Architecture Biennale: Golden Lion to Frank Gehry

La Biennale di Venezia / Frank Gehry Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition / Wim Wenders President of the Jury for the 65th International Film Festival/ The 2007 accounts approved

image003-copia.jpgVenice, 27 June 2008 – The Board of the Foundation La Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, gathered today in the offices of Palazzo Querini Dubois, and on the proposal of the Director, Aaron Betsky, attributed the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for the 11th International Architecture Exhibition to Frank Gehry. With this award, the desire is to stress – in line with the spirit of the 11th Architecture Biennale – how much Gehry’s work is the significant result of years of experimentation. «Frank Gehry has transformed modern architecture»; writes Aaron Betsky in his motivation. «He has liberated it from the confines of the ‘box’ and the constraints of common building practices. As experimental as the art practices that have been his inspiration, Frank Gehry’s architecture is the very modern model for an architecture beyond building».

The Board has also underlined the important presence Gehry will have in Venice with his Venice Gateway, the water gate linking the city to the airport.

The Board also approved the assigning of a special Golden Lion for lifetime achievement to a historian of Architecture – on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the birth of Andrea Palladio – to the American James S. Ackermann, the doyen of historians of Renaissance architecture and one of the scholars who created the modern history of architecture, as well as the author of two of the most important monographs dedicated to Michelangelo and Andrea Palladio.

The Board of directors also took note of the progress in the preparation of the 11th International Architecture Exhibition, Out There: Architecture Beyond Building, directed by Aaron Betsky, and approved the definition of the official awards, which are as follows: a Golden Lion for Best National Participation; a Golden Lion for the Best Project in the Out There: Architecture Beyond Building International Exhibition; a Silver Lion for a Promising Young Architect in the Out There: Architecture Beyond Building International Exhibition.

These prizes have been attributed by the International Jury which – on the proposal of the Director, Aaron Betsky – is formed as follows: Paola Antonelli (Italy), curator of the department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York; Max Hollein (Austria), director of the Städelsches Kunstinstitut and of the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt; Jeffrey Kipnis (USA), critic and lecturer at the University of Ohio; Farshid Moussavi (Iran), founder of Foreign Office Architecture in London and lecturer at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Luigi Prestinenza Puglisi (Italy), critic, historian and lecturer, specialising in urban planning, and teacher in the History of contemporary architecture at the Università di Roma La Sapienza. The President of the Jury will be nominated by its members during their first meeting.

Following a proposal from the Director, Marco Mueller, the Board also nominated the German film director, Wim Wenders, as President of the International Jury for the competition in the 65th International Film Festival. Wenders has built up a close relationship with the Festival over the years. A protagonist at the Lido already in 1972 with his first long feature film, The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty (Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter), he won the Golden Lion 10 years later with The state of things (Der Stand del Dinge), the first in a series of important awards that have led him to the forefront of the international scene.

Finally, the Board of directors approved the accounts for the 2007 accounting period. The accounts closed with a positive result of euro 340,691, assisted by such extraordinary items as the contingent assets for euro 397,418 resulting from a confirmed tax credit, and a contribution of euro 500,000 approved by the Ministry for Cultural Assets and Activities on 18th December 2007. Moreover, the expected contribution from Arcus for 2007, the procedures of attribution for which are still under way, has been included amongst the earnings.

For further information:
Press Office la Biennale di Venezia
Tel. 0039 041 5218849 – 5218846 – 5218716

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