Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has announced the selection of Niall McLaughlin Architects to represent Ireland at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice in 2016. The Minister, reaffirming the Government’s commitment to supporting Ireland’s participation at the Venice Biennale, noted, ‘international interest in and appreciation of contemporary Irish architecture continues to grow and Ireland’s presence at the Biennale provides an outstanding opportunity for Irish architects to platform new thinking and exhibit Irish architectural approaches.’
The theme of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, which will be held from 28 May to 27 November 2016, is entitled Reporting from the Front. Announcing the theme, Alejandro Aravena, the Biennale artistic director, stated, ‘there are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life… at this Biennale, we want to see stories worth telling and exemplary cases worth sharing where architecture has, is and will make a difference in winning those battles and expanding those frontiers’.
Responding to the overall theme of the Biennale, the proposal presented by Niall McLaughlin Architects and curated by Yeoryia Manolopoulou, reflects their interest in working as architects to understand and improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The selected team will examine the spatial experiences of people with Alzheimer’s disease whilst recognising that the experiences of the sufferer are unlikely to resemble any conventional architectural representation. The installation at Venice will record and represent the human experience from this frontline condition and show it as a space with its own characteristics. This central concept will be accompanied by a contextual piece and also a social media campaign to extend the impact of this exhibition beyond the Biennale.
Ireland at Venice is an initiative of the Culture Ireland Division of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with the Arts Council.