Pavilion of Australia (Giardini)
The creative directors of The Pool want to show how a familiar, common object, such as a pool, has a cultural significance. The pool is a distinctively Australian setting for sharing stories and for community building. They will explore the unique typology of the Australian pool, as well as the connections between landscape, culture and architecture through the frame of a pool.
The exhibition will create a pool within the pavilion through an immersive multi-sensory experience. Light, scent, sound, reflection and perspective will create a series of perceptual illusions. Within this designed landscape, a number of Australia’s most remarkable natural and manmade pools will be profiled. The exhibition also brings eight narratives, to highlight different aspects of the Australian cultural identity and the sustainability of the social infrastructures. The stories are told by prominent cultural leaders from a variety of fields including literature, science, the arts, sport and music and include a.o. Tim Flannery and Ian Thorpe.
“Recognisably Australian, The Pool is joyful, celebratory and accessible. It is also a setting for the sharing of stories, tales of personal and collective struggle, of community building and transformation and refusal of the status quo. The Pool as an architectural device delimitates a social edge and a personal edge. It is this metaphorical and literal edge condition that we want to explore and share with the audience at Venice. The pool represents a condition of surplus and of scarcity in the same form, which makes it very interesting.”
Creative Team: Aileen Sage Architects (Isabelle Toland and Amelia Holliday) with Michelle Tabet
More information can be found on the website of the Australian Institute of Architects. The narratives are also documented with many pictures in the book ‘The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity in Australia’.
Review by The Venice Insider
Before visiting the Biennale, I was very keen to see the Australian pavilion. Their social media campaign had bombarded me with lots of information and pictures, to the level that I already felt part of the Australian community. And it really was a very positive experience. The pavilion has a very original layout, and I’m sure that even in a couple of years, visitors will still remember the pool inside the new pavilion. It is a very relaxing environment with different shades of blue, even on the chairs, which are produced by Indigenous Australians . The large wooden bench next to the pool encourages you to sit down, forget about time (and the other pavilions) and listen to the pool stories of famous Australians. The only (slightly) negative element is the rather limited link to the ‘Reporting from the Front’ theme. Australia is one of the 12 exhibitions which you should really visit at this 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.
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