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The publication accompanying the exhibition, comprising almost 400 pages, documents the results of eighteen months of research conducted by AKT & Hermann Czech in collaboration with local researchers. It illustrates and discusses the increasing spatial demands the Biennale makes on the Giardini and the Arsenale, as well as the city as a whole through its collateral events. These developments are contrasted with the urban reality of Venice. Last year, the population of Venice’s old town, falling below 50,000 inhabitants, reached a historic low. A tourist monoculture, the economic exploitation of urban space, the accompanying processes of displacement, and the loss of essential infrastructure have continuously driven the depopulation of the city. The publication seeks to articulate economic, socio-spatial, and theoretical architectural statements and enquiries at different scale levels. They are at the basis of the concept of the Austrian contribution.

Authors: AKT, John Barker, Biennale Urbana, Ines Doujak, Hermann Czech, Andrea Curtoni, Forum Futuro Arsenale, Laura Fregolent, Franco Mancuso, Claudio Menichelli, OCIO, Wolfgang Scheppe, We are here Venice, Luca Zan

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Editors: AKT & Hermann Czech
Art direction: Marie Fegerl, Gerhard Jordan – Soybot, Vienna
Illustrations: AKT & Hermann Czech
Installation photographs: Clelia Cadamuro

16.7 × 23 cm, 396 pages
ISBN: 978–3‑903422–33‑9
Price: € 18,00 [Austria]
Luftschacht Verlag, Vienna
German, English, Italian 

Biographies of the authors

is an architecture collective based in Vienna. Its members explore the relationship between people and
objects, which together create space: architecture as action and vivid communication that becomes tangible through its realisation.
AKT are Fabian Antosch, Gerhard Flora, Max Hebel, Adrian Judt, Julia Klaus, Lena Kohlmayr, Philipp Krummel, Gudrun Landl, Lukas Lederer, Susanne Mariacher, Christian Mörtl, Philipp Oberthaler, Charlie Rauchs, Helene Schauer, Kati Schelling, Philipp Stern, Harald Trapp.

John Barker
lives in London and Vienna. As a writer, essayist, and performer he has concentrated on the theoretical and practical critique of such themes as economics, geopolitical dynamics, and exploitation through work since the 1970s. His novel Futures was published by PM Press, and his essays have appeared in magazines like Mute, Telepolis, Adbusters, Capital and Class, and Variant.

Hermann Czech
was born in Vienna and studied under Konrad Wachsmann and Ernst A. Plischke, among others. He has
pursued greatly diverse architectural and planning work and published numerous critical and theoretical writings on architecture. Visiting professorships at Harvard GSD, ETH Zurich, and in Vienna; numerous lectures and awards; solo exhibitions, such as at the Architekturmuseum Basel; participated in the Venice Architecture Biennale in 1980, 1991, 2000, and 2012.

Ines Doujak
studied at the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts. Since the 1990s she has developed a multidisciplinary
practice comprising photography, performance, film, text, and installation. Doujak’s comprehensive research and narrative talent enable her to combine science and grotesques in order to expose social structures of exploitation and inequalities. She participated in numerous exhibitions, including documenta 12’ in Kassel, The Beast and the Sovereign’ at MACBA in Barcelona, and Geistervölker’ at Kunsthalle Wien.

Andrea Curtoni
is an architect and has a PhD in urbanism from Iuav University of Venice. His research has focused on insurgent practices and the re-appropriation of urban space as well as the role of participatory practices and public art in urban regeneration processes. In 2014 he was one of the co-founders of Biennale Urbana (BUrb) together with Giulia Mazzorin and Lorenzo Romito, an action and research collective to explore the limits of and inhabit the interspaces between the Biennale and Venice. Since October 2022 BUrb has headed the Space & Design Strategies Department at the University of Arts Linz.

