A Conversation in Venice

— by

On Friday June 5th, 2009 Al Manakh’s series of international Debates on Tour took place at the ADACH Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale of Art. For this occasion architect Rem Koolhaas and curator of the ADACH Pavilion Catherine David engaged in a conversation with Ole Bouman on the curiosities and conditions that has drawn their practice and vision to the Gulf cities such as Abu Dhabi. In this, they discussed the specific urban conditions of cities in the region, and how these influence and are determined by the social/economic make-up and cultural manifestations of the city itself. Also discussed is how exposure to these circumstances has influenced the practice and personal perspective of these two internationally acclaimed cultural producers.

Comments and questions from audience members – such as Mishaal Al Gergawi (of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority) and Kaiwan Mehta (Mumbai based architect and particpant in the ADACH exhibition) – supplemented the discussion with further insight to the relationship between the cultural ambition and political will, as well as the relationship between cultural frameworks and the actual urban plan of a city.