Giardini Pavilions

Went to the Gardens today to see the ret of the exhibitions. I found that it was easiest to understand something through knowing what it is not. For example, the Spanish pavilion had the entrance room filled with photos of abandoned, unoccupied or uncanny spaces of the industrialization, while the adjacent rooms were filled with reimaginations of history, time, memory and modernisation. The rooms were complementary and yet opposed to one another – one was unintentional, the other was interventional, but both are, like the title of the exhibition, Unfinished. 

Another interesting pavilion was the Russia one, with a room that had, in place of a typical round skylight in a round building, a round projection. Figures of stone angels would peep in from the edges and then retreat and replaced by kaleidoscopic images of flowers and sky. The wall (only one continuous round wall) would have projections of sometimes columns at a slanted angle, which are scrolled down like advertisements at a bus stop. The disorientation one experiences contrasts so strongly with the static and heavy sculptures that welcomed the visitor in the room before. The imagery on the projections have references to monumental ancient architecture but the hyper and disorientating movements of the images are done in a way that I am tempted to call this the weed room.

The Nordic Pavilions are interesting in the sense that it represents the culture rather aptly, at least from my limited knowledge of the Nordic countries. Cold but comfortable, constructed but natural, enclosed but opened up… These are some of the qualities of the exhibition and the pavilion itself which was awfully interesting. The idea of just having a pyramid like timber structure that wraps three trees inside is enough to evoke the strong Nordic attitudes towards nature and architecture. The steps also allowed people to interact with the structure – playful, interactive, made for the community.

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