The International Art and Architecture exhibitions, La Biennale di Venezia, has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the annual Exhibitions. In the 1930s new festivals were born including Music, Cinema, and Theatre (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival ever organised). In 1980, the first Architecture Exhibition took place, and, in 1999, dance made its debut.
The Venice Biennale remains the world's most important international showcase for contemporary arts and architecture. The annual exhibitions offer a unique opportunity for Ireland to showcase the strength and creativity of the Irish imagination to the world. It is a vital platform for Irish artists, curators and commissioners to gain international profile and to generate opportunities for them to present their work outside of Ireland.
Since 2005, national representation at the international art and architecture exhibitions, la Biennale di Venezia, has been an initiative of Culture Ireland, in partnership with the Arts Council. Both agencies consider the Venice Biennale to be an important opportunity for artists' development and for Irish curators to work in an international context. Further information on Ireland at Venice can be found here.
This year, 2016, Niall McLaughlin Architects have been selected to represent Ireland at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice with Yeoryia Manolopoulou of AY Architects. Their proposal reflects their interest in working as architects to understand and improve the quality of life for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The theme of the 2016 event is entitled ‘Reporting from the Front’. Alejandro Aravena the Biennale artistic director, stated, ‘there are several battles that need to be won and several frontiers that need to be expanded in order to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently people’s quality of life…at this Biennale, we want to see stories worth telling and exemplary cases worth sharing where architecture has, is and will make a difference in winning those battles and expanding those frontiers’.