Rem Koolhaas is “stating his end” with this year’s self-curated Venice Architecture Biennale, according to architect Peter Eisenmann.
In an interview with architecture and design blog, Dezeen, Eisenmann said: “Rem Koolhaas presents the Biennale as la fin [the end]: ‘The end of my career, the end of my hegemony, the end of my mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture’.”
Entitled Fundamentals, it features a central exhibition called ‘Elements’ focusing on parts of buildings including stairs, escalators and toilets rather than architecture itself.
“We don’t have architecture [at the biennale],” said Eisenmann. “We have performance, we have film, we have video; we have everything but architecture.”
Eisenmann compared Rem’s architectural legacy to Le Corbusier’s dominance of the first half of the twentieth century.
“Look, 50 years ago, we knew that Modernism was dead. Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright; all dead. We didn’t know what the future was but we knew all this was the end,” he said.
Head of Eisenmann Architects, Eisenmaan had known Rem since the 70s when the Dutch architect studied at Eisenmann’s Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York.
“I helped publish his first book,” said Eisenman. “I got the money to publish Delirious New York, I was on the jury that gave him the first prize he ever won for his architecture. I gave him an office where to write Delirious New York, so I know Rem from the beginning.
“He is the archistar! Eisenmaan said. “He is the origin of the archistar. He was there at the beginning… and now he is the curator star. He killed all the archistars, and now he is going [to be the] single curator star.
“I think it is very important to have lived in the time of Rem,” he said.