The first Venice Biennale of Architecture in 1980 was one of those events whose later reputation far exceeds the amount of attention it attracted at the time. Although attended by a relatively modest number of people, the Biennale has come to be seen as a defining moment and a turning point in relation to the history of architectural postmodernism. Routinely referred to, often with an assumed familiarity, by people who forget that they never actually saw it themselves, the exhibition has acquired a formidable afterlife, as Lea-Catherine Szacka calls it. It has been in this afterlife that the exhibition came into its own.
Lea-Catherine Szacka is an architect, architectural historian, and writer based in Paris and Oslo. She is currently an associate professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) and a member of the Oslo Centre for Critical Architectural Studies (OCCAS). Her research focuses on the theory and history of architectural exhibitions.