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AR Reading List 009

The latest instalment of our new series of AR Reading Lists: seven carefully chosen pieces from our archive, free for registered users

Originally set to open next week, the 17th Venice architecture biennale has been put on hold until the end of the summer. Considered as a global exchange of ideas or showcase of work by the best and brightest in practice today, the biennale has vast and undeniable influence in how architectural thinking is shared and disseminated across the world. It is also a microcosm of geopolitical relations, in which lines of power are quite literally played out in physical space and footfall – and the extent to which the representations of the buildings championed there are true back at home is not always clear.

Even unbeset by biennale-goers, Venice remains a pillar of tourism, a city progressively hollowing out as those who work around its waterways can rarely afford to live there, shops for basic necessities making way for souvenirs. The city of dreams, inspiration to so many writers and artists, heaves even as it empties out, seams splitting with constant newcomers but never a familiar face.

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