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Venice Biennale 2020 concept and creative directors revealed

Tristan Wong (SJB) and Jefa Greenaway (Greenaway Architects and Academic) have been announced as creative directors for the 2020 Venice Biennale, alongside a team of collaborators.

(L-R) Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong are the Venice Biennale 2020 creative directors for the Australian Pavilion. Photo by Anthony Richardson.

(L-R) Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong are the Venice Biennale 2020 creative directors for the Australian Pavilion. Photo by Anthony Richardson.



BY

October 17th, 2019


“Architecture becomes the enabler to connect, to evoke Country, to reveal layers of history and memory, and to give cultural expression, predicated on a people-centred approach to a shared humanity,” share the 2020 Venice Biennale creative directors Tristan Wong and Jefa Greenaway.

The two architects have been selected as creative directors for the Australian Pavilion as part of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia for their proposed exhibition In | between. Other collaborators include architectural anthropologist Elizabeth Grant, writer/producer Tim Ross, designer Aaron Puls and graduate of architecture Jordyn Miliken.

In | between will look at forging relationships and connect to First Nation cultures from Australia, and also the wider Pacific. The proposed design will feature a series of works based on ideas of agency, deep listening, Indigenous knowledge and connection. Immersive in nature, for In | between the Australian pavilion will be transformed by a showcase of Country, language and diversity alongside defined spaces that offer our closest geographical neighbours a platform – Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Another key feature to the overall concept is allowing space for pause, contemplation and knowledge exchange.

As only one of 29 countries that have a permanent space in Venice, the selection jury, including Australian Institute of Architects’ National President Helen Lochhead felt that In | between uses the Australian Pavilion as a platform for our region.

Lochhead says: “The theme seeks to embrace our diversity, rich Indigenous heritage and multiplicity of languages. It will explore how design can be a powerful form of communication which can evocatively represent Indigenous and non-Indigenous narratives.”

The overall curator and US architect Hashim Sarkis has set the theme for the Biennale as How Will We Live Together? calling for architects to address future development. “We need a new spatial contract. In the context of widening political divides and growing economic inequalities, we call on architects to imagine spaces in which we can generously live together: together as human beings,” explains Sarkis on the theme.

The Biennale will take place in Venice from 23 May to 29 November 2020.


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