Forum Futuro Arsenale
Forum Futuro Arsenale was launched as a free place of discussion and collaboration among Venetian citizens’ associations interested in pushing the Venice City Council to open the Arsenale to the city and revive the complex received from the state in 2013. In 2016 it became an association committed to the in-depth examination of proposals for the recovery of the Arsenale and for their discussion and promotion with other associations. It holds on to its commitment to integrating the Arsenale into the city, raising awareness for it, promoting its accessibility, extending its public space and route network, and maintaining the Arsenale’s historical bond with the sea and naval work through regeneration initiatives.

Laura Fregolent
is a full professor of urban and regional planning at Iuav University of Venice. Her research focuses on urban and territorial analysis to understand the relationship between urban and territorial transformations and social dynamics (particularly) connected with housing issues; on conflicts generated on an urban and territorial scale through projects or transformations that impact on both environmental and social contexts; and on the relationships between collected data, urban policy, and planning tools. The city of Venice and the Veneto region are her main fields of study and research.

Franco Mancuso
is an architect born in Venice, where he lives and works. Having taught urban planning at Iuav University of Venice, he is particularly involved in research and design in the context of the recovery of historical heritage and the redevelopment of public space. In Venice he drew up the designs to be realised for the new Korean pavilion at the Giardini della Biennale (in collaboration with Korean architect Seok Chul Kim), as well as for the renovation of the former Convent of San Lorenzo a Castello and the former Istituto San Giovanni alla Giudecca, both of which are to be used as residences for elderly guests. His book Venezia è una città was awarded the Premio Nazionale INU for literature on urban planning in 2017.

Claudio Menichelli
graduated in architecture with honours in Venice and from 1980 to 2011 served in the Ministry of Culture at the Superintendency of Venice. From 1997 and 2009 he taught architectural restoration at Iuav University of Venice. He has been involved in many architectural restoration projects especially in Venice, including the Arsenale, Saint Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, and Palazzo Grimani. He looks back on more than forty years of experience in conservation and boasts numerous publications.

OCIO – Osservatorio CIvicO sulla casa e la residenza
is a collective of inhabitants and researchers interested in housing and residency in insular Venice. It was
founded in 2019, following a year of get-togethers and self-training with city committees and associations
and individual inhabitants and researchers to retrieve data on the housing situation in Venice. The collective eventually chose to be a physical and virtual place of exchange and analysis that has partly taken over the tasks of a housing observatory.

Wolfgang Scheppe
is a German-born philosopher, author, and curator who since 1996 has lived and taught in the United States, Switzerland, and Italy. His work as an interdisciplinary theorist frequently includes exhibitions that take on a form referred to as theory installations’. Since 2009 he has headed the Arsenale Institute for Politics of Representation in Venice, which emerged from Iuav University of Venice. The initiator of extensive research projects that have resulted in numerous publications, he regularly publishes treatises and essays on spatial planning policies. His book projects include Migropolis (2009), a comprehensive standard work on the globalised city, and Done.Book (2010), a catalogue for the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennial on John Ruskin’s political economy of the city.

We are here Venice (WahV)
commits itself to the conservation of Venice as a living city. Founded in 2015, it operates both as a research collective and activist platform, reinforcing connections between the best sources of information available, stakeholders, and the local community. Venice, with its unique conditions, history, and cultural intricacies, represents a unique context for exploring and acting on innovative policies of resilience. WahV’s initiatives range from specific projects that include research and fieldwork to broad awareness-raising campaigns.

Luca Zan
from Bologna University is involved in the management of arts and heritage organisations from an international comparative perspective (fieldwork in China, Turkey, Peru, Ecuador, and Europe). He is the author/co-author of Managerial Rhetoric and Arts Organisations (2006); The Management of Cultural Heritage in China (2008); Managing Cultural Heritage (2016); Heritage Sites in Contemporary China (2018); The Venice Arsenal. Between History, Heritage, and Re-use (2022). He is involved in international teaching programmes in arts management: director of GIOCA, University of Bologna, and adjunct faculty member at MAM, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (until 2020); adjunct faculty member at CAFA, Beijing.