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Illuminating Italy: Rem Koolhaas x Swarovski at the Venice Architecture Biennale

For the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale (June 7–November 23), the Swarovski Foundation announced a collaboration with the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas for a light installation that fills the first room of the Arsenale.

The first part of the installation is a histrionic archway made up of thousands of light bulbs and colored Swarovski crystal. The archway, called Luminaire, is meant to recall the Italian, Fellinian tradition of celebrations and religious festivals in which grand lighting plays a central role. The second stage of the installation is Monditalia, a visual narrative of Italy’s history. With a historic map reproduced upon the walls, viewers can see dance, theater, music, and film from earlier Biennales, touring the politics and culture of past and present Italy.

Luminaire by OMA in collaboration with Swarovski
(c) Gilbert McCarragher

Of the installation, Nadja Swarovski said, “Luminaire acts as a transformative portal to the world of Monditalia, Rem’s vivid tableau of Italian history, and offers a fresh perspective, literally bringing new light to bear on a familiar place.” In this way, Luminaire and Monditalia not only illuminate, but investigate contemporary notions of architecture.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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As we get ready for the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, open April 20—November 24, 2024, we’re sharing the must-see Venice Pavilions.
The most anticipated Venice exhibitions by a global array of luminaries including Elias Sime, Ewa Juszkiewicz, and Berlinde De Bruyckere.
The 60th edition of the Venice Biennale is currently on view, bringing together some of the most celebrated emerging and established artists in the world. We’ve compiled some of the best exhibitions on display.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds
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