. The Venice architecture extravaganza plans to bring together 114 participants from 46 countries.
The 17th edition of the Architecture Biennale will maintain its original closing date, November 29, simply shortening its planned running time.
A Biennale spokesman on Friday declined to comment on any implications the architecture event’s date change may have on the 77th edition of the film festival which in January announced that Cate Blanchett will preside over the main competition jury.
The Biennale is a multi-disciplinary entity that besides the architecture exhibition and Venice Film Festival also runs internationally renown art, dance, theatre, and music events.