Italy pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2019 - Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.
Italy pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2019 – Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.

Venice Art Biennale 2019 – Archipanic explored the 58th international Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia and selected 7 must-visit pavilions imbued with architecture. From Italy’s labyrinthine installation to Bethlehem’s dystopian underground future at the Danish pavilion but also David Adjaye-designed exhibition for the Ghanan participation and the cells of Venice’s infamous Prison Palace turned into a high-tech surveillance system.

Ghana pavilion

Arsenale, [Map].

Felicia Abban. The Ghana Pavilion, curated by Nana Oforiatta Ayim and designed by David Adjaye, at the 58th Biennale di Venezia. Venice Biennale. Venice, Italy. Photography by David Levene.
Ghana Pavilion. Photography by David Levene.

British-Ghanan architect David Adjaye has designed the first Ghana Pavilion at Venice Biennale. Elliptically-shaped interconnected spaces imbued with the country’s colours and textures showcase the work of 6 artists across three generations capturing the nation’s culture and diasporas.

The pavilion is plastered with locally-sourced earth and inspired by the country’s traditional structures. “Being able to show the diversity and creativity of Ghana on an international scale is an incredible achievement, and one which showcases the talent that we have to offer,” say David Adjaye. Read more…

Italy Pavilion

Arsenale, [Map].

Italy pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2019 - Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.
Italy pavilion – Photo by Delfino Sisto Legnani, courtesy of Venice Art Biennale 2019.

Curator Milan Farronato has created a labyrinthine pavilion bringing together sculptures by Enrico David, installation works by Liliana Moro and a sound piece and wall painting by the late Chiara Fumai.

A white, abstracted maze invites visitors to get lost. “The labyrinth is our plinth,” explains Farronato who aims to suggest new ways to see reality, life and art. “There are three different paths with interconnections, different interpretations and perspectives. You should be free.”

Ireland Pavilion

Arsenale, [Map].

Ireland Pavilon at Venice Art Biennale - Photo by Italo Rondinella, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.
Ireland Pavilon – Photo by Italo Rondinella, courtesy of Venice Art Biennale 2019.

Employing a diverse range of materials and sculptural formats, architect and artist Eva Rothschild has designed an immersive environment that allows the public to be both viewer and participant.

The Irish pavilion was conceived as a socially ‘hazardous architecture’ allowing for contemplation of the material legacy of both present and past civilisations. forms of geometry and classicism as well as the modernist heritage.

United States Pavilion

Giardini, [Map].

US Pavilon at Venice Art Biennale - Photo by Francesco Galli, Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia
US Pavilon – Photo by Francesco Galli, Courtesy of Venice Art Biennale 2019.

Martin Puryear has created a monumental sculpture standing at the forecourt of the U.S. Pavilion. Inside, the artist has crafted works in dialogue with the Neoclassic-inspired architecture of the building. Titled Liberty/Libertà,the exhibition meditates on liberty as an essential human theme and continues the artist’s exploration of abstract forms culled from global sources.

The US participation challenges expectations and demonstrates how everyday forms are a source that can be elevated into highly resonant objects transforming perception, inspiring individuals, and questioning history.

Denmark pavilion

Giardini, [Map].

Denmark Pavilion - Photo by Ugo Carmeni, courtesy of Denmark Pavilion.
Denmark Pavilion – Photo by Ugo Carmeni, courtesy of Denmark Pavilion.

A two channel sci-fi film, a sculptural installation and an architectural intervention invite into a dark universe imagined by Danish-Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour. Entitled In Vitro, the film is staged in the historic town of Bethlehem decades after an eco-disaster destroyed the city. “The dying founder of a subterranean orchard dialogues with her young successor, who is born in an underground city and has never seen the town she’s destined to replant and repopulate.”

The sculptural installation – a black sphere referring to cumbersome memories narrated in the movie – recreates a large-scale psychological monument while fragments of a Palestian ceramic flooring welcome visitors.

Lithuania Pavilion

Castello 2738/C [Map].

Lithuanian Pavilion - Photo by Andrea Avezzu - Courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.
Lithuanian Pavilion – Photo by Andrea Avezzu – Courtesy of Venice Art Biennale 2019

Will the planet die while we will be chatting about suntan and summer holidays? The Golden Lion-awarded Lithuanian Pavilion has transformed a post-industrial military architecture into an artificial beach revealing our frivolous inertia in front of the climate change emergency.

Visitors are invited to walk on an elevated platform from where they can look down to the artificially lit beach. Here, on stage, actors and volunteers of all ages and sizes perform everyday summer rituals in colourful bathing suits while sunbathing under the full glare of the sun over a mosaic of towels. Read more… 

Taiwan Pavilion

Palazzo delle Prigioni, Calle Seconda de la Fava [Map].

Taiwan pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2019 - © Shu Lea Cheang. Courtesy of the artist and Taiwan in Venice 2019.
Taiwan pavilion at Venice Art Biennale 2019 – © Shu Lea Cheang. Courtesy of the artist and Taiwan in Venice 2019.

A 3 x 3 square-meter cell constantly monitored by 6 cameras is today’s standardized architecture of industrial imprisonment. At the infamous Prison Palace near Piazza San Marco, Taiwan’s collateral presentation transforms the historic venue into a high-tech surveillance system to rethink how contemporary technologies of communication and surveillance are shaping identities – from big data to facial identification and social media monitoring.

Artist Shu Lea Cheang narrates ten cases of imprisonment due to gender, sexual, and racial nonconformity, both past and present, questioning the legal and visual regimes that have formed sexual and gender norms over time.

Martin Puryear's crafted artworks dialogue with the Neoclassic-inspired architecture of the US Pavilion at Giardini. Photo by Francesco Galli, courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.
US Pavilion at Giardini. Photo by Francesco Galli, courtesy of Venice Art Biennale 2019.