Romanian Pavilion at the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale

The five young curators of the Romanian Pavilion – Emil Ivanescu, Irina Bogdan, Ana Constantinescu, Laura Losub and Paul Popescu – seem to be implying that common ground, as far as today’s designers is concerned, could be located within a subtle mixture of politics, bureaucracy and creativity – that same mixture the visitors were metaphorically asked to experience with the installation, described by the small, but well crafted, accompanied catalogue as “semiotic and interactive”.

In essence, those crossing the Pavilion threshold, are given the opportunity to produce an “architectural stamp”, choosing from dozens of embossing patterns, representing images of the most significant buildings designed by Ion Mincu, the legendary architect, intellectual, politician and founder of the Romanian School of Architecture, to whom, as well as his supporters, the 2012 entry is devoted. Alternatively, one could opt for quotes by other famous architects and artists, for example the one explaining Mies Van Der Rohe’s rigour as a quest for clarity or John Ruskin’s “When we build, let us think we build forever”.

Why stamps though? “Stamps…”, explain the curators, “… possess dual connotations They are both artistic and Bureaucratic, distinguishing cultural and functional products of a country”.

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