architecture

The British Council reveals "Island" at the British Pavilion of this year's Venice Architectural Biennale.

Can a building that meets rigorous security standards also be beautiful, and if so, at what cost? Modern embassy design revolves around this question. [...] Yet embassies aren't just meant to shield Foreign Service officers from harm. They are also the face the United States presents to the world. For many people, it's the first point of contact with its government, and a visual key to American values.

Mark Bradford, one of America’s most acclaimed painters, could not figure out what to put in the grand rotunda. This artist, who is set to represent his country in May at the 2017 Venice Biennale, found an unusual way of working long-distance. In a warehouse in South Los Angeles, not far from where he grew up, he created a full-size model of the Biennale’s United States pavilion, a stately building with echoes of Monticello. Then he spent the last year testing out his ideas in it.

From the glories of ancient culture to darker shades of contemporary conflict, works by Iraq’s most influential artists are to go on display at a major European event expected to draw at least 500,000 visitors. The National Pavilion of Iraq’s exhibition will be staged at the 57th Venice Biennale in May and feature artefacts spanning six millennia from the Neolithic Age to the Neo-Babylonian period alongside the works of eight modern Iraqi artists.

When the Islamic State was about to be driven out of the ancient city of Palmyra in March [...] An architect by training, Ubelmann, 36, had worked in Syria before the country was engulfed by war. But now there was special urgency for the kind of work his youthful team of architects, mathematicians and designers did from their cramped offices in Paris: producing digital copies of threatened historical sites.

Expos, the quinquennial display of national, corporate and cultural hegemony started as commercial fairs more like today’s trade shows than the theme parks they are today. [...] Subsequent expos evolved into highly branded affairs in which participants sought a revivified international identity as nations and did so with increasingly bombastic pavilions.

Italy is on show at the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro with two important exhibitions and exclusive coverage of the games by state broadcaster RAI. [...]  "We are faced with the double challenge transmitting the importance of representing ourselves to our country and communicating the culture of the Country system. It is essential that the public service broadcaster speaks to those who are interested in Italy," 

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