Serra dei Giardini & Cini-Venier Naval Institute.
Botkyrka konsthall presents the Fittja Pavilion during the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. What role can an art institution play in our times? What can it become? As a way of launching the New Biennial of Art and Architecture, Botkyrka konsthall presents the Fittja Pavilion in Venice.Can the million program (the plan to build one million housing units during the years 1965-1975 in Sweden) with its modernist grand-scale planning, and its weakly defined public spaces, be reevaluated? Can it even bring about another kind of contemporary art?
On September 13, Botkyrka konsthall inaugurates the New Biennial of Art and Architecture in Botkyrka. It is a way of researching how a new kind of art institution can grow from the specific qualities of Northern Botkyrka, the modernist housing complexes that make up part of the Southern suburbs of Greater-Stockholm area. Botkyrka konsthall has been running the context-specific residency programme Residence Botkyrka in the neighborhood of Fittja since 2009. The new institution grows from the knowledge produced by artists, architects, thinkers and curators from within the residency program, in close collaboration with the community of Fittja whose inhabitants come from 161 nations around the world providing a rich cultural life consisting of many cultural associations and religious centers. Botkyrka konsthall in Fittja is an art institution that is open to future practices of contemporary art and architecture; it is an institution that grows organically, that operates internationally through the local context, and that produces new knowledge rather than representing the already existing.
On June 7, the Fittja Pavilion in Serra dei Giardini and in Cini-Venier Naval Institute opens in conjunction to the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. The curator of the biennale, Rem Koolhaas, has called for a closer look on modernism (1914-2014) in the biennale exhibition entitled Fundamentals. In the Fittja Pavilion participating architects and artists reevaluate the architecture and city planning of the 1960s and 1970s in Sweden. In the exhibition, the research from Fittja is presented in extensive artistic and architectural research projects, inspiring artists, architects, and activists from Sweden, South Africa, Great Britain, the United States, and Japan to work together. The Fittja Pavilion presents artistic productions and projects that have been preceded by an extensive time of context-specific research and collaborations in Fittja through Residence Botkyrka. Many of the works in the pavilion will become permanent public artworks and public interventions in Fittja through the New Biennial of Art and Architecture in Botkyrka.
Many of the participants of the Fittja Pavilion have been inspired by the philosopher and farmer Masanobu Fukuoka in their thinking about how a new arts institution can be built through the element of chance and unexpected encounters.
“Human knowledge and effort expand and grow increasingly complex and wasteful without limit. We need to halt this expansion, to converge, simplify, and reduce our knowledge and effort. This is in keeping with the laws of nature. Natural farming is more than just a revolution in agricultural techniques. It is the practical foundation of a spiritual movement, of a revolution to change the way man lives.”
(p29, Fukuoka, Natural Farming, 1985)
One ancient technique that Fukuoka has revived is the “seed ball” – a mixture of seeds encased in clay and dry compost. Fukuoka used these seed balls for dispersing rice seed on his farm, but he also suggested that they could be used for re-greening arid lands. In the Fittja Pavilion several artists have been inspired by Fukuoka’s thinking. The seed balls thus become an image of the many possibilities that the future holds if we let go of our preconceived notions and linear thinking.
Participating artists and architects: Johanna Billing (Sweden), DK-CM (UK), Derek Gripper (South Africa) + Lindy Roy (South Africa/US), Mako Ishizuka (Japan), Junior Residence (Sweden), Kultivator (Sweden) + Stu Wright (South Africa), Tor Lindstrand + students from KTH School of Architecture (Sweden), Elena Mazzi (Italy), Lorenzo Nassembeni (South Africa), OPENrestaurant (US) + Ayhan Aydin (Sweden), Jelena Rundqvist + Aron Kullander Östlind (Sweden), Pia Sandström (Sweden), Spridd (Sweden), James Webb (South Africa), Karl-Jonas Winqvist (Sweden)
The Fittja Pavilion is organised by Botkyrka konsthall in collaboration with the Nordic Pavilion through the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, Paolo Rosso (Microclima), KTH – School of Architecture, Serra dei Giardini, Cini-Venier Naval Institute, and with support from Iaspis, Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown, Botkyrkabyggen, Swedish Arts Council, Kulturbryggan and Holosonics.
Johanna Sandell, Intendent
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