The Cord

Venice - Italy / 2003
Architecture, Installations

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“The Cord” is an installation/entrance for the 50th Venice Biennale art exhibition. Somewhere between sculpture and architecture, the work’s official purpose was to mark the main entrance to the Giardini di Castello and accommodate its attendant facilities, including ticket offices, coat checks and a police station. The design concept takes up the idea of an entrance “door” to the exhibition as a “passage”, a structure connecting the different sections and places into which the exhibition areas are divided. The original design seeks to be an icon of the connection between the exhibition’s various parts, rendering this connection visible. The exhibition is seen as a great container of information, which is made conveyable through the construction of a symbolic wiring system in which “The Cord” takes on proportions that can be walked through. This giant virtual network reinforces the idea of art as communication and communication as art. It is a hollow space that can convey information and visitors and their “Dreams and Conflicts” (the title of this Biennale directed by Francesco Bonami) in the various sites in which the Biennale sets the stage for its works. The piece’s physical construction, in its entirety, consists of a 200-meter long steel conduit in sections 1.25 meter long, assembled in crops between 7.5 and 15 meters. In addition to the exhibition’s various sites, they brought the Biennale’s art works to numerous Italian art cities, including Genoa, Palermo, Turin, Lucca, Verona, Assisi, Bari and Naples. Each modular cylindrical piece has a 3-meter external radius and a 2.75 internal one. They are made by joining two 4 mm thick Corten steel sheets, which are calendered along their extrados and intrados. They are attached through two circular centers made of rectangular sections (120×84 mm) placed at the tip of each element. The outside finish makes use of Corten steel’s natural oxidization, and the internal surface is completely painted with a layer of photo-sensitive fluorescent white enamel that absorbs sunlight during the day and reflects it back with a greenish white light after sunset. On this internal surface, the titles, names and descriptions of the exhibition are impressed using dynamic lettering that seems to shift; of course, the letters are still and the movement is created by people moving through the space where they are written.

ProgramEntrance to the 50th Venice Biennale of Visual Arts
LocationVenice - Italy
PurchaserBiennale of Venice
Price€ 600,000
CompanyFima Cosma Silos S.r.l.
StructureFavero&Milan Ingegneria
Terrain Surface250 sq. m
Volume1.200 cu. m