Press Release. Moscow, 5 December 2019

Smart Art and Teresa Iarocci Mavica, commissioner of the Russian Federation Pavilion at the Venice Biennale announce the Curator and the program for 2020. The Biennale Architettura 2020 will run in Venice from 23 May to 29 November 2020. Curator of the project—Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli. Title of the project—Open! Program—open call for the Russian Federation Pavilion at the 2020 Biennale. Smart Art, operator of theRussian Federation Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and its commissioner Teresa Iarocci Mavica are happy to announce Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli as the curator of the national participation at the Biennale Architettura and to launch the open call for the project of the Russian Federation Pavilion.

Teresa Iarocci Mavica, Commissioner:
“The need for reconstruction of the Russian Federation Pavilion has coincided with the upcoming Architecture Biennale in Venice. Curator Hashim Sarkis, a renowned Lebanese architect, theorist and an experienced teacher announced the theme of the main project ‘How will we live together?’. Thus, the curator is calling upon all of the participants to offer their vision of how architecture can contribute to coexistence in the contemporary world. This is how we thought of inviting Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli. As part of Manifesta 12 in Palermo his project involved transdisciplinary research in a complex urban environment, investigating new models of coexistence. The theme of the Biennale and the prospects of this collaboration have helped us to formulate the thesis for our program — we can live together only by working and building together, quite literally being side by side.”

For the forthcoming Biennale Architettura 2020, Smart Art announces an open call inviting young Russian architects and multidisciplinary collectives to develop a project for the reconstruction of the Pavilion. During the Biennale, the Pavilion will act as a temporary architectural office and as an open construction site, staging the entire design process with the contribution of all the actors involved. Russian practitioners will work together with local colleagues to develop the project until its approval and completion.

The open call is launched on the website of the Pavilion www.pavilionrus.com. It will run through January 31, 2020. It welcomes Russian architectural studios and interdisciplinary collectives with proven experience across the fields of architecture, exhibition making and research. Participating architects should be up to 40 years old. The task of the open call is to propose a concept for the reconstruction of the Pavilion and for the installation of a temporary studio within the Pavilion, acting as the primary working and gathering space for the entire duration of the Biennale. The winner will be announced in February and will continue working in coordination with the curatorial team.

Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Curator:
“I’m honored to work as curator of the next Russian Federation Pavilion. Personally this is a wonderful opportunity to deepen my relationship with Russia through a significant cultural project. For the 2020 Biennale we will not stage an exhibition but a work in progress, by offering the opportunity for a collaborative experiment between a team of young Russian architects and a pool of colleagues aimed at the transformation of Shchusev’s architecture.

In balance between fiction and reality the Pavilion will feature live the project, a temporary architectural office and the in-progress working site all at once. As a response to Hashim Sarkis’ curatorial framework, the Pavilion will act as a temporary institution giving shape to a “new spatial contract” through an open and ever changing dialogue and cross pollination between those who will inhabit and work in the Pavilion—from academics to craftsmen, from designers to activists—and the audience who will interfere and use it as a vehicle of access, discussion and knowledge.”

Anastasia Karneeva and Ekaterina Vinokurova, Smart Art, operator of The Russian Federation Pavilion:
“The open call among architects will be based on terms determined by the curator. The winner will be collegially selected by the curator, an established Russian architect, and a transdisciplinary expert group. It is important for us that the process of reconstruction of the national Pavilion takes place as openly as possible and involves all our creative forces. That is why we believe that the Open! project proposed by Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli is very relevant. We are sure that by attracting talented young representatives of our country we will be able to bring a brand new life into the Russian Federation Pavilion.”

Notes to editors

Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli

Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli is an architect and curator based in Milan. He is the founder of the interdisciplinary agency 2050+. Currently he teaches at the Royal College of Arts in London. Pestellini has recently co-curated Manifesta’s 12th edition (2018) taking place in Palermo and has edited Palermo Atlas, the preparatory investigation on the Sicilian capital (Humboldt books, 2018). Between 2007 and 2019 he has worked as architect and partner at OMA where his work focused on research and curation, scenography and preservation. His projects include ‘Panda’, a research and exhibition for the 2016 Oslo Triennale, on the controversial impact of digital sharing platforms; Monditalia, a multi-disciplinary exhibition on the current status of Italy, at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale; the scenography for the Greek theater of Syracuse in Sicily (2012); and the co-curation of Cronocaos, OMA’s exhibition on the politics of preservation at the 2010 Venice Architectural Biennale.

Pestellini Laparelli has also designed several exhibitions for various institutions, including lR100-Rinascente: Stories of Innovation at Palazzo Reale, Milan (2017), Serial Classic at Fondazione Prada, Milan (2015), Auguste Perret: Huit Chefs d’oeuvre !/? at Palais d’Iéna, Paris (2014), When Attitudes Become Form: 1969/2013 at Fondazione Prada, Venice, and the 24h Museum at Palais d’Iéna, Paris (2012). In parallel, Ippolito has run a number of notable architectural projects, including the renovation of Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) in Berlin (ongoing), and has led the transformation design of the 16th century Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice (2016). Pestellini Laparelli has contributed to various OMA preservation projects such as Fondazione Prada in Milan (2018) and Fondation Galeries Lafayette in Paris (2018). Through collaborations with different brands including Prada and Knoll among others, his activity extends to fashion shows, set design, product design, temporary installations, and the art direction of videos and publications. Prior to the Royal College of Arts, he has previously taught at TU Delft and hold seminars at the Politecnico di Milano and at the Berlage Institute among others.

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