On Cape Town’s mountainside stands a striking angular building by renowned local architecture firm SAOTA.
Pavilion of Turkey is Open
The pavilion of Turkey transforms into a staging ground for critical dialogue and cultural exchange across borders at the 16th international architecture exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia.
Curated by Kerem Piker and coordinated by Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the Pavilion of Turkey will present Vardiya1 at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, taking place from May 26th to November 25th 2018. Co-sponsored by Schüco Turkey and VitrA, the Pavilion of Turkey is located at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale.
Responding to the Biennale Architettura 2018 theme of Freespace, Vardiya is a programme of public events that will transform the Pavilion of Turkey into a staging ground for creative encounter, collaborative production and cultural exchange across borders. 122 international architecture students from 16 countries will visit the Pavilion of Turkey in weekly ʻshifts’ as active producers of the evolving exhibition content. They will participate in workshops, engage in roundtable discussions and hear keynote lectures driven by guest scholars, designers and architects.
The project started with an open call to architecture students around the world, generating 452 responses to the question: “Why does the biennial exist? What does the biennial do? For whom does the biennial exist?”. 1Shift: "Vardiya" in Turkish: noun (va'rdiya) | in Italian, "guardia"
V A R D İ Y A
The programme will begin with multi-media installations, through which visitors will be informed about forthcoming activities and workshop themes. Throughout the twenty-five weeks of La Biennale, the Pavilion of Turkey will host 13 workshops, focusing on a variety of topics; around 50 digital meetings with participants from a range of disciplines; and 6 lectures by keynote speakers, including an international roster of leading architects. All of the workshops, digital meetings and lectures will be open to visitors during biennale opening hours. More than just an exhibition space, the Pavilion of Turkey is conceived as a meeting place.
Vardiya proposes a spatial organization that is at once scattered, inclusive, and open to change and transformation. Vardiya aims to stimulate an ongoing critical dialogue among students, academics, professionals and the public about the role of the biennial. Emphasising the power of creative collaborations on an international scale, the curatorial programme reimagines biennials as platforms that create new networks and forms of communication, encourage inclusivity and promote interaction between cultures. In addition to creating a space for all parties to benefit from this opportunity of interplay, the Pavilion of Turkey hopes to incorporate individual and collective experiments from young creative minds into the locus of contemporary architectural discourse.
Curator Kerem Piker explained: "Architecture is a field that is constantly expanding, transforming and renewing itself. As such, there is am need for environments where architectural knowledge is reproduced, shared and discussed, and the voices of new participants are heard. As the International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia is one of the most important informal learning arenas in architecture, we prefer to describe the Pavilion of Turkey as a space for meeting, encounter and production rather than merely an exhibition space... We see this project and the preparation process as an opportunity to rethink what a biennial does, for whom, and why it exists in our time."
The associate curators are Cansu Cürgen, Yelta Köm, Nizam Onur Sönmez, Yağız Söylev and Erdem Tüzün. Vardiya Workshops, Lectures and Digital Meetings Vardiya project consists of 13 workshops, each lasting one week and run by invited professionals and student groups. The first workshop will begin on Sunday 27 May after the
public opening on Saturday 26 May and will focus on the theme of the Media. Taking place every other week, the workshops will be based on the following topics: The Venice Times; Future of Childhood; Film Space as Free Space: Making a B-Horror Movie Fragment; Architecture asCritical Media; Taking Scarpa for a Walk; (N)everland; Obituary Island; Of Journeys; Venice: Surface, Geometry, Texture, Colour; The Vast Minority; Redrawing Venice; Treasure Hunt and Retrospective. Each workshop will culminate with a keynote lecture, starting with award-winning architect Emre Arolat on Sunday 27 May, followed by
leading architecture and design figures such as: architect Eva Franch Gilabert, architect Juhani Pallasmaa, design critic and curator of the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial Jan Boelen and media artist and designer Refik Anadol. Around 50 digital meetings will be broadcast online from the Pavilion of Turkey. Based on a variety of different themes, each session will start with a 15 minute discussion on: ʻWhy does the biennial exist? What does the biennial do? For whom does the biennial exist?’ Speakers will bring diverse perspectives from a range of backgrounds, including architect Bernard Khoury, academic and architect Andrew Kovacs, architect Han Tümertekin and architecture editor and critic Cynthia Davidson. Keynote lectures and digital meetings will be broadcast online on Vardiya’s Youtube channel Vardiya Online and blog: http://vardiyaxpress.com./
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