Daniel Libeskind | Sonnets in Babylon

Place: Venice, Country: Italy
La Biennale di Venezia
Commissioner: Madile Gambier
Curator: Renzo Dubbini
Design: Daniel Libeskind
Organization: Comune di Venezia, Libeskind Design
Engineered and made by: Atelier Castagna, Milano
Graphic design: Libeskind design
Text by Federica Lusiardi, Inexhibit
Photos by Riccardo Bianchini, Inexhibit

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Daniel Libeskind | Sonnets in Babylon

Padiglione Venezia – Giardini della Biennale

Sonnets in Babylon is a quite impressive installation, conceived by Daniel Libeskind and housed in the Padiglione Venezia at the Gardens of the Biennale. Its overall visual strength – obtained by fixing on a long curved wall several back-lit panels, tilted so to carefully reflect and refract the incident light – catches the imagination even before realizing that every panel is decorated with a silk-printed reproduction of an ink and watercolor drawing made by Libeskind himself.

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 The installation features 101 drawings, part of the Sonnets in Babylon series, never before seen; they depict timeless spaces, imaginary cities providing a meditation on the relationship between ideas and images and inviting people to ask themselves what form still signifies for architecture: is it an enduring means of human expression or will it be inevitably replaced by technology?


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Together with professor Renzo Dubbini, Daniel Libeskind involved in this project several architecture students of the IUAV University of Venice, here is an excerpt from his invitation to them:
“The subject matter of this project is to select one of my Sonnets (…) Based on this graphic image take many walks in Venice, using it as a kind of metaphisical map. You have to search for the unexpected coincidence of this image with space (…) Take a series of photographs of this unexpected phenomenon. This is not merely a metaphorical excercise nor an academic search for obvious analogies, but a poetic equivalent of the images you take to the images you selected. (…)”

A selection of the the photographs realized by the architecture students is exposed in the room near the pavilion entrance.

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Giardini della Biennale
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Built in 1807, the Giardini della Biennale (Biennale’s Gardens) is the main venue of the annual art and architecture exhibitions of the Venice Biennale


More about Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind

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