24 August 2010 by Marco Baravalle with S.a.L.E.-Docks and Rebiennale
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‘Commons Beyond Building’ is a slogan that describes perfectly the essence of what the Rebiennale is all about, but it is, all told, just that – a slogan – and as such an explanation of all its individual aspects is called for. This can perhaps be done by using an empirical approach, freeing up Rebiennale from all that it was intended to be and examining what it actually means in a practical sense.
Its name alone is evidence of its origins in the Biennale and thus its relationship with the city of Venice. The idea was conceived about two years ago by a group of activists; we won’t describe them as being ‘local’ activists, given that, within the institutional framework of the art and architecture debate, such a term immediately paints a picture of an indigenous and primitive body, a defenceless host that is easy prey for that global parasite that community-based projects have become. The group quickly developed an international profile, with collectives of architects and designers from all over the globe becoming involved.
Rebiennale is aware of the environmentally unsustainable nature of the Biennale, and is sensitive to the fact that dismantling the installations means substantial costs being incurred and materials that are in perfectly good condition going to waste. With this in mind, and in its work of recovering and stockpiling the materials discarded by the Bienniale, Rebiennale set itself up as a network of activists, university students, squatters and international collectives of architects (including, first and foremost, Exyzt, the French architects).
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