“Utopies réalisables”. That’s the title of the famous book published by Yona Friedman, renowned international architect and one of the most important figures in the field of design. An utopia is something imaginative, and basically not likely to be realised. But Yona Friedman did it. And not in any random places. We, Venice by Venetians and Venice in Pattern, are going to tell you everything about this interesting figure and his great contribution to Venice, in particular in the Arsenal.
In order to give you the best description of who and in which ways Yona Friedman has left a trace in our wonderful city, we think it would be even more interesting to start from one direct experience in the Arsenal of Venice, protagonist of the so-called Biennali, or better said, exhibitions of modern art. From my personal point of view, being able to go to Biennale 2016 was one of the strangest but even most particular experiences of my life. A lot of strange sculptures and monuments, as shoes filled with plants and miniatures of planets in the courtyard, captured my attention, and all together it seemed a parallel universe, something that I clearly would like to see again. Also, the exhibition was huge. I still remembered the pain of my feet, caused by the exhausting walk from a room to another, but I did not care that much, as I was amazed by these peculiar masterpieces.
It’s in this exhibition that La montagne de Venise was shown. “Why don’t build a mountain in Venice?” was the extraordinary idea of Yona. This piece of art is ironic, extravagant but also particularly brilliant. It wants to demonstrate that even a Venetian landscape can be changed but still keep its nature, which may or may not be blended with other structural forms. The ones of a mountain for example!
We hope that this article could give you the inspiration to be more curious about this clever man, who we want to remember as one of the stars of architecture and sadly passed away in December 2019.
Stay tuned for other interesting anecdots about peculiar figures who leave a mark in Venice and make sure to check out the quiz on Yona Friedman on @veniceinpattern !