The Australia pavilion on the Venice Structure Biennale, which is solely revealed right here, includes a copper reconstruction of the Empire Lodge in Queenstown.
Named Unsettling Queenstown, the pavilion goals to attract consideration to the legacy of colonialism and extraction by specializing in a number of settlements named Queenstown.
“The pavilion explores the idea of decolonisation, on each native and international scales,” curators Anthony Coupe, Ali Gumillya Baker, Julian Worrall, Emily Paech and Sarah Rhodes instructed Dezeen.
“It seems to be at what architects are doing and might do to actively decolonise locations and areas, whereas reflecting on the historic legacies of colonialism and extractivism. It goals to each evoke feelings and interact the mind.”
The exhibition focuses on the legacies of two settlements – a copper-mining city named Queenstown in Tasmania and Queenstown in South Australia – that each ” bear the scars of colonisation and useful resource extraction”.
“Queenstown is a spot, however for the exhibition it is also a metaphor,” defined the curators. “We use the phrase Queenstown to discuss with the construction of colonial and imperial relations all through Australia and internationally.
“It is also important that the Queen died final yr,” they continued. “On the finish of the second Elizabethan age, and the start of a brand new reign, the time feels proper to query the relics of the British Empire, and Australia’s place throughout the Commonwealth.”
On the centre of the pavilion is a 70-per-cent-scale illustration of the belvedere Empire Lodge in Queenstown, Tasmania, which was in-built the identical yr that Australia formally got here into existence.
The define of the construction was constituted of copper tubes, as a nod to the city’s function as a copper mine.
“A belvedere is an architectural construction constructed for taking a view and surveying a panorama – this serves an efficient illustration of the colonial method to taking possession of a territory, in addition to a logo for our present second of retrospect and prospect,” defined the curators.
“Its arched type is typical of the neo-classical language of the British colonial structure of the time, and so is each a deeply significant place for Queenstown Tasmania and emblematic of the way in which colonial settlement shaped a template stamped on the panorama of Australia and internationally.”
The curators created a collection of visible and audiovisual reveals within the Australian pavilion, which was designed by Australian studio Denton Corker Marshall and opened in 2015. The shows intention to reveal ways in which the impacts of colonisation and extraction might be mitigated.
“Queenstown’s existence was primarily based on extraction – as a copper mining settlement with manufacturing processes which were extremely damaging to the surroundings, precipitating acidification, deforestation, and water air pollution,” the curators mentioned.
“The colonial exploitation of the surroundings that Queenstown represents additionally led to the genocidal destruction of pre-existing peoples and cultures,” they continued.
“Most of the techniques we’re showcasing look to reverse this sample, restoring nature and reinstating indigenous relationships with the land.”
The exhibitions additionally goals to attract consideration to the function that mapping by the British had in overwriting the names of Indigenous lands.
“Cartography is a colonial instrument, for buying, representing, and manipulating information of areas and territories,” mentioned the curators. “It additionally has had the impact of erasing the information and spatial patterns of First Nations peoples.
“Demapping is what we’re calling the method of peeling again the layers of delineations and names which were imposed upon locations, whereas forming new understandings and re-imaginings of Aboriginal information and worlds,” they continued.
The Australia pavilion is certainly one of a number of that shall be opened solely on Dezeen at this time. Different pavilions that had been seen first on Dezeen embrace the Danish pavilion, the US pavilion, British pavilion and the Finnish pavilion that “declares the loss of life of the flushing bathroom”.
The pictures is by Tom Roe.
Dezeen is reside reporting from the Venice Structure Biennale, which takes place from 20 Could to 26 November 2023. See Dezeen Occasions Information for all the newest data you have to know to attend the occasion, in addition to a listing of different structure and design occasions happening world wide.
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