Croatian Pavilion Cloud Pergola / Architecture of Hospitality opened on the 16th International exhibition of architecture – La Biennale di Venezia
Authors: Alisa Andrašek, Vlatka Horvat, Bruno Juričić, Maja Kuzmanović
Curator: Bruno Juričić
Curatorial adviser: Branka Benčić
The organisation of the exhibition was confided to the Modern Gallery, Zagreb
Partners: Zagreb City Tourist Board, City of Pula –Pola , Intra Lighting
In the seventy square metres of the Artiglierie of Venice’s Arsenale, on Friday, May 25, 2018, in the presence of assistant minister of culture of the Republic of Croatia Dr Iva Hraste Sočo, the Croatian Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia was officially opened.
The exhibition Cloud Pergola / Architecture of Hospitality with which Croatia is being represented at this year’s biennale, the curatorial conception of Bruno Juričić, is imagined as a collaborative site-specific environment and installation that transcends the borders of architecture,, art, robotics and computer programming models. It is devised through the interaction of three interventions: Cloud Drawing by Alisa Andrašek and Bruno Juričić, To Still the Eye by Vlatka Horvat and the Ephemeral Garden of Maja Kuzmanovićc.
The many guests at the opening were addressed by the authorial team; the assistant minister of culture Dr Iva Hraste Sočo, who opened the exhibition, said in her address that because of the particular importance of this project for every country – the Croatian appearances continued to reflect the high quality of the ongoing dialogue with the world.
Different artistic positions were included in the dialogue, as close in their thinking as diverse in their expression; various gestures were introduced and an environment was created that linked up multifarious artistic experiences, said Dr Hraste Sočo, adding that architectural designs, and the whole field of visual arts, increasingly depended on the knowledge and application of digital technology and in this sense the exhibition “represented a step into the area of experiment and technological development”. At the same time, this many-layered interdisciplinary environment enabled the re-examination of global architectural experience in relation to the specific context of architecture as intimate experience, space for new encounters and contact, place of unexplored possibilities, a trace of human presence marked by sound and drawing, the experience of a moment that is as unique as it is transient.
The mounting of the exhibition Cloud Pergola / Architecture of Hospitality in the Croatian Pavilion has been accomplished with funding from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, with additional support from the City of Pula/Pola and the City of Zagreb Tourist Board. The organisation of the exhibition was confided to the Modern Gallery of Zagreb.
The exhibition will be on view the whole duration of this year’s Architecture Biennale in Venice, from May 26 to November 25.
BIOGRAPHIES OF THE AUTHORS
Bruno Juričić is architect, curator and academic in the areas of architecture, art and technology. He took his first degree at the University Institute for Architecture in Venice, and was a guest student at TU Berlin in 1999. In 2007 he took a master’s in urban strategies at the Applied Art University in Vienna, supervised by Wolf Prix, Greg Lynn and Zaha Hadid. Currently he is enrolled in the doctoral school at the architecture department of UCLA, with Sylvia Lavin. His research is entitled “Architecture without frontiers: was it all architecture?” and deals with issues of relations between art and architecture. Since 2010 Bruno Juričić has been a select lecturer for architecture and design seminars at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.
In 2011, as chair of the MLAUS Institute, Bruno Juričić launched a series of international summer symposia called Proto/e/co/logics. The objective of the seminar, jointly led by Alisa Andrašek (Biothing) is to spark off speculative directions in architecture and to get away from reductive approaches to ecology. Seminar participants have included Jeffrey Kipnis, Michael Meredith, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, Sanford Kwinter, Sylvia Lavin, Patrik Schumacher, Adrian Lahoud, and Tom Kovach.
Juričić’s projects have been presented at the Piaggio Foundation (Pisa), in the Ljubljana Museum of Modern Art, at the Miami Biennial, the Far Eastern Memorial Foundation (Taipei), the Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik in Vienna, the International Conference on Generative Art (Milan Polytechnic) and Utopia Station at the 50th Venice Biennale.
Maja Kuzmanović is the co-founder and president of FoAM. She is a versatile designer who works in various media and collaborates with many artistic collectives. Her academic education is in the field of interactive media and her artistic practice is directed towards research into new models of artistic activity.
FoAM (Foundation of Affordable Mysticism) is a network of trans-disciplinary laboratories at the intersections of art, information sciences, nature and everyday life. FoAM members are all-round experts whose knowledge of and experience in various areas are transferred to and incorporated in the field of culture, creating new places for interweaving and contact. Researches and creative projects in FoAM deal with the making of prototypes, combining futurist elements and humanist sciences, incorporating design experiences, in order through artistic experiments to test out the future.
The activities of FoAM have been featured in some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, such as the Gulbenkian Foundation, Transmediale, Victor and Albert Museum, Pixelache, Z33, Vooruit, the Experimental Arts Foundation and Ars Electronica.
Her particular approach to technology has been recognised by the MIT Technology Review and the World Economic Forum, which listed her as Young Global Leader among the Top 100 Young Innovators.
Vlatka Horvat works in a broad range of forms and media – including sculpture and installation, collage, works on paper, video, photography and performance. She produces her projects in diverse contexts, including gallery-museum venues, theatre and dance festivals and public spaces.
She did a degree in theatre in Chicago, where she also took a master’s in performing arts, and was awarded a doctorate by the department of visual culture and performance of Roehampton University in London.
The works of Vlatka Horvat concentrate on gestures of reorganisation of space and spatial and social relations among objects, body and elements of architecture. The artist’s interest is focused on the contradictions and unconscious aspects of interactions between subject and object, and the context and framework within which they encounter.
