“EUPavilion should become an experimental cultural space for the post pandemic-era”
In our series of interviews with Culture of Solidarity Fund grantees, here is EUPavilion, a laboratory of research on the relationship between architecture and the EU. It is a collaborative effort that brings tighter architects, scholars, photographers, designers. EUpavilion is made by Anna Livia Friel, Supervoid, NM3, Giorgio de Vecchi, bruno. This group lives and operates between Venice, Rome, Milan and Zurich. They have been involved in the Venice Biennale in various ways for several years.
“This long familiarity with the event and its internal dynamics related to cultural diplomacy and representation has made us think about the national participation model. Suddenly we realised that there was not a real challenge to that model and that the EU had never participated with a pavilion. Then came the idea to open a collective reflection on this theme by organising an exhibition of projects for the pavilion itself.
The exhibition of projects for the EUPavilion will present a broad range of spatial solutions for a new kind of European public building, or space, dedicated to culture. A reflection from the perspective of architects on public buildings and spaces and how we’ll be able to use them collectively becomes ever more relevant after the Corona virus pandemic, which has challenged radically our way of being together in space. Social distancing acts on the spatial relations between bodies, calling for new ways of organising our shared use of the common realm. All invited designers will be asked to respond to these new conditions, putting forward a proposition that takes into account new forms of gathering and spatial organisations. EUPavilion should become an experimental cultural space for the post pandemic-era.”
“Our project, though being focused on a very specific site, the Giardini della Biennale in Venice, has had from the beginning a pan-european scope. The ten practices involved in the call for projects includes a geographically and culturally diverse group of emerging European practices. These offices were established after the 2008 financial crisis and share a non-authorial approach often taking the form of collective and collaborative work. Raised and educated in the context of a stable and expanding political space, they are currently faced with its crisis and the necessity for its re-imagining. Choosing the Biennale di Venezia as a starting point for the project provides an opportunity to have an effective impact on the public debate. The Biennale is one of the major cultural events in Europe, gathering a public of hundreds of thousands of visitors every year in Venice. 50% of this broad public is formed by young citizens under 26 years of age.
As citizens and designers, we acknowledge architecture as a fundamental aspect of an inclusive and democratic public realm. In the light of the current debate around the strengthening of the European integration, we argue that a critical reconsideration of the spaces where this process happens is of fundamental importance. The EUPavilion project aims to raise awareness of the public on the public role of architecture, which has been often relegated by the EU to the fulfilment of merely functional needs. Space, being a powerful medium through which the EU could communicate its values on a broad scale, can and should be an integral part of the European project. “