More Venice Shenanigans

Rhinogirl is back and alive and well after a wild trip to SAHANZ in Adelaide and AASA at UTS in Sydney. As much as I tried I failed to get it on with Bert “Boner” Bongers; well almost anyway.

But the big news today is the RAIA’s 2008 Venice Biennale winning team is the Durbach/Thomspon team. I guess you would call it a kind of Melbourne Sydney compromise. The RAIA has already spread the news via double page newspaper adverts. Where does the RAIA get its spending priorities? On the one hand it is so mean when you go there for a meeeting you only get nescafe (they’re even too stingy to send emails) and on the other hand its spends big bucks promoting the Venice thing in national newspapers. I kind of feel sorry for the winning team as I am sure the RAIA expects the winner’s practices to absorb some of the 2008 exhibition costs.

But of course the really, really big news is that the Durbach Thompson team was in fact the second choice. The real winner was the Markham Obrien team. This team was selected as the winner and invited to meet with Carey Lyon to discuss the proposal over a lunch of canapes and champagne. What followed is rapidly becoming becoming another melbourne mythic narrative. (One, which I think ranks up there with the DCM/Corrigan incident at the Last Laugh, the Pam McGurr/Ivan Rijavic broken spectacles incident and of course all of the John Andrew’s incidents you have ever heard of (not too mention the Howard Raggatt Pataphysics incident.) According to eyewitnesses Michael hurled the champers bottle and the bucket at Carey after he suggested the team might like to “make a few changes” to the design. I guess that’s why Kerstin’s got the job now. Which all goes to show everytime I go away, even if it is only to Adelaide life in Melbourne’s arkatekcha scene always seem’s the same when I get back.

If your are reading this Bert I just want to say I love you and thanks for the hair product.


17 Responses to More Venice Shenanigans

  1. ari says:

    according to this page on the RAIA website, the winning team also includes Wendy Lewin, Vince Frost and Gary Warner. no idea who the last two are i must admit.

    but dearest rhinogirl, what was this incident between DCM and Corrigan at the Last Laugh? i’m thinking it was a while ago because the LL has been a den of underage boozing for quite a few years now… i’m intrigued

  2. simon says:

    Vince Frost is a graphic designer from Sydney. Used to be in partnership with Gary Emery, but no longer, it seems.

    Any word on what Carey wanted to leave out?

  3. ari says:

    michael probably

  4. kirk says:

    The full page ads (if you are refering to the ones in The Age) were placed by Ronnie di Stasio from Cafe di Stasio who is a HUGE supporter of the Venice Architecture Beinalle. He also put on the opening party at his vineyard. The RAIA did not spend any money on adverts.

  5. kirk says:

    Is Ivan still on breaking people’s glasses?? He also broke Norman Day’s glasses.
    He really need to get some original moves!

  6. ari says:

    he’s pretty well known for doing all sorts of anti-social things, shame that he isn’t better known for his *buildings*

  7. kirk333 says:

    far too many anti-social things – he might get a reputation – oh hold on – he has one already!
    But back to the V.A.B. – interesting that while there was a huge shingdig at Villa di Stasio (which was a fantastic night) – none of the Sydney crew joined in (although invited) nor Kerstin Thompson (RSVP’d as absent due to school holidays – but rumoured to be in Sydney at the party Lucy Turnbull (yes, wife of Minister for the Environment) as she is the V.A.B. person in Sin City.
    Limos picking up guests from Cafe di Stasio St Kilda, driven to the Villa in the Yarra Valley for a full on party with the most incredible food, wine, company, music and even the Allan Powell building didn’t look bad. (meow)
    Maybe there will be more about what is happening in the papers now that the Fringe and Melbourne Festivals are over.
    Bet is on that there will be way too much King Glen presiding over all that is supposedly Oz architecture.

  8. ari says:

    Sticks and eaves and shit you mean? I shouldn’t be so rude, Glen has done some good stuff, but his “touch the earth lightly” mantra is bollocks. Went to Bundanon a few years ago, the landscape around it was seriously constructed; which is fine, but totally makes a liar out of Glen. Also, it was so anally detailed that it was just distracting.

