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Cedric Price: 'observer of human nature'

Sketches, film footage, and virtual conversation to celebrate Cedric Price in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni at the Venice Biennale

A tiny but replete room in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni at the Venice Biennale pays homage to one of the giants of 20th century British architecture: Cedric Price (1934-2003). The exhibition attempts to celebrate Price the communicator, the philosopher, the thinker, the observer of human nature.

Venic Venic, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Samantha Hardingham, grew from a series of recorded conversations between Obrist and Price between 1998 and 2003. Among the encyclopedic array of subject matter covered, a specific reference to sketchbooks led Obrist to invite Hardingham to make a selection of previously unseen drawings from Price’s personal notebooks, and to present earlier screen footage dating back to 1975. For Price, the notebook sketches ‘serve as a personal reminder’; some are like the finest and funniest cartoons capturing an idea in a few lines, others show the working-out of issues of scale, logistics or composition.

The room also features an online project conceived at the department for exhibition design and curatorial practice at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design. The website comprises hundreds of individually edited video clips taken from Obrist’s recorded conversations and tagged according to keywords, which can be used to generate a live - albeit fictional - conversation between Price and the user.

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