Italian Word of the Week VENEZIA

italicsBy Daniela Gross

The 14th International Architecture Exhibition put anew Venezia (Venice) in the spotlight. That magical city, where water and light are intertwined in a so unique way, has reached an important role of reference in the global cultural scenario. It is not only the heritage of her ancient and glorious history, but a creative and passionate contribution to the contemporary culture.
The Venice Biennale, the biennial exposition set up in 1893 and until the World War II dedicated mostly to Italian art, in the last twenty years has become a fundamental observatory on international Architecture, Visual arts, Cinema, Theatre, Music, Dance. You can love or hate the works in display, but it is impossible to ignore them.

In that universe Israel has always had a notable role, mainly in films and architecture, with participations among the most provocative and commented. This year at the Architecture Exhibition, the Israel pavilion, a visionary installation of sand and technology, reminds us the infinite fight of the State of Israel with the desert.

It’s an evocative hint in a city like Venice, born defying the natural elements and even now fighting with the sea that surrounds her and runs throughout. And in some way it evokes also the history of the Jewish Community of Venice, restricted in a Ghetto, the first instituted in Europe in 1516, for three centuries, but even then able to flourish and to develop a vivid culture. To appreciate that struggle, just visit the magnificent synagogues settled in the Ghetto: They are the triumph of the spirit (even architectural) against the monsters of the intolerance and the racism.