Ricardo Scofidio Q&A
Is this the first time you come to the biennale? If so in what capacity did you come in the past?
It is not the first time we come, nor the first time we get directly involved – we have been involved in the past many times. In fact it is the fifth time we are involved! This time we presented the Chain City project. Before that there were others, for example we showed the Lincoln Centre project in the 2004 Biennale.
When you were not involved directly in the previous Venice Biennale festivals, did you also enjoy coming as a visitor?
Venice is always a wonderful city and Liz and I always enjoy going, and strolling down the little streets, although we usually try to hide from journalists! After all, Venice is a continuing party. You see people that you cannot see through the rest of the year because of everybody commitments. You walk and somebody stops you every other moment.
What is particularly wonderful about it, is that you get an overview of what is happening in the international world of architecture, what everybody has been up to the past couple of years. In a way it is like a three-dimensional catalogue of contemporary architecture
What was you highlight from this year’s Biennale?
This year it was mostly quiet for us; we were having dinners with friends and things like that. Of course we did go to planned functions, you cannot avoid that and it is good, but this is not the place where you can have a private conversation. There is always somebody who will jump in and enter the conversation. Also, it is almost impossible to see the exhibitions properly.
Neither the Arsenale, nor the Giardini, are the best places to be, and the places to go to have a quiet conversation, because there again, there are always people who want to talk to you, and you have to be more formal. It is the rest of Venice that is so beautiful.
Do you feel that it is an important place of encounter for the people in your profession?
Of course it is. It is always a great opportunity to take part, and to see what is happening in architecture. It is also a showcase of the moment where you are in your work, and also get a good understanding of the moment where everybody else is. It is great also to have the chance to step a bit outside from what we all normally do, to try something different. That is why we liked this year’s Biennale and Betsky’s theme; this is exactly what he did. He stepped outside the normal.