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la Biennale di Venezia
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Freeport | Croatia. New Tendencies and Architecture

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New Tendencies and Architecture: Abstraction, Ambience, Algorithm
08 | 08 | 2014

the meeting will consist of a panel, a documentary film, and a “pop-up” exhibition

New Tendencies and Architecture
Abstraction, Ambience, Algorithm
August 8th 2014, stage E– 10 am to 2 pm
Venice, Corderie of the Arsenale
Organized by: Croatia Pavilion Fitting Abstraction / Croatian Ministry of Culture, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb, and Politecnico di Milano
Authors of the meeting: Karin Šerman, Igor Ekštajn, Vesna Meštric, Ivo Covic
New Tendencies and Architecture: Abstraction, Ambience, Algorithm is the fourth appointment with Freeport, the programme conceived as part of Monditalia exhibition. The meeting, organized by the Croatia Pavilion, will take place at the Corderie in the Arsenale on August 8th 2014, stage E, from 10 am to 2 pm.
New Tendencies was an international art movement that developed its dynamic activity and intense experimental research in Zagreb in the 1960s. The movement assembled artists, architects, and theorists from various European countries whose work relied mainly on concrete and constructive art, on an objective language of forms, and on examination of visual effects in a wide variety of materials and media. The movement’s agenda was to exhibit and discuss future directions of comprehensive artistic research and experiment, and to examine the theory and practice of connecting art with society. Together with its strongly pronounced social concerns, and a demand for a socially responsible artistic and architectural engagement, New Tendencies played a pioneering role in the introduction of the computer as a tool and a generator of thinking and practice in the visual arts. Looking back at these intense artistic experiments and locating their productive resonances in the sphere of architecture is especially interesting today: with the extensive and frequently superficial application of computational and parametric design, architecture’s social agenda is often compromised. The case of New Tendencies might open up new avenues towards understanding the position of architecture in an ambiguous relationship of a creative and socially engaged discourse, and the computer as its expedient tool. The meeting will consist of a panel, a documentary film, and a “pop-up” exhibition.
The Freeport programme, conceived as part of Monditalia, will allow National Participations to match their Pavilions’ presences with a series of live talks, debates and movie projections in the Arsenale’s Corderie. Freeport animates the Arsenale on weekdays, a counterpart to the Weekend Specials calendar, both essential part of the Meetings on Architecture organized by la Biennale di Venezia.
The calendar of all the meetings happening during the six months of the Exhibition is available at

10 am to 2 pm
Jerko Denegri: art historian and critic, University of Belgrade
Francesco Poli: art historian and critic, Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan
Margit Rosen: art historian, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe
Ivan Rupnik: architect and architectural historian, Northeastern University Boston
Karin Šerman: architectural theorist, University of Zagreb
Ivo Covic: architect, Politecnico di Milano
Igor Ekštajn: architect, Harvard University PhD student
Documentary film: New Tendencies
The film presents the phenomenon of New Tendencies and examines its historical and contemporary meaning and resonances.
Production: Croatian Radiotelevision, Zagreb, 2011
Screenplay: Ana Marija Habjan
Directed by: Vladislav Kneževic
Filmed in Zagreb, Croatia, and Karlsruhe, Germany
Duration: 60.20 minutes
Language: Croatian with English subtitles
Participating artists and theorists include: Peter Weibel, Ivan Picelj, Jerko Denegri, Marija Gattin, Matko Meštrovic, Uli Pohl, Julio Le Parc, Karl Gerstner, Getulio Alviani, Darko Fritz, Margit Rosen, Frieder Nake, Herbert Franke, Zdenko Šternberg, Miro Cimerman.
“Pop-up” exhibition on the experimental art and architectural work of the Croatian architect Vjenceslav Richter, member of EXAT 51 and protagonist of New Tendencies.
In collaboration with Richter Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb.
Author of the exhibition: Vesna Meštric, Richter Collection Manager, Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb.
The program may be subject to change.
The Meetings are opened to the public visiting the 14th Exhibition in possession of a valid ticket.
Ticket price € 25,00 – Concessionary Ticket Price € 22/20 – Students/Under 26 € 15,00.  Tickets are valid for one admission to the Arsenale and one to the Giardini.
For all the tickets prices please visit the Tickets section.
Jerko Denegri is an art historian and art critic. He was a curator for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade from 1965 to 1991, and a professor of art history at the Belgrade University Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Art History, from 1991 to 2007. He was the author and curator of many Yugoslav visual art exhibitions, and wrote monographs for most of their leading protagonists. He was a commissioner of the Yugoslav Biennial of Young Artists in Paris and commissioner of the Yugoslav entry at Venice Biennale. He initiated and was the editor of several professional journals. He is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).
Francesco Poli is a professor of History of Contemporary Art at Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. He also teaches at Université Paris 8 and at the School of Communication Sciences, University of Turin. He has been a curator of numerous exhibitions. He collaborates with specialized art magazines and is a correspondent for the daily newspaper La Stampa. His publications include: La Metafisica, Laterza, 2004; Minimalismo, Arte Povera, Arte Concettuale, Laterza, 2011; Il sistema dell’arte contemporanea, Laterza, 2013; Arte moderna. Dal postimpressionismo all’informale, Electa, 2007; Arte contemporanea. Le ricerche internazionali dalla fine degli anni’50 ad oggi,Electa, II ed. 2011; La Scultura del Novecento, Laterza, 2006; Postmodern Art.1945-Now, Harper Collins Publishers, New York 2008.
Margit Rosen is a researcher and curator for ZKM|Center for Art and Media Technology, Karlsruhe. She worked as curator for the lothringer13/halle, Munich, taught at the Department for Digital Media at the HfG, at the State Academy for Art and Design Karlsruhe, and was a visiting professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Muenster. She has published on the history of photography, contemporary arts and computer-based arts. She is the author of the book A Little-Known Story about a Movement, a Magazine, and the Computer’s Arrival in Art: New Tendencies and Bit International, 1961–1973 (MIT Press, 2011).
Ivan Rupnik is an architect and architectural historian, Assistant Professor of Architecture at the Northeastern University in Boston. As part of his doctoral work at Harvard University he researches the transatlantic and trans-disciplinary translation of American industrial engineering methods and media to European architectural design practice during two particularly unstable periods, post-World War I and post-World War II. His books include Project Zagreb: Transition as Condition, Strategy, Practice (Actar, 2007), coauthored with Eve Blau, and A Peripheral Moment: Experiments in Architectural Agency (Actar, 2010).
Karin Šerman is an architectural historian and theorist, Assistant Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Architecture. Her work focuses on modern and contemporary architecture and culture. She is the curator of the Croatian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.
Ivo Covic is an architect and assistant professor at the Politecnico di Milano, where he teaches Architectural Theoty and Practice. He has recently organized, together with Alessandro De Magistris, the international conference Nove Tendencije – Art and Architecture in the ‘60s: Zagreb – Milano.
Igor Ekštajn is an architect and researcher, currently pursuing his PhD in architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is the deputy curator of the Croatian Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale.