Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture, inaugurated yesterday the Saudi pavilion participating in the 17th edition of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, in a ceremony organized by the Architecture and Design Arts Authority, and was attended by Prince Faisal bin Sattam bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Kingdom’s ambassador to Italy, The President of the Venice Biennale is Roberto Secoto, Dr. Sumaya Al-Suleiman, CEO of the Authority for Architecture and Design, and a group of cultural and interested officials from the Kingdom and the world.
The Minister of Culture delivered a speech in which he affirmed his great pride in the inauguration of the National Pavilion of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Seventeenth International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, which includes inspirational works that reflect the intermingling of our ancient heritage and the vision of our country for the future in the art of architecture that has been present in its unique diversity and beauty in the details of our cultural history since For thousands of years, His Highness noted the pivotal role that the arts play in “creating better opportunities for dialogue, broadening perceptions, and opening new areas for human communication, especially in difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He highly appreciated the efforts made by the Venice Biennale in this context, “which have contributed to preserving the vitality of this important message of arts and culture.”
Then Dr. Sumaya Al-Suleiman, CEO of the Architecture and Design Arts Authority, gave a speech in which she said that the Saudi Pavilion is a headquarters for research and exploration, and supports and celebrates the artistic and creative development that the Kingdom is currently experiencing. She added that the pavilion includes an exhibition that traces the history of stone, and studies how the built environment and urban fabric have adapted to accommodate emergency conditions, and how the meaning of these spaces and their use change over time.
Then the Minister of Culture and Attendance toured the sections of the Saudi Pavilion titled “Headquarters” and its organization and management is supervised by the Architecture and Design Arts Authority, which comes as an experimental exhibition that analyzes a series of spatial and social formations to meet the “other”, in which dates, protocols and gestures of quarantine, hosting and housing are intertwined. Beyond the concept of “places to live,” the exhibition “Makar” encompasses the temporary and permanent structures that have emerged to deal with the risk of contagion during major events such as seasons of epidemics. By reading the history of these enclosed spaces, the exhibition examines the ways in which the built environment and urban fabric adapt to emergencies and addresses the change in meaning and use of these spaces over time, revealing the tensions between the inherent separation of quarantine and the residency necessary to continue living.
The activities of the Saudi Pavilion continue throughout the period of the 17th Venice Biennale of Architecture, which is being held this year under the title “How will we live together?”, During the period from May 22 to November 21, 2021 AD, at the permanent headquarters of the Biennial in Venice, Italy.