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Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

Italy Architecture News - May 26, 2021 - 09:49   3574 views

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

The Spanish Pavilion has filled one of its rooms with immersion in a heterogeneous Cloud of portfolios, created out of thousands of sheets of paper in which they represent a compilation of projects and actions that together constitute a repository of strategies for living together in response to Hashim Sarkis' theme How will we live together? at the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale

Themed as Uncertainties, the Spanish Pavilion is curated by a team of four young curators based in Tenerife: Andrzej Gwizdala, Domingo González, Fernando Herrera and Sofía Piñero.

Described as "interactive machine, an uncertain platform in a continuous process, a venue for reflection", instead of asserting obsolete certainties, the Spanish Pavilion invites visitors to participate in the collective formulation of questions arising from the theme of this Biennale: “How will we live together?”.

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

The installation displays an inexhaustible source of Uncertainties that serves as a database for the rest of the pavilion. This room is the start point of the Spanish Pavilion alongside its two parts. 

As the Pavilion states, for the first time ever, Spain called a public competition for the curatorship of its pavilion, and from the pool of proposals submitted, the jury of experts chose Uncertainty, by the Canary Islands-based architects Sofía Piñero, Domingo J. González, Andrzej Gwizdala, and Fernando Herrera. 

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

With Uncertainty, the Spanish Pavilion presents 34 projects collated by the curating Canarian team through an open call that brought in 466 entries.

Uncertainty showcases architecture in cahoots with other disciplines to make an impact on society, offering new reflections and suggesting new ways of practicing a profession that has evolved to adapt to all the dimensions and needs of a society in constant change.

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

The common denominator aside, the selected proposals are very heterogeneous. 

The Spanish Pavilion presents projects that prioritize the creative process over any iconic finished piece; a process executed in a multidisciplinary manner, and with a positive social impact clearly in sight.

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

The Pavilion stated that "many of the projects are not at first glance recognizable as architecture per se, emphasizing the fact that our profession has broken the bounds of its traditional function—construction in the strict sense—to adapt to and mix with other fields, such as music, poetry, education, agriculture, cinema, dance, video games, or tourism, in the process using new forms of communication, including the meme."

"The exhibition of this Biennale’s Spanish Pavilion, does not admit any concrete answer to the question formulated by Sarkis, but rather seeks to generate an infinite chain of further questions; questions of the kind, to be sure, that bear one certainty: our future is together, or nothing," said the curatorial team.

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

"As we understand it, certainty is the undeniable and irrefutable knowledge of something. It defines finished realities with clear, recognizable borders. Certainty is what we feel about everything we have been taught and that we take for granted – everything that makes any kind of reflection or further study unnecessary. When defining our reality, certainty compels us to substitute the rational analysis processes with those based on memorization," said the curatorial team in their project description. 

"Uncertainty, as the antonym of certainty, appears as the opportunity to generate necessary thinking processes that respond to the realities of changing or unknown nature, those with limits that cannot be defined, or those which do not have any limits at all; therefore, influencing the nature of our certainties by eliminating their steadiness and forcing their evolution."

"The Spanish Pavilion presents a selection of actions that hybridize and expand the competences of architecture to face new social demands. Uncertainty blurs imposed disciplinary and conceptual boundaries that have ended up becoming principles. It creates open concepts from realities previously perceived as antagonistic," the curatorial team added. 

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

The exhibition is divided into three parts: one of the first rooms presents an immersive installation in a heterogeneous Cloud of portfolios, created out of thousands of sheets of paper. These papers represent a compilation of projects and actions that together constitute a repository of strategies for living together.

The exhibition ring around the Cloud features "the Draw", an open process that reflects the continuous transformation of our reality, making each visit a unique and indeterminate experience. 

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

Visitors will explore the Draw in the four lateral rooms, which, much like Cabinets of Wonder, will encourage them to walk around a non-hierarchical landscape of abstract, decontextualized pieces representing the selected projects.

Halfway through the tour they will cross "the Together hall", where, through an audiovisual projection mapping, they will discover the sequence of interpretive operations used to select projects out of the Cloud.

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

In these spaces, the Draw brings together diverse projects based on the various disciplinary boundaries explored by each one of them, reflecting their interconnections through a play of lights, screens, and objects. 

The time interferences created in this process enable each project to step outside the limits of its initial context, and open up to new cross-readings, emphasizing the role of Uncertainty as a generator of new opportunities.

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

Spanish Pavilion suspends thousands of sheets of paper presenting Uncertainty at Venice Biennale

The 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice has opened to the public on 22 May 2021. The exhibition will be on view till 21 November 2021. 

This year’s architecture biennale is themed as "How will we live together?" by the curator Hashim Sarkis, the theme explores a widening context that helps architects to "imagine spaces in which we can generously live together".

Exhibition facts

Management: Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)

Curators: Domingo J. González, Sofía Piñero, Andrzej Gwizdala, Fernando Herrera

Experts: Atxu Amann, Manuel Blanco, Belén Butragueño, Manuel Feo, Marta García, Jorge Gorostiza, Mario Hidrobo, Francisco Leiva, María Isabel Navarro, N’Undo, Juan Manuel Palerm, Gonzalo Pardo, Sergio Pardo, Javier Fco. Raposo, Ángela Ruiz, Mariasun Salgado, Pedro Torrijos

Collaborators: David Reyes, Julia Zasada, Melián Estudio, Banda Bisagra, Grace Morales, Lavernia & Cienfuegos

Exhibition dates: May 22 to November 21, 2021

Location: Spanish Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale, Castello 1260, 30122 Venice

All images © ImagenSubliminal (Miguel de Guzman + Rocio Romero)

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