Dominika Janicka, with support of Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
The Polish pavilion addresses the ethical issues of the construction workers, one of the most underrepresented participants in architecture. The curators believe that construction sites represent the frontline in architecture, and reply in this way directly to the statement from Alejandro Aravena.
The construction site is the action ground for architecture, but the contribution from manual workers in the architectural discourses is limited. Labour conditions, lack of respect and site accidents plague the industry worldwide. However, these difficulties often get overlooked in favour of deadlines, budgets and the public demand for new spaces.
A full-scale construction site will be created within the Polish pavilion. The main section is made up of a module scaffolding installation that forms a direct physical connection to the building site. Documentary videos are screened simultaneously, featuring stories about construction workers. Each video focuses on a key angle to the industry’s work conditions and construction works characteristics. The other part of the exhibition, resembling an investor’s showroom apartment, explores the industry in numbers with the use of infographics.
“By presenting the stories of persons directly involved in the building process, we ask whether ’fair trade’ is achievable in the field. If so, what would it be? Is ’fair building’ possible? We don’t focus on looking for culprits responsible for the abuses occurring at the various stages of the construction process. Rather, we create a space to reflect on how to make this process not only effective but also fair.”
Dominika Janicka, curator
The project is not limited to the pavilion in Venice, but continues with a debate on the internet and social media. The hashtag #fairbuilding asks every one involved in the construction proces, whether architects or engineers or consumers, how they feel about fair building. All comments can be posted and read on the website of the project.
Review by The Venice Insider
At first sight, the interior of the Polish pavilion might look rather basic with only scaffolding and video screens. However, curator Dominika Janicka makes a very strong point. Polish construction workers are present on construction sites all over Europe. Hence, no other country could have put more weight in the debate on the role and importance of the construction worker. The videos show the challenges that these people have to deal with on a daily basis. When you take a seat on the scaffolding and watch their testimonials, it makes you think. Hopefully, fair building will become business as usual in the near future. Poland made it to my list of exhibitions you shouldn’t miss at this Architecture Biennale.
Katia – The Venice Insider
Click here to return to the overview of the other pavilions at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016 or read my post What to expect from the 2016 Architecture Biennale.
SHARE THIS POST WITH YOUR FRIENDS ON