Rationalist road to sustainability in need of some aesthetics

Statistics, laws and good arguments are challenged by butterflies, poetry and dirt in the Danish pavilion in Venice. The Danish pavilion reintroduces the forgotten power of aesthetics as a challenge to the dominant rationalistic approach, not only to architecture but also to literature, art, nature and science.

The Danish Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia

June 7th - November 23rd

 

Statistics, laws and good arguments are challenged by butterflies, poetry and dirt in the Danish pavilion in Venice. The Danish pavilion reintroduces the forgotten power of aesthetics as a challenge to the dominant rationalistic approach, not only to architecture but also to literature, art, nature and science.

The Danish landscape architect and curator of the Danish pavilion, Stig L. Andersson argues that the aesthetic approach and the forgotten modernity it represents are essential for our common road into a sustainable future. The Danish pavilion reintroduces the power of aesthetics as a complement to the rational.

 

Butterflies challenge the law

In the Danish pavilion you are invited to use your senses, wonder, be curious and reflect: when you meet the smell of dirt; read Niels Bohr's letter to Einstein; hear the sound of poetry; watch a butterfly; and bury your toes in pine needles. These sensuous, poetic and tactile elements challenge paragraphs from Denmark's planning laws, which are also on display in the pavilion. You are invited to reflect on how to make decisions for a sustainable future from both a rationalist and an aesthetic perspective. 

"For far too long, whenever we had to make a case for what our future should look like, we have focused only on the rational aspect. We have not understood that the aesthetic aspect complements the rational. This means that we must find an entirely new language to talk about the value of aesthetics: a language, in which the sensuous amenity value of a tree is as important as the tree's usefulness in terms of soaking up rain water, absorbing CO2 and making our house prices soar."Curator, professor, and landscape architect Stig L. Andersson.

The exhibition,Empowerment of Aestheticsinsists on new sensuous and sustainable symbiosis between rationality and aesthetics: between architecture and nature. It is a reflection on the fundamentals of modern Danish society, which emerged in the mid-19th Century. This was the short pocket of time after the collapse of Romanticism, but before the much-lauded Danish welfare state fully emerged. The poetic interaction between architecture, literature, art, nature and science liberated an unprecedented energy and a belief in a dynamic society hitherto unseen in Denmark or elsewhere.

 

Debating the future of Denmark

The Danish pavilion is part of a larger project, which is debating the future of Denmark:DK2050. Rationality and aesthetics are both crucial elements in this major scenario project, as we develop images of future Danish cities and regions.DK2050poses a whole range of questions. How will we live in Denmark in the year 2050? What challenges and dilemmas will confront us along the way? How can cities, politicians and each one of us play a role and influence the decision making on our common road into a sustainable future?

"We need to dare look into the future and face some of the tough dilemmas. This new project,DK2050is a unique collaboration between the public and private sectors, scientists and the Danish population. Together they develop and debate the dilemmas facing us, when we look at climate change and the necessary green transition ahead of us."Commissioner Kent Martinussen, CEO, Danish Architecture Centre.

Read more about DK2050 and see a full list of the project partners and participants at /dk2050

 

Join the official opening

Members of the press are invited to the official opening of the Danish pavilion: FRIDAY JUNE 6TH, 12:30 PM in Giardini di Castello.Meet Marianne Jelved, Danish Minister for Culture, Kent Martinussen, CEO of the Danish Architecture Centre and Commissioner of the Danish Pavilion and Stig L. Andersson, Landscape Architect, professor and curator of Empowerment of Aesthetics.

Also please attend: talk & debate: Cities and City regions in 2050. FRIDAY JUNE 6th, 11 AM at the Danish Pavilion.

 

Press pictures can be downloaded from this page below the text.

 

Credits

The Danish contribution to the 14th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia is supported by:The Ministry of Culture Denmark, Realdania & The Danish Arts Foundation.

The catalogue is supported by: The Dreyer Foundation & Danmarks Nationalbanks Jubilæumsfond af 1968.

Other contributors:OSRAM, SpektraLED, New Mat, alluVial International, Egen Vinding & Datter, Bark House, Sibelco Denmark, Niels Bohr Archive, Museum Jorn, Mariebjerg Kirkegaard, Thorvaldsens Museum, The Hirschsprung Collection, KØS, Carsten Hoff, iGuzzini, Lokalhistorisk Arkiv i Gentofte, G.N. Brandts Haves Venner.

 

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Biennale 2014 Pavilion ButterfliesButterflies and Asger Jorn painting in the Danish Pavilion. Photo: Jens Lindhe

 

 

 

 

Root- pavilion-biennale 2014

 Root. Photo: Jens Lindhe

 

 

 

 

 

SLA collage Biennale 2014 Photo collage, courtesy SLA

 

 

 

 

Niels Bohr & Albert Einstein

Niels Bohr & Albert Einstein: Photograph by Paul Ehrenfest (1925), courtesy AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives

 

 

 

Frederiksberg Urban Spaces, SLA

Frederiksberg Urban Spaces, photo by Ulrika Wahlmark (2009), courtesy of SLA

 

 

 

Stalingrad by Asger Jorn

Stalingrad le non-lieu où le fou-rire du courage, painting by Asger Jorn (1956), courtesy of Museum Jorn

 

 

 

Skovbund' Wallpaper by Arne Jacobsen'Skovbund' Wallpaper by Arne Jacobsen (1944), courtesy of the Danish Library of Architecture, Design and Performing Arts

 

 

 

 

'Attacus Atlas' Butterfly

'Attacus Atlas' Butterfly, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

 

 

 

 

For further information, please contact:
Nanna Sverrild, Press contact, tel. +45 2045 5011, mail: ns@dac.dk

Monday, June 02, 2014 / By Nanna Sverrild

Last updated Friday, June 06, 2014

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