Venice Architecture Biennale
Friday 10 August - Saturday 11 August 2018
British Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy
Free with entry to the Venice Architecture Biennale
Join the Royal Academy in Venice as we animate the interior of the British Pavilion with a programme of performative workshops looking at the means through which we understand, critique and experience architecture.
This weekend programme will bring to the fore our physical, bodily, and emotional presence through an experiential engagement with the space left empty by Caruso St John and Marcus Taylor.
Using a series of participatory and performative workshops we will reach beyond verbal discourse to use sound, movement and actions to invite audiences to witness, experience and to participate in developing ‘alternate languages’ that challenge how we experience architecture. We have invited participants from different disciplines – a performer, a poet, and a sound artist – who will explore how we interact with and discuss architecture. The workshops will emphasise a connection with the building while exploring ideas of disconnection and island states.
The event will conclude with a panel discussion between all those involved which will examine the ideas brought up in the workshops in relation to the Venice Biennale's theme this year, Freespace.
Workshops and participants
'Spatial Listening Games' by Alex de Little
Through his Spatial Listening Games, the researcher, sound artist and composer Alex De Little will encourage visitors to listen to the space inside the British Pavilion through a series of warm-up exercises and games.
Visitors will explore their relationship to, and understanding of, acoustic space through listening and creating sound in a social context. The workshop uses the language of sound’s physical properties to frame and reframe space through performative games whose instructions are determined by listening to the acoustic response of the space. In this context, listening becomes the method through which we begin to know and engage with architecture and space.
'Embodying Space' by Suzy Willson
Suzy Willson, Co-artistic Director of CLOD ENSEMBLE, will lead visitors through a series of movement exercises to explore the themes of migration, isolation, freedom, exodus, tempest, and uncertainty.
Drawing on the work of French theatre teacher Jacques Lecoq (1921 -1996), who believed that in order to understand something better you embody it, we will work through exercises that encourage a state of responsiveness, openness and readiness. This will highlight how the ways in which we use our own bodies effect our relationship to others and the spaces we inhabit. We will also work as a chorus – a collective body and a spatial device - which generates an emotional response and charges a space, creating ‘a breathing architecture’.
'Ike Rust/Icarus' by Inua Ellams
The Nigerian-born poet, playwright, performer and designer Inua Ellams will share his poetry and reach out beyond the pavilion in an evening cultural walk around the surrounding area.
In 2017, as part of Bedtime Stories for The End of the World, several poets were commissioned to take an existing myth and respond to it. Mediating on his immigrant background, and the current global migration crisis, Ellams chose to respond to the greek myth of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun and fell. For the first time ever, Ellams will read the full poem in its entirety inside the pavilion.
'The Venice Mini-Midnight Run' by Inua Ellams
Inua Ellams also founded the Midnight Run, an arts-filled, night-time, playful, walking, urban movement that attempts to reconnect inner city lives with inner city spaces.
This special 3 hour walking event will explore some spaces and places around the Venice and the British Pavilion and ask visitors to think of them as kindling grounds creativity.
Saturday 11 August 2018
11am Spatial Listening Games
12noon Embodying Space
1pm Ike Rust/Icarus
2pm Spatial Listening Games
3pm Embodying Space
4pm Ike Rust/Icarus
5pm Panel discussion with Alex De Little, Suzy Willson, Inua Ellams and the Royal Academy’s Head of Architecture Kate Goodwin
6pm The Venice Mini-Midnight Run
Sunday 12 August 2018
11am Embodying Space
12noon Spatial Listening Games
Any changes will be communicated by signage outside the British Pavilion