Cyprus Pavillion – La Biennale di Venezia 2021

The raw natural materials of the Cypriot landscape were the primary inspiration for the foundations of this table at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

The materiality of the much loved Mediterranean Terracotta, both new and ancient, was another critical aesthetic and texture that the designers of this installation asked us to re-create in raw clay plasters.

These exciting ideas by Era Savvides and Nasios Varnavas (Urban Radicals) made for an intriguing challenge. And an opportunity to become involved in this collaboration that also includes Werner Fraters, to explore a multitude of new raw earth-based textures and colours.

The horizontal site-specific installation scales up one of the most archetypical structures and social objects, the table. The tabletop is fragmented and re-assembled into a mosaic of ‘islands’ which allow for cultural and social multiplicity of languages. Embedded into the surface are objects of play, infrastructure and craft, which archive narratives of collectivity and exchange by creating the basis for a cartography of places and characters, operating between local-global scales and rhythms.

Gathered on the table are proposals by architects and interdisciplinary groups from Cyprus and abroad, inviting reflections on the physical and social aspects of architectural practice.

‘Through the perspectives of urban and domestic landscapes, queerness, play, architectural tradition, and technology, a micrography of fantasized communities is proposed.

Installation design: Urban Radicals in dialogue with Marina Christodoulidou and Evagoras Vanezis.

Application and co-creator: Werner Fraters.

Photographs: Ugo Carmeni © Cyprus Pavilion.

Plasters: Mixed custom textures.

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