La Biennale di Venezia

Looking-for-modernity-IV-©-

Two days of investigation…

Monday 7 Novembre – 8:00 a.m. Main Post office
Called in at the main post office to send something by recorded delivery. I come across a stamp displaying a view of the red bridge… The counter assistant tells me that it’s part of the 2008 collection, now out of print. I decide on the 2013 version, a series of 2 marvellous stamps on the theme of architecture. One has modern buildings, the other, old ones squashed higgedly-piggedly on 2 cm². The blast furnaces have tumbled down in the old buildings, the red bridge is still there in the modern ones, but for how long ?

10:20 a.m. Archives
Immersed in reading the report of the bridge jury. Monsieur H interrupts me and asks me to leave, a new European directive has just been made – no paper to be stored near a boiler room – with immediate effect – evacuation of the archives…

5:00 p.m. Cloche d’or industrial estate
The systematic viewing of the archive pictures has constricted my vision of time. The 50s, 60s, 70s follow on from each other seamlessly and hurtle forwards. I am reminded of the present through the window of the picture library, a constant line of vehicles trying to leave the industrial estate, 4000 vehicles through 2 exits, the exhaust pipes are belching out suffocating fumes.

 

Tuesday 8 Novembre – 10:30 a.m. Archives
New lead, discovery of several unknown projects for the bridge from the official documents of the competition. A certain Paolo Soleri hands over to us a series of crazy sketches. At the bottom right of the drawings appears the note “Luxembourg paradise valley” ?

1:40 p.m. Trade fair, housing week
Stand 44, meeting at 1:30 p.m. with Madame K who supposedly knew the engineer of the bridge. I run through the aisles. The models of the houses all look alike, large-scale views show pristine white interiors where imitation families play at being forever happy. Modernity brushes with emptiness !