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Pavilion of Turkey creates interactive space to discuss the notion of Venice Architecture Biennale

Italy - Jun 21, 2018 - 01:18   3578 views

The Pavilion of Turkey has hanged a series of wavy curtains to provide an interactive space to discuss the notion of Biennale for cross-cultural dialogues at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by the Irish duo Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara under the title of Freespace.

Similar to the Pavilion of UK, the Pavilion of Turkey embraces "nothingness" in the exhibition space where it creates a strong base to explore the essence of the Biennale, with active participation process that is stimulated with "creative encounters, collaborative production and cultural exchange across borders."

Titled The Shift/Vardiya, the Pavilion is curated by Kerem Piker, the founder of Kerem Piker Architecture (KPM), and co-curators Cansu Cürgen, Erdem Tüzün, Nizam Onur Sönmez, Yağız Söylev and Yelta Köm. Coordinated by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), the Pavilion can be visited at the Sale d'Armi, Arsenale until November 25, 2018.

Image © RMphotostudio

When visitors enter the Pavilion, they don't see any installation or an object  without hanged curtains and video screenings, they only encounter with a series of seating places to sit and focus on the themes that are expected to discuss in a planned meetings.

The Pavilion responds to the theme of Freespace with "Vardiya", which is a scheduled programme of many public events that will transform the Pavilion of Turkey into "a staging ground for creative encounter, collaborative production and cultural exchange across borders."

Having started with an open call to architecture students around the world, generating 452 responses to the question: “Why does the biennial exist? What does the biennial do? For whom does the biennial exist?”, 122 international architecture students from 16 countries have started to visit the Pavilion of Turkey in weekly 'shifts' as active producers of the evolving exhibition content. 

They will participate in workshops, engage in roundtable discussions and hear keynote lectures driven by guest scholars, designers and architects.

The lectures began with award-winning architect Emre Arolat on Sunday 27 May, followed by leading architecture and design figures such as architect Eva Franch Gilabert, architect Juhani Pallasmaa, design critic and curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial Jan Boelen and media artist and designer Refik Anadol. Around 50 digital meetings are broadcasted online from the Pavilion during the Biennale.

The programme begins with multimedia installations, through which visitors will be informed about forthcoming activities and workshop themes. Throughout the 25 weeks of the Biennale, the Pavilion of Turkey will host 13 workshops, each lasting one week and run by invited professionals and student groups.

The workshops will be based on the following topics: The Venice Times; Future of Childhood; Film Space as Free Space: Making a B-Horror Movie Fragment; Architecture as Critical Media; Taking Scarpa for a Walk; (N)everland; Obituary Island; Of Journeys; Venice: Surface, Geometry, Texture, Colour; The Vast Minority; Redrawing Venice; Treasure Hunt and Retrospective.

"More than just an exhibition space, the Pavilion of turkey is conceived as a meeting place. Vardiya proposes a spatial organisation that is at once scattered, inclusive, and open to change and transformation," stated in the Pavilion's manifesto.

"Vardiya aims to stimulate an ongoing critical dialogue among students, academics, professionals and the public about the role of the biennial. Emphasising the power of creative collaborations on an international scale, the curatorial programme reimagines biennials as platforms that create new networks and forms of communication, encourage inclusivity and promote interaction between cultures."

"In addition to creating a space for all parties to benefit from this opportunity of interplay, the Pavilion of Turkey hopes to incorporate individual and collective experiments from young creative minds into the locus of contemporary architectural discourse," read the manifesto.

Kerem Piker, curator of the Pavilion, explained that "architecture is a field that is constantly expanding, trans- forming and renewing itself. As such, there is a need for environments where architectural knowledge is reproduced, shared and discussed, and the voices of new participants are heard."

"As the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia is one of the most important informal learning arenas in architecture, we prefer to describe the Pavilion of Turkey as a space for meeting, encounter and production rather than merely an exhibition space... We see this project and the preparation process as an opportunity to rethink what a biennial does, for whom, and why it exists in our time."

Image © RMphotostudio

The Pavilion of Turkey opened its first exhibition at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2014 for the first time, upon a 20-year allotment of the Arsenale with IKSV’s initiation and the contribution of 21 supporters.

The 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara under the title of Freespace, will be on view from May 26th to November 25th, 2018 in the Giardini and the Arsenale, and around other venues in Venice.

You can see the program of Vardiya from Vardiya Express.

Top image © RMphotostudio

All images © Emre Dörter, unless otherwise stated

> via Venice Architecture Biennale