The artist procedure of Vlatka Horvat combines the minimalism of conceptual practice with unstable performative improvisations, appropriations, repetitions, testing-out, reiterated experiments. Vlatka Horvat produces her works in a series of different media – installation, object, collage, photography, video, textual work and performance. Irrespective of the choice of medium to be used, her works in various ways provide a frame for certain existential conditions, states and emotions, establishing new relationships that induce the production of diverse and many-layered meanings.
Solo Exhibitions (a selection): Disjecta Contemporary Art Center (Portland), Rachel Uffner Gallery (New York), Zak|Branicka Gallery (Berlin), Bergen Kunsthall, the Kitchen (New York),
Collective Exhibitions (a selection): 53. October Salon (Beograd), artissima 18 (Torino), “Greater New York” – MoMA PS1 (New York), Gallery Skuc (Ljubljana) and the 11th Istanbul Biennale.
MA Performance Studies, Northwestern University, Chicago; PhD Visual Cultures and Performance (Roehampton University, 2009).
Vlatka Horvat is represented by the galleries: Zak|Branicka (Berlin), Rachel Uffner (New York) and annex14 (Zurich).
Alisa Andrašek is an architect as well as a lecturer at numerous universities. She took her first degree in advanced architectural design at Columbia University, where she stayed on to lecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. She has also lectured at Pennsylvania University, RMIT (Melbourne), Sydney University of Technology and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
In 2011 she was appointed director of the March Graduate Architectural Design programme at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College, London, where she also teaches the subjects of architecture and information science. She is director of the Bartlett Wonderlab, a research laboratory in which technology, architecture and design are interwoven.
Practising this knowledge and experience, Andrašek is perhaps best known as the founder of “biothing” (2001), an interdisciplinary “repository of computer design”, focused on the “generative potentials of computer systems for design”.
Her works have been shown at numerous exhibitions, including: Archilab 9 at FRAC Orleans (2013), DADA Beijing (curator Patrick Schumacher, 2013), Multiversités créatives in the Pompidou Centre, Paris (2012), Aesthetics/ Anaesthetics at Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York (2012), and Les Pléiades, Toulouse (curator Bernard Tschumi, 2013); and have been included in the permanent displays of: Pompidou Centre, Paris, the New Museum, New York, Storefront for Art and Architecture, NewYork, FRAC Collection, Orleans, and TBA21, Vienna. Andrašek also released the eponymously titled book about biothing in 2009, published by Hux.
She is a partner in and one of the chief designers of Bloom Games, which were installed in 2012 during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Bloom Games are “an urban toy, a distributed social game and collective “gardening” experience that seeks the engagement of people in order to construct fuzzy BLOOM formations“ .
Authorial team statements
“I am convinced that this installation, which I devised as curator and one of the authors of Cloud Drawing, with Alisa Andrašek, as a space that transcends the boundaries of architecture, art, robotics and models of computer programming, will contribute to the positioning and understanding of the role of innovation and technology in art and architecture. Not in Croatian architecture alone, but at a world level. I say this deliberately, aware of the gravity of this statement, without trepidation, but with a deep belief in it. What has led me, the ultimate ambition, is not only that everything is conceptually and spatially harmonised, but that a space for a new aesthetic is created, new sensations or as I like to say the engineering of experience. This is for me the vector that will shift the boundaries of architecture.” Bruno Juričić.
“Reflecting the idea of architecture in an expanded field, the Croatian pavilion at the architecture biennale covers various artistic, architectural and curatorial positions and practises. Discursiveness and interdisciplinarity of this kind of approach include in this context the recent work of artists from the area of contemporary art, the new productions of Vlatka Horvat and Maja Kuzmanović. Colonising the space of the pergola, the interventions in the Croatian Pavilion inscribe, remember and anticipate the atmosphere, the possible scenarios and situations of that familiar and common space of the Mediterranean” – Branka Benčić
“To Still the Eye is a series of drawings made with bare feet dipped in acrylic paint that, sliding over the paper, leave a trace in the form of a straight horizontal lines. When these papers are transferred from floor onto walls, the impressions of the body that travels over the ground are transformed into the trace of an imaginary movement over the edges of the architectural space, with which the human body is as it were cocking a snook at gravitation and the laws of physics. A trace of this movement in the pavilion context is manifested as the line of the horizon that perceptively opens up the built space that frames human activity and presence, invoking the open space beyond the borders of given walls.” Vlatka Horvat.
“In the audio installation Ephemeral Garden, human, animal and technological chattering is joined with the sounds of plants, water and geology. This atmospheric composition, recorded this spring in Istria, creates an immersive and hospitable experience beneath the Cloud Pergola in the Croatian pavilion. I devised the installation together with Nik Gaffney and other artists and technologists from the nomadic collection FoAM.” Maja Kuzmanović
“The design of the pergola for the Croatian pavilion reflects my years of research in New York and London in the areas of complex systems, algorithms, AI and robotic construction. The objective is to build a much richer architecture with fewer materials, more information. And the discovery of a new aesthetic that was never possible in the past for we could never design or build so precisely and so complexly, almost comparably with the complex systems of nature.
These new high resolution structures can be designed through computer simulations and built with robots and various 3D printing technologies. In this kind of design new technology and new scientific understanding are directly involved in the creative design process.The various designs, architecture, engineering, materials and computer sciences, are part of the design process….” Alisa Andrašek
Photo and Copyright Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia