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Estonian Pavilion will explore the changing conflicting paradigms between homes and real estate
Estonia Architecture News - Mar 15, 2023 - 14:44 2251 views
Visitors of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of Venice Architecture Biennale will be invited to a rental apartment, close to the rear exit of the Arsenale complex, to visit the Estonian Pavilion.
The exhibition, called Home Stage, will not only be a static, home or dwelling, but also will be turned into a performance space where the changing conflicting paradigms between homes and real estate are explored.
The exhibition, situated Salizada Streta 96, Venice, is curated by architects Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre of Tallinn-based studio b210 Architects.
Presented by the Estonian Centre for Architecture, the theme will unfold the contradiction between the living place as a home and as an exchange value on where dreams and realities are lost in the current housing crisis all around the world.
The Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 will take place from Saturday 20 May to Sunday 26 November, 2023 at the Arsenale and Giardini venues in Italy.
Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre - Home Stage model, 2023. Photographer © Arvi Anderson
The rental apartment will house various Estonian performers - one at a time, each spending a month in a Venetian rental apartment, which becomes both home and stage.
"The Estonian pavilion exists in the format of a durational performance, where ordinary domestic duties as well as fictional outbursts, both scripted and non-scripted, all take place in the public eye," said Mari Möldre, one of the curators.
"One of the performers, Paula Veidenbauma, is intrigued by how issues of invisibility, such as care, aggression, and loneliness, contrast and accelerate in tandem with the vast visibility of real estate, which especially in Venice is driven by hyper-tourism and gentrification," Möldre added.
Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre - Depression: Growth, 2023. Photographer © Arvi Anderson, Kertin Vasser
"Housing is no longer just about living"
Home Stage will unfold on the contradictions between homes and real estate, dreams and realities, tenants and owners, residents and visitors.
According to the curators, housing is no longer just about living: as real estate and rental prices continue to grow, investment and speculation have become the primary purpose of more and more dwellings.
Arvi Anderson - A roll of dust and four vacuum cleaners, 2022. Image courtesy of Arvi Anderson
They believe that "city centers are made up of houses where living itself has become redundant".
"Many dwellings have owners but no occupants, while elsewhere, residents struggle to become owners."
"The stability of the home as an intimate space of one’s own, a place for family history and material biography, contrasts with the flexible and fleeting nature of real estate, of rapid buy-and-sell markets."
Home becomes a disposable lifestyle product, as the team emphasized.
Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre - Bed Sheets: Spreadsheets, 2023. Photographer © Arvi Anderson, Kertin Vasser
As the Estonian Pavilion turns into a theatrical performance venue, it brings into question the almost ridiculous domestic situations in which dreams collide with reality, the owner with the tenant, the seller and the buyer, coziness with alienation.
Each performance will last for 1 hour and 30 mins and it will loop during the day within the different rooms inside the apartment.
"Some acts will engage visitors, some will invite them to enjoy domesticity and rest," stated the curators. Each performer will live for a month inside the apartment and will open the door to the apartment from morning till afternoon.
Arvi Anderson - Kitchen, 2022. Image courtesy of Arvi Anderson
The curators will take the Biennale visitors to a performative journey in which they can criticize, participate, interact with the realistic paradigm the world created and they inhabited.
The pavilion has a path that each visitor can follow. The journey starts from the open street where four wooden daybeds will be installed for people to rest before entering the space.
Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre - Warm Bath: Cold Deal, 2023. Photographer © Arvi Anderson, Kertin Vasser
Visitors step into the apartment from the main door that leads to the hallway. Throughout the six months, they will encounter a white wall of the hallway which will be repeatedly painted by each performer.
The living room and kitchen area will host a wall-sized display cabinet of curiosities filled with different artifacts: documents, sculptures, mirabilia, and memories, together with a selection of peculiar kitchen tools.
Arvi Anderson - A mirrored ceiling, 2022. Image courtesy of Arvi Anderson
The bedroom will feature an installation, a mirrored ceiling, fitted with lightweight reflective panels, while the bathroom will be the stage for “a fountain of sinks” where the faucets of sinks and bathtub will dance and occasionally splash into each other.
Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre - Domestic: Model, 2023. Photographer © Arvi Anderson, Kertin Vasser
Lastly, visitors will find themselves in front of a closed door that will be unlocked by the performer: an empty room with dust and fluff clouds blown by four vacuum cleaners.
Responding Lesley Lokko’s call for The Laboratory of the Future, the curators see a contrast between home and real estate where opens up a variety of human relationships and contradictory situations, and according to them, "it depends on our role, the attitude towards spaces and people around us also changes."
Arvi Anderson - A mirrored ceiling, 2022. Image courtesy of Arvi Anderson
Estonian Pavilion will engage in socio-spatial dynamics
"Therefore, instead of producing new spaces and things for the pavilion, we are engaging with socio-spatial dynamics and involving several artists and writers from outside the field of architecture to do so," said the curators.
"The resulting creative mess in the Venetian apartment does not give finite answers but invites imagination and provokes critical thinking," the curators added.
Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre - Modern: Maintenance, 2023. Photographer © Arvi Anderson, Kertin Vasser
"With Home Stage, everyday life will be lived and performed in a duet with the apartment," the curators explained.
Through a loop of scripted and non-scripted activities, visitors to the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 will be part of this performance.
"The Estonian Pavilion is an invitation to be a curious neighbor, an architectural explorer, and a guest at a private housewarming party, but above all it states: everyone is welcome," they added.
Arvi Anderson - Street, 2022. Image courtesy of Arvi Anderson
Arvi Anderson - Courtyard, 2022. Image courtesy of Arvi Anderson
Home Stage floor plan. Image courtesy of b210 Architects
Wondering what the other pavilions are exhibiting at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale?
Several pavilions announced their themes and details for the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale, such as Gabriela De Matos and Paulo Tavares were announced as the curators of the Brazilian Pavilion, the Danish Pavilion will explore Coastal Imaginaries curated by Josephine Michau.
Moreover, Turkey Pavilion, curated by SO? co-founders Sevince Bayrak and Oral Göktaş, will investigate Ghost Stories: Carrier Bag Theory of Architecture, the U.S. Pavilion will explore the world’s complex relationship to plastic and the British Pavilion will explore Dancing Before The Moon, curated by Joseph Henry, Meneesha Kellay, Sumitra Upham, the Georgian Pavilion will explore January, February, March, focusing on the relationship between the flow of time and energy, the Swiss Pavilion will present Neighbours at this year's exhibition.
Exhibition: Home Stage
Address: Salizada Streta 96, Venice
Curators: Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, Mari Möldre (b210 Architects)
Commissioner: Raul Järg (Estonian Centre for Architecture)
Production: Anna Lindpere, Anu Lill (Estonian Centre for Architecture)
Team: Liisa Saaremäel (stager and performer), Keithy Kuuspu (stager and performer), Arolin Raudva (performer), Kirill Havanski (performer), Anumai Raska (performer), Külli Teetamm (performer), Eline Selgis (performer), Paula Veidenbauma (performer), Johhan Rosenberg (performer), Jan Kaus (dramatist), Kadri Klementi (publication texts), Margus Tammik (technical solutions), Markus Robam (sound designer), Kairi Mändla (scenographer), Kertin Vasser (photographer)
Partners: Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture
Thanks: Eik Hermann, Viljar Arakas, Karin Tõugu, Mari Hunt, Katrin Koov, Kristian Taaksalu, Nele Šverns
Top image: Arvi Anderson - A fountain of sinks, 2022. Image courtesy of Arvi Anderson.
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