Venice's Giardini di Castello has been home to the exhibition pavilions of the International Art Biennale since 1895. As part of the thirteenth Architecture Biennale, various architects, philosophers, art historians, and artists were asked to write an essay on the pavilions. The text is accompanied both by an installation presenting the authors' descriptions and by Gabriele Basilico's photographs of the buildings.
Gabriele Basilico (19442013) was one of today's best known documentary photographers in Europe. Cities and industrial landscapes were his fields of investigation. Basilico's photographs are represented in collections in many major institutions around the world.
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About the Author
Gabriele Basilico’s photographs are represented in
collections in many major institutions around the world.
Gabriele Basilico (born in Milano in 1944) is one of today's best known documentary photographers in Europe. Cities and industrial landscapes are his fields of investigation.
Trained as an architect, he takes photographs of pieces of architecture and works for publishers, industrial concerns, public and private institutions. In 1983 the PAC in Milano presented his first important exhibition "Milano, ritratti di fabbriche".
In 1984 and 1985, he took part in the D.A.T.A.R. photographic mission, following the French government's initiative, to document the changes in the national landscape of the time.
He was then invited to participate in many similar projects in different European countries : Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Austria...
In 1990, he was awarded the "Grand Prix International du Mois de la Photo ( International Great Prize of the Photography Month) thanks to "Porti di mare" shown in Paris, a photographic research on various seaports.
In 1991 , with a group of international photographers, he participated in the photographic project on Beirut devastated by the war.
In 1994 Foundation/Gottardo Gallery in Lugano presented an important retrospective gathering fifteen years of photography (1978-1993), a travelling exhibition shown in main European museums.On this occasion, the book "L'esperienza dei luoghi" was published.
On September 15th 1996 , he was awarded the top prize by the international jury of the Sixth Exhibition of Architecture of Venice Biennial Event, for his photographs of contemporary architecture.
In the spring of 2000, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam presented a retrospective of his work related with his latest book "Cityscapes" which, with 330 images ,was an illustration of his work from 1984 to 1999. The same exhibition was to be shown in Porto by the CPF
(Portuguese Center for Photography), in MART (the museum of Modern Art of Trento and Rovereto) , in MAMBA (the museum of modern Art of Buenos Aires).
The same year, his research on the metropolitean area of Berlin came into being, on request of DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) . IVAM ( Valencia Institute of Modern Art) also asked him to make a photographic study on the city of Valencia, for the exhibition "Milano, Berlin, Valencia".
Last but not least, he was awarded the "premio" INU 2000 by the National Institute of Urbanism" (Istituto Nazionale Urbanistica) for his part in documenting contemporary cities through photography .
In 2001 he made a large series, entitled L.R.19/98, about the deserted areas of the Region of Emilia-Romagna and began an important research on the archeological area of the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, the theme of the exhibition "Provincia Antiqua" for the XXXIIIth International Photography Festival in Arles.
In June2002 he was awarded the prize of the year's best photography book by PhotoEspagna for his book "Berlin".
The same year, the Autonomous Province of Trento asked him a documentary piece of work on the province. It ended with an exhibition in the MART.
In 2003, Basilico was back to two important places where he had taken photographs earlier : in the North of France where he was invited by Cherbourg, and once more went across and examined the landscape he had already travelled in 1984-5 for the DATAR mission, and in Beirut where he took photographs of the central part of the city, at that time rebuilt, as a counterpoint of what he had done in 1991.
Both pieces of work are the subjects of the books "Bords de mer" and "Beirut1991 (2003)".
Moreover, in 2003, he took part in Sao Paulo Vth International Biennial Event of Architecture and Design and showed images made in Portugal about recent Portuguese architecture. This exhibition entitled "Disegnare la città" was presented at Milano triennial Fair in January 2004.
The same month, "LR19/98" about the forsaken look of the region of Emilia-Romagna and the larger version of "seasides" were exhibited in Cambridge (Massachusetts) MIT Museum.
In March 2004, Santiago de Compostela GGAC (Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea) presented Gabiele Basilico and other new European artists'work they had been asked to do on a research project on the city.
In the autumn of 2004, he participated in the exhibition "Arti e Architettura 1900-2000" in Geneva, at the ducal Palace, and he carried out two photographic programmes about Barcelona and Mantova.The Napoli Institute in charge of architectural buildings and landscape invited him to make a new photographic series for the exhibition " Obiettivo Napoli". "Luoghi memorie immagini" ( imagined heritage sites) was exhibited in March 2005 in the Doric Room of Palazzo Reale. The same month , the permanent installation of a photographic opera (27x1,90) was opened on the platform of Vanvitelli Neapolitan underground station. The book "Scattered City", gathering 160 new images of European Cities was also published.
(Some work about Torino urban area is under way for the group "6xTorino" at the Galleria of Modern Art.)
His recent photographic work is devoted to urban transformation.
Read an Excerpt
The first exhibitions dedicated to architectural subjects were realized in the period 1975-1978 by the director of the Art section, Vittorio Gregotti. The Architecture section was established in 1980: director Paolo Portoghesi for the first time opened to visitors the Corderie dell'Arsenale venue, turning it into a “strada novissima”. The history of the Architecture Biennale has been continuing since then: in 2012 David Chipperfield directed the 13th edition of the exhibition.
Table of Contents
Adele Re Rebaudengo, Safeguarding the dream
Gabriele Basilico, Photographs
Giuseppe Rallo, Gardens rising out of the sea
Francesco Trovò + Tiziana Favaro, Historical Background
Marco Mulazzani, Permanence within transformation: The Venice Biennale Giardini