SPACES Selected as Curators of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale
Curators Tizziana Baldenebro and Lauren Leving. Image © McKinley Wiley
Cleveland-based gallery SPACES has been selected to organize the US exhibition at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. As curators, Tizziana Baldenebro, the executive director of the gallery has collaborated with Lauren Leving, a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, on the proposal. Together they plan to fill the space of the pavilion with works in plastic by architecture professors, designers, and artists. The exhibition, titled “Everlasting Plastics”, aims to examine the role of this material “both literally and as a cultural metaphor”.
As the climate crisis becomes a tangible reality, our daily objects must be agents of change. This exhibition brings together a range of practices that are examining, salvaging, and upending a global calamity. – Tizziana Baldenebro
While the exhibition has not taken shape yet, SPACES has announced that they will act as “commissioners” of the US exhibit. The curators have invited a number of artists and designers to present works during the event, including Cleveland-based sculptor Lauren Yeager; Xavi Laida Aguirre, assistant professor at MIT; Ang Li, architect and assistant professor at Northeastern University in Boston; Chicago-based social practice artist Norman Teague; and designer Simon Anton, cofounder of the Detroit-based design collective, Thing Thing.
The Laboratory of the Future: The 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale Announces Title and Theme of its 18th Edition
According to Baldenebro, all five artists and designers invited are taking into consideration systems of waste, waste production, and their impact on communities, especially in the American Midwest, where the production of petroleum-based polymers is an important part of the industry. As the exhibition centers on the significance of plastic in American society, it also considers its positive impact and possible lifesaving uses of plastic.
1. U.S. Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition. Courtesy of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago. Image © Tom Harris
The curators are also considering the limitations of exhibiting in Venice and are trying to make the exhibition more accessible to the US public. This includes organizing shows in statewide venues after the Biennale closes and opening the events for online participation.
For the 18th edition of the International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curator Lesley Lokko has chosen the theme The Laboratory of the Future. Other countries have also announced their selected curators. Luxembourg has appointed Francelle Cane and Marija Marić for its pavilion, with a project focusing on understanding the earth’s resources and commons; Germany has chosen ARCH+ and Summacumfemmer Büro Juliane Greb as curators with a project focused on repair, and maintenance; while the UAE pavilion will be curated by Faysal Tabbarah, who chose to explore the potential of the dry landscape of his country.