Since 1914 Russia has established itself as the world's largest and most radical urban laboratory.
Decades of aggressive experimentation have produced architectural solutions for almost any
demographic need or social ambition. These efforts are undertaken at great cost, and their usefulness is
Rather than presenting a linear story of Russia's modernization, Fair Enough applies architectural
history to meet contemporary needs. The exhibition takes urban ideas from the past century - some
celebrated, some obscure; some seemingly outdated, some supposed failures - and gives them new
purpose. To maximize its utility, each exhibited project is stripped to its conceptual essence. To illustrate
their continued relevance, the concepts are updated and applied to challenges now confronting
architects around the world. For easiest exchange, Russia's architectural innovations are expressed
through the universal language of the international trade fair.
Visitors enter the pavilion and are greeted by a receptionist who welcomes them and provides a badge
and program. Once inside, visitors encounter a scene consistent with commercial fairs around the world - carefully defined booths of different sizes and levels of energy and ostentatiousness, all united through a single system of pre-fabricated wall panels and standardized signage.
The scene itself is a response to national pavilions' curatorial theme: the exhibition addresses the issue of "absorbing modernity" by adopting the language of what is perhaps the ultimate manifestation of
modernity - the international trade fair, a truly universal typology in which multimillion dollar medical
equipment and artworks, imitation mobile phones, chemicals, canned foods, and curtain wall are all
exchanged. As they relate to architecture, the international exhibition and commercial expo share much
in common; in Russia they have essentially merged, with visions for urbanizing the country's interior
presented in a context of carpet samples and molding catalogs. In Russia's pavilion, we present
exhibition as expo: each booth showcases a different example of our modern architecture, illustrated
through a combination of historical and new materials, and described to visitors by a representative who
preaches the virtues of the concept, provides its history, and connects it to contemporary needs. The
trade show runs throughout the first week of the biennale then gradually shuts down, leaving an
abandoned post-fair environment filled with flyers, pamphlets and catalogues that visitors can explore at
their leisure, accompanied by the exhibition's audioguide app.
Fair Enough is an expo of ideas. Each exhibit marks a milestone in modernization and clears a path for
new efforts. Together, they form a marketplace of urban invention - made in Russia, open to the world.