Venice, Italy | 1984


"Each gesture is an event—one might say, a drama—in itself. The stage on which this drama takes place is the World Theater which opens up toward heaven" —Walter Benjamin, Illuminations Located in the Veneto in a state of neglect, the gardens of the Villa Farsetti were chosen by Aldo Rossi as one of the project sites of the 1985 Venice Biennale. Originally boasting one of the most famous gardens in the region, the villa now sits on an empty plot of ground, bordered on all sides by a canal which follows the centuriations laid down by the Romans in antiquity, effectively isolating the site from its surrounds. The program, essentially open, called for a new design of the once extensive garden. In the new proposal, the idea of an historical reconstruction or a utopian scheme was discarded in favor of a mechanical garden for the yearly Venetian rite of Carnival. Upon entering the site by way of the entrance gate, the revelers, obeying the laws of Dionysian abandon, interact with a series of architectural/mechanical constructions (thaumata), reenacting the inevitable temporal sequence engendered by the Phallic rite. Thus the garden is divided into three major zones corresponding to the sequence: the Agon (Contest), the Marriage, and the Komos (Triumphal Procession).

Project Info

Type: Installation


Project Credits


Jesse Reiser + Nanako Umemoto

Copyright © 2021 RUR Architecture D.P.C.

All Rights Reserved.