    Sounds like it was a good party though, if minus a few luminaries.

  9. kirk333 says:

    Yeah, Glen is deservingly a highly awarded architect and his Pritzker Prize is nothing to sniff at (and it always helps if you are well connected)- I just don’t subscribe to his architecture being representative of “Australian Architecture”. And I don’t get the touching the earth lightly stuff – for the very reasons you have mentioned.
    If it is, then it is an Australia I know nothing about, and/or have little appreciation for. Lucky I was born in Oz – I might fail the citizenship test!

    Enough “other” luminaries at the V.A.B party to stir a number of pots (esp. when presiding over events is the master of trouble – Ronnie di Stasio – although he has been a good boy recently).
    It was a most excellent night.

  10. ari says:

    ohh yeah, image making. someone, somewhere has decided that glen’s architecture is the image of australian architecture. AND THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS. apparently. it was probably thought up by the same person who wrote the citizenship test, the same deluded person who thinks that australian culture stopped developing sometime around 1920 in a country town where everyone was white and spoke english and lived in sheds with big verandas all around.

    which is why its nice to see DCM et al building OS and actually being named as australian!

  11. kirk333 says:

    Whispers around town are that a certain developer (Melbourne based but swishing in the Sydney circles) is raising money to replace the Cox shed on the Venice Giardini site.
    Further whispers are that the developer will also use their “in family” architects to do the job.
    Hmm black latex perhaps?

  12. ari says:

    Black latex?? I’m not quite sure I want to know…

  13. kirk333 says:

    Pavilion exhibition at Monash a couple of years ago – they used black latex.
    Must stress it is unconfirmed, but I have heard it from a number of different people now.
    Maybe it is one great big game of Chinese whispers?
    But then again …….

  14. ari says:

    aha! just got out a copy of the exhibition catalogue, _they_ did indeed use black latex at the Monash exhibition.

    if their garden shed is anything to go by, it will at least be a good pavilion! if somewhat nepotistic…

  15. kirk333 says:

    or another garden shed to replace the garden shed that is already there …..

  16. ari says:

    yeah, it really does look pretty garden shed like at the moment, good point

  17. markham says:

    I was there – of course – for Gina Levenspiel and Peter Steudle of tUG workshop.
    As was Carey Lyon, Ross Clarke and Shahana McKenzie from the RAIA.
    Kevin O’Brien came for Dillon Kombumerri and Allison Page of MERRIMA.

    First of all the team was not MARKHAM/O’BRIEN.
    The team was MERRIMA/tUG workshop – the two companies involved.
    It included six individuals of equal status..

    The meeting was not a lunch.
    It was an evening dinner.

    There were no canapes or champagne.
    Just dried out schnapper and sour white wine – RAIA surplus?

    Ostensibly the dinner had been arranged with some urgency to discuss the RAIA’s points of concern with regard to a program for delivering the Biennale exhibition.
    At least this was the impression MERRIMA/tUG had.
    That turned out to be the first of many “misunderstandings”.

    After two hours a critical review of Venice 2006 proved to be the zipper leading to an RAIA executive walkout. SEP YAMA / FINDING COUNTRY – as the proposition was known ended more with a whimper than the “reported” bang!

    The only fact that stands is that the RAIA executive dealt with MERRIMA/tUG and the unanimous decision of the selection committee for the 2008 Biennale in a possibly hasty manner and showed no outward patience for the kind of extended discussion that might have been reasonably anticipated in order to establish the protocols for an indigenous curatorship of 21st. century urban culture. However it has to be said that what occurred was not out of step with the events of the last 200 or so years whether the selection committee intended it to be so or not.

    MERRIMA/tUG are of the view that the team the RAIA went on to select are suited to the RAIA’s corporate framing of architecture and that the result will be very successful for them.
    It is probably necessary and wise at this time for a generation of architects in Australia to continue to pursue an anti social trajectory.

    Full details of SEP YAMA / FINDING COUNTRY can be found here.

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