Two pieces in the Venice Arsenale engage their cavanous setting with vast size and craftsmanship
Transformation of Red Location (2012) is the 9.4x3.5m long drawing by South African Noero Architects. Six months in the making, this vast 1:100 scale drawing of a shack settlement in Port Elizabeth is displayed at a scale well-suited to the space in the Corderie at this year’s Biennale, as it is fitted also to the scale of the metropolitan problems he addresses in his work. It is conceived to accompany a tapestry of a similarly immersive scale and the two pieces are meticulously crafted, reflecting something of the very human labour and care involved in repairing damage done to the urban fabric by apartheid city planning.
Noero asserts that the plan is the most important form of representation, and that it is in finding, and hand-drawing, such a leveling ‘Common Ground’ that the best architecture results. Keiskamma After Guernica (2010) shares the emphasis on craft at a ambitious scale, displaying the work of the Hamburg Women’s Co-operative, a community weaving together a ‘Common Ground’ in the wake of AIDS.