13th Mostra Internazionale di Architettura
Out and about in Venice
Being invited to be part of an event such as this in Venice on the recent history of a country such as Israel – a country I had never visited before nor had any connection to- was a very special opportunity. Not only because it was a unique trip that took me across the whole country, but also because it took me away from the routine of my daily reports, allowing me to participate on a different level as a artist invited to the 13th edition of the Venice Biennial in the Israeli pavilion called “Aircraft Carrier”. The collected works on display confront the dramatic changes in Israeli architecture since 1973, and the American influences that made them possible.
Venice, a city as beautiful as it is impractical, expensive and full of tourists, still preserves its natural charm, and this edition of the biennial has many reasons to make it worth a visit. The theme for this year’s Biennale, chosen by its British director David Chipperfield, is ‘Common Ground’. It’s a choice that hints at architecture’s need to refocus on issues like engagement and communication, and to establish shared values.
In the midst of so many exhibitions, book launches and awards ceremonies, personally the most important was the emphasis throughout the event on architectural photography. Not just as a mere illustrator of structures, but as its centerpiece. Several exhibits confirm the photographic image as the communicator par excellence of architecture. Only a visit to the actual site can beat it. Never before has so much been photographed, nor architecture so much discussed, and photography is increasingly fulfilling its relevant role in this communication process. This is important for all those whose make their living from it, such as Iwan Ban, Leonardo Finotti, and Cristobal Palma whom I had the opportunity to meet once again in Venice. Fellow architectural photographers whom I very much respect. We all photograph in different, often competing registers, but above all, we are friends, who reconnect through the structures photographed on the same day, or at events like this.
Having been appointed Canon Explorer, assuming the role of ambassador for Canon Europe in terms of architectural photography, as well as all the collaborations launched in recent months with architectural offices in Brazil, Italy, Spain, France and China, have served to give us strength and contributed to counteracting the prevailing crisis in Portugal, and especially the dismay that it causes.
I feel we are just starting our engines and that everything still remains to be done. And I write “we” because FG+SG are actually 5 people, and the work we do today is more demanding than ever and requires a totally committed team to communicate the best work in Portugal and worldwide every day of the week. Never have we had so much work or high levels of responsibility. Nor have I had as much pleasure in making photography my way of life as today.
Here’s to the next events, but above all here’s to reconnecting with friends, may there be time for that. Here’s to an autumn full of beautiful images.