Architecture – The Estonia Pavilion at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale is a rental apartment after the rear exit of the Arsenale [Map] that doubles as home and a stage until November 26. An Estonian actor who actually lives in the apartment for a month performs daily routines such as meditating, cleaning, reading, making crafts, and playing board games with visitors.
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Titled Home Stage, the Estonia Pavilion “reflects on the contradictions between homes and real estate.” The curators told Archipanic. Today, city centers are made up of houses where living itself has become redundant. “Many dwellings have owners but no occupants, while elsewhere, residents struggle to become owners. Has the home become a disposable lifestyle product?” Home’s intimate values and coziness contrast with the flexible and fleeting nature of the real estate, of rapid buy-and-sell markets.
“One of the performers, Paula Veidenbauma, is intrigued by how issues of invisibility, such as care, aggression, and loneliness, contrast and accelerate in tandem with the vast visibility of real estate, which, especially in Venice, is driven by hyper-tourism and gentrification.” Explains Mari Möldre, co-curator with Aet Ader, Arvi Anderson, and Mari Möldre of b210 Architects.
Stepping into the apartment from the main door leads to the hallway, where, throughout the six months, a white wall will be repeatedly painted by each performer. The living room and kitchen area will host a wall-sized display cabinet of curiosities filled with different artifacts: documents, sculptures, and memorabilia, together with a selection of peculiar kitchen tools.
The bedroom features a mirrored ceiling fitted with lightweight reflective panels. At the same time, the bathroom hosts ‘a fountain of sinks’ where the faucets of sinks and bathtub will dance and occasionally splash into each other. Lastly, visitors will find themselves in front of a closed door that the performer will unlock: an empty room with dust and fluff clouds blown by four vacuum cleaners.
All photos by ©Kertin Vasser.