‘Infra Éireann – Making Ireland Modern 1914 – 2014’ is the theme of Ireland’s entry at the 14th International Architecture Biennale Exhibition. Details were announced on 9 May by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. and commissioners / curators John McLaughlin and Gary Boyd. Dublin’s Busáras was chosen as the location for this announcement as it is an iconic building of the past century and honours the memory of the recently deceased artist Patrick Scott, who is credited with the mosaics on the cantilever style roof terrace.
Speaking at the launch, Minster Deenihan said: “Contemporary Irish architecture has a global identity and reach. This exhibition, ‘Infra – Éireann’, provides a wonderful overview of the last 100 years of architectural development within Ireland. By highlighting iconic buildings such as the Ronald Tallon designed RTÉ Studios at Donnybrook, the Roseleven Telephone Exchange in Athlone by Noel Dowley, and the designing of bridges, interchanges and roads by Grafton architects, this exhibition tells the story of an Ireland emerging from the past and the foundation of the State, to the present day.”
Biennale Director Rem Koolhaas’ theme ‘Absorbing Modernism’ invites countries to look at the interaction between global modernisation and local architectural cultures. Ireland’s presentation ‘Infra Éireann chronicles the iconic and landmark structures which have formed the backdrop to an emerging and developing Irish nation. John McLaughlin explains: “Infra-Éireann looks back at the role of Irish architects in the design of everyday infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, roads and bus stations. It highlights the way that these architects contributed to the making of the cultural identity of modern Ireland, and it looks forward to the emerging field of data and the role that the profession can play in the ongoing absorption of modernity under globalisation.”
Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with the Arts Council. Ireland at Venice exhibition will be presented in the Arsenale in an area which attracts a high footfall and is a strategic location for visitors. The Biennale runs from 7th June 2014 to 23rd November, 2014.
Audiences at home will have the chance to experience this informative and exciting exhibition – Infra Éireann when it undertakes a national tour in 2015 on its return from Venice. The Irish tour of Ireland at Venice 2014 will be supported by the Arts Council as part of its commitment to promote architecture to Irish audiences. www.irelandvenice.ie