The Urburb exhibition at the Israel Pavilion at Venice Biennale transform the space into a construction site where four desert sand printers inscribe new images and then erase them every few minutes. The printers delineate the story of one hundred years of modernist planning in Israel in diverse scales, shifting from national and urban master plans to those of single buildings. www.theurburb.com – sternthalbooks.com – labiennale.org.
Neither urban neither suburban, the Urburb neologism is rather a mesh of the two and characterizes the great majority of residential areas in contemporary Israel. In the endlessly expanding Urburb environment, society tend to become more and more rarefied and condensed at the same time: indeed new residential communities continue to pop up, separated by large expanses of open land, locked in and dislocated.
Curators Ori Scialom, Dr. Roy Brand, Keren Yeala Golan and Edith Kofsky comment: “The Urburb is a fragmented mosaic composed of the early- 20th century garden-city, agrarian settlements, mid-20th century social housing, and the generic residential typologies of the past two decades“.
“This hybrid manifests the conflicting demands of the modernist machine functioning in the old-new land: to create small egalitarian communities while accommodating a large and diverse population; to spread throughout the country while converging and closing-in; and to reconnect to the land via a top-down planning system that treats the surface as a clean slate”. Comment curators”.
In keeping with the curator’s experiential approach, the theoretical research is not presented on the walls of the space, but rather through a multi-disciplinary publication titled ‘The Urburb’ and published by Sternthal Books.
Photos: courtesy of Sternthal Books – Video of La Biennale di Venezia.