13th International Architecture Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia:
29 Aug - 25 Nov 2012
Salon Suisse
«Salon Suisse» 2012. Curated by Robert Guy Wilson

A new touch to the Swiss presence at the Venice Biennale: the 'Salon Suisse' in Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi
Pro Helvetia would like to add a new touch to the art and architecture biennials in Venice. For this purpose, the Swiss Arts Council will, from 2012 onwards, supplement the exhibition at the Swiss pavilion by an additional programme set in the historic hall of the ‘bel etage’ in Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi. 
The programme at the Salon Suisse supplements the pavilion exhibition by means of theme-related panel discussions, presentations and other forms of discourse. The name 'Salon Suisse' has been deliberately chosen to indicate the spirit behind the concept: the classical literary and art salons were characterised by an innovative and intellectually demanding culture of discussion and dialogue. In addition, the organisers will be promoting broader, non-hierarchical and also playful forms of encounter open to all Biennale visitors, bringing together artists, architects, curators, cultural event managers, critics, students and other interested parties. 
Each year, a 'Salonnier' or 'Salonnière' will be nominated both as curator of the programme and as personal host or hostess. They will be present during opening hours to welcome visitors, introduce them to one another and help them feel at ease in the cultivated atmosphere of the historic festival hall. 
Palazzo Trevisan will be open to the public for several weeks during the biennials, five days a week from 17:30 to 21:30, irrespective of whether or not an official event is taking place on that night. The Salon Suisse not only enables visitors to meet like-minded people in an appropriate setting to exchange personal insights and experiences in connection with the Biennale exhibition, but also makes it possible for them to talk to some of the protagonists themselves and to contribute actively to the public debates.  

The representative, 16th century palazzo with a view of the Giudecca canal is siuated on the waterfront promenade of Zattere. This central location makes it easily accessible for visitors of the Biennale. 


Salon Suisse I: talking architecture, theory …and a touch of the Swiss
Aug 28 – Sept 1
A programme of discussions, conversations and events focusing on theories and definitions of architecture, considering questions such as: image versus text, analogue architecture and pop; architecture as autonomous or ‘mother of all arts’?
Salon Suisse II: talking architecture, practice …and a touch of the Swiss
Oct 16 – Oct 20
Considering cultures of teaching and practice in architecture – of nurture or nature - comparing in particular the situation in the UK with that of Switzerland, drawing differences and common threads, and looking at issues from competitions and polytechnic teaching to ideas of the melancholic in architecture.
Salon Suisse III: talking architecture, media …and a touch of the Swiss.
Nov 20 – Nov 24
A series of events and discussions looking at the more discursive practices of architectural culture: curating, writing, publishing, publicizing: considering issues from new magazines, to Swiss exhibitions, to the drawing, architecture and film.

Common Images: Architecture and the Iconic Turn
Panel discussion, hosted by the Faculty of Architecture of ETH Zurich. Moderation Philip Ursrpung.

Video documentation of the evening, PART 1