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Learning from The Swamp: Lithuania Presents Its First Individual Pavilion
At the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia Lithuania presents its first individual pavilion entitled The Swamp School. The project is curated by artists Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, commissioned by Pippo Ciorra, presented by the Lithuanian Council for Culture and produced by Architektūros Fondas.
In a world marked by political instability and threatened by wars and climate change, the Swamp School responds to Freespace by highlighting the vital urgency of human cohabitation with other forms of life. Reproducing the hybrid and inclusive environment of wetlands, the Pavilion of Lithuania will function as a learning lab to sense and discuss alternative models of coexistence between human and nature.
Suspended between air, land and water, the swamp is a liminal space inhabited by an incredibly vital ecosystem of rare animals and greenery. Resistant to human interference and surrounding threats, the swamp gives the opportunity to explore the idea of sympoiesis – making and becoming together – as an alternative paradigm for the future.
Using a network of drainage pipes, curators will turn Il Giardino Bianco Art Space into a pedagogical laboratory where visitors will gradually immerse into the swamp environment. The multi-sensory experience will offer a journey through the sounds, the smells and the natural processes of wetlands, culminating in an outdoor space where a patch of Lithuanian swamp will be temporarily reinstalled.
Throughout Biennale Architettura 2018, The Swamp School will act as an ever-changing and open-ended platform for experimentation and research on the future of living. An interdisciplinary group of tutors with students from all over the world will shape installations and workshops in both the pavilion and Venice, turning the whole city into a learning environment.
Commissioner Pippo Ciorra said: “The swamp is a very good metaphor for the contemporary condition of both architecture and inhabited space. Today architecture is suspended between nature and artefact, ecology and politics, while space is bouncing back and forth between material and immaterial. Just like the swamp, which is at the same time water and land – just like Venice – borderless and in motion, a resource and a danger.”
Curators Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas said: “Given that every construction starts from land reclamation. Today, swamps seem to be the opposite of architecture. Made evident by global environmental disasters, wetlands are physically pushing back on our attempts to industrialize and control them. Instead of fighting our watery neighbors, we must embrace them as a place for future co-habitation. Indeed, swamp turns out to be a perfect milieu, the place, to learn, to understand, and to hear other species, forces and ecosystems that have been silenced and downgraded by us. Let’s try to envision: how could swamps benefit architecture?”
We kindly invite you to the Official Opening of the Swamp School.
It will open on Friday 25th May at 4:00 pm with the Audible Lansdscapes by Jana Winderen, from 9:30 pm to 22:30 – Performance by Francisco Lopez.
Please find the press kit here:
Follow the news of the Swamp School on social media:
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The Swamp School
Pavilion of Lithuania
16th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, 2018
Venue: Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 1814, 30122 Venezia VE, Italy.
E-mail: [email protected]
Curators: Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas
Commissioner: Pippo Ciorra
Producer: Sandra Šlepikaitė, Architektūros fondas
Assistant Curators: Jautra Bernotaitė, Andrius Ropolas, Kristupas Sabolius, Indrė Umbrasaitė, Paulius Vaitiekūnas
Project Ambassador Julija Reklaitė
Project Manager: Mindaugas Reklaitis
Production Coordinators: Adelė Dovydavičiūtė, Indrė Ruseckaitė, Alessandro Zorzetto
Editors: Jonathan Crisman, Mariel Villeré
Graphic Design: NODE Berlin/Oslo and Anna Haas
Communication: AUTORIAI (Giedrė Šileikytė) and Marta Atzeni
Presented by: The Lithuanian Council for Culture