Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Ark. Old Seeds for New Cultures

Pavilion of Greece at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia

Construction and Sowing introduce a double dimension to architecture, as the organisation of what has been built, but also of open-air spaces and the ground. With this proposal we want to bring the sites of culture back to contemporary architectural practices taking the word culture in both its versions, that of civilisation and that of agriculture. "People meet in culture".

Seeds constitute the organic departure point of landscape, the morphogenetic software of its architecture, the core of a process of continuous transformation. In Greece, the economic and social crisis of agricultural land is connected not only to the explosion and diffusion of the metropolis, but also to the extended degradation of the landscape. Intensive agriculture with specialised single-crop farming, fertilizers and pesticides has limited the practices which above all, offered variety to a natural landscape. On the other hand, the predominance of a universal monopoly in the circulation of seeds controls and impoverishes the diet of the urban crowd, in view of the universal food crisis. This impoverishment is synonymous to the impoverishment of memory and history which in the case of Greece is rich in variety and in depth of time. Ultimately, the morphologic denudation of the lowland from elements of its environmental and cultural memory conforms to the even more unfavourable and irreversible overpumping and degradation of the subsoil.

The purpose of the proposal for the Greek participation in the 2010 Venice Biennale is the presentation of the phytogenetic variety of the Greek landscape which is in extinction and the presentation of the local cultures which correspond to the variety of the Greek local reserve. A variety which can be "resowed" in the terms of today's prevalent urban pattern.

Commissioners-Curators: Phoebe Giannisi, Zissis Kotionis, Architects, exhibition Design and Installation: Phoebe Giannisi, Zissis Kotionis

Source : www.greekarchitects.gr