Friday 9 November 2007

Counting down

The Sao Paulo biennale has its home in the very famous Oscar Niemeyer pavilion in Sao Paulo’s Ibrapuera Park. This beautiful modernistic building provides over 30.000 square meters of exhibition space, and the biennale usually hosts several hundred projects at a time. The participants are from all over the world, however traditionally the Europeans contribute as national representations while the South-and Latin American countries as well as USA, tends to participate as several individual companies or groups. Among this years more famous participants are architects Steven Holl, Plasma studio, Urban Think Tank, Jakop+ Mac Farlane and Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen.

, and the Co-evolution exhibition, is placed in the area of national representations, on the second floor next to Holland and Norway. Counting down to the opening tomorrow, the pavilion is bussing with frantic activity. Architects, exhibition designers and huge crews of technicians from allover the world is struggling to get their stands finished in time. The atmosphere on second floor is bordering on hysteria as the biennale organizers not yet have finished with building and painting their set-ups, and several of the European countries still have their exhibitions stuck in customs. In the 500 m2 area designated for the Dutch representation, a solemn looking security guard is doing 24 hours watch over an empty exhibitions space. Out of 11 countries, only Switzerland, France and Denmark are approaching completion.

However, although it currently might seem a little unrealistic for all the countries to reach the finish line by tomorrow, I’m actually quite confident that they will. This kind of chaos is not alt all unusual the day before the opening of an architecture biennale. In fact, It is almost always so. But, with an amazing amount of hard work and late night hours, as well as some joint efforts and extra hands from the finished teams, it always works out well in the end.

Kjersti Wikstrøm,

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