The exhibition aims to compare and contrast the world's two most artificial cities: Las Vegas and Venice. Bboth cities are struggling with similar ecological problems, including urban sprawl, air pollution, and water shortage. This is demonstrated by the latest aerial photographs by Alex S. MacLean, which were taken in autumn 2009. The urban analyses is supplemented by outstanding examples of contemporary architecture and landscape planning.
Donata Valentien landscape architect
Anna Viader Soler, architect
The 20th-century city was built in opposition to the countryside. The ecological consequences have resulted in climate change, water scarcity, and species extinction. The 21st-century city will therefore need to evolve from the countryside itself. This requires creative and sustainable solutions, as well as a new and emotional approach.
The Akademie der Künste in Berlin is placing these issues at the heart of a large, interdisciplinary exhibition entitled Return of Landscape, which opens on March 12 and will be accompanied by numerous events.
Among other topics, the exhibition aims to compare and contrast the world's two most artificial cities: Las Vegas and Venice. Even though their surrounding landscape and histories could hardly be more different, both cities are struggling with similar ecological problems, including urban sprawl, air pollution, and water shortage. This will be demonstrated in a striking way by the latest aerial photographs by Alex S. MacLean, which were commissioned by the Akademie der Künste and taken in autumn 2009. For several years, MacLean has been documenting the unbridled exploitation of the environment; his illustrated book Over: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point is one of last year's most spectacular publications.
The urban analyses of Las Vegas and Venice will be supplemented by outstanding examples of contemporary architecture and landscape planning. The exhibition will feature plans which combine ecological efficiency with a high aesthetic standard.
The following offices will be presenting their work: Shlomo Aronson Architects (Jerusalem), Israel; ASTOC Architects & Planners und RMP Stephan Lenzen Landschaftsarchitekten (Köln/Bonn), Germany; Turenscape (Peking), China; Batlle i Roig Arquitectes (Barcelona), Spain; Büro Kiefer (Berlin), Germany; Kienle Planungsgesellschaft Freiraum und Städtebau mbH (Stuttgart), Germany; Lohrberg Stadtlandschaftsarchitektur (Stuttgart), Germany, Marco Venturi (Venice), Italy and Lucka Azman (Koper), Slovenia; Ken Smith Landscape Architect (New York/Los Angeles), USA; Studio Boeri, (Milano), Italy and Atelier Corajoud (Paris), France.
Young Academy – The grant scheme provided by the Akademie der Künste
Concurrently with the exhibition, selected photographs, videos and installations by Young Academy grant holders on the subject of "landscape" will be on display at various locations throughout the Akademie der Künste.
The exhibition will open by curator Donata Valentien, president Klaus Staeck and climate scientist Mojib Latif; symposiums, lectures and a film festival (April 8-10) will follow.
A book likewise entitled Return of Landscape (Jovis publishers) will be published in March to accompany the exhibition.
Return of Landscape is supported by the Capital City Arts Fund Berlin (Hauptstadtkulturfonds)
Image: Las Vegas © Alex S. MacLean for Akademie der Künste, 2009
Astrid Herbold T +49 (0)30 41 72 52 49 firstname.lastname@example.org
Anette Schmitt T +49(0)30 200 57-15 09 email@example.com
Opening: Friday, 12 March 7 pm
Akademie der Künste
Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Opening hours: Tues- Sun 11am- 8pm