The Luxembourg Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia was inaugurated on 18 April 2024 in the presence of H.R.H. the Crown Prince and H.R.H. the Crown Princess, Mr Eric Thill, Minister of Culture, H.E. Mrs Michèle Pranchère-Tomassini, Ambassador of Luxembourg in Rome and more than 400 Luxembourg and international guests.

The project A Comparative Dialogue Act by the Luxembourg artist Andrea Mancini, the multidisciplinary collective Every Island and curated by Joel Valabrega (Mudam Luxembourg) was conceived as an infrastructure for the transmission of sound – a shared production space that challenges the entrenched notion of individual artistic authorship.

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In his speech, the Minister said he was particularly proud to inaugurate a Pavilion that embodies values such as collaboration, dialogue and openness, entrusted to a brilliant generation of artists, curators and performers from Luxembourg and other nations.

By inviting artists from France, Turkey, Spain and Sweden, the artistic and curatorial team is developing an approach that fits perfectly with the theme of the Biennial’s international exhibition “Foreigners Everywhere”, curated by Adriano Pedrosa.

Performing for the opening days was artist Selin Davasse, following her residency which began on 8 April.

For the second consecutive year, Kultur | lx has curated the Luxembourg Pavilion, working hand in hand with Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean and Joel Valabrega, in charge of organising the exhibition.

This year, after a meticulous selection process by a national and international jury, Luxembourg is once again innovating by inviting a collective to express itself as part of the artistic competition that is the Venice Biennale. I’m really looking forward to discovering the sonic, sensual and performative atmosphere of the work of Andrea Mancini and Every Island, their collaborators and our curator Joel Valabrega. They form a team, with 4 guest artists from 4 different countries. For this singular project, the creative process is as important as the result. It’s a wonderful experience in these times of division and polarisation.” commented Bettina Steinbrügge, Director of Mudam Luxembourg.

The 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia takes place from 20 April to 24 November. The Luxembourg Pavilion can be found at the Arsenale (Sale d’Armi, 1st floor). More information here.

The jury for the open call for the curatorial team of the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 19th Biennial of Architecture in Venice met on Tuesday, March 19 for the second session. The jury selected, among the three shortlisted teams, the project “Sonic Investigations” by Mike Fritsch, Alice Loumeau and Valentin Bansac as the winning proposal to represent Luxembourg at the Venice Architectural Biennial in 2025.

The jury would like to congratulate the three selected teams for the secound round for the quality of their projects and relevant topics they decided to tackle. The three teams proposed ideas based on a detailed knowledge and pertinent analysis of the Luxembourg territory, while placing it at the heart of contemporary issues and challenges.

Following a rich and fruitful discussion, the Jury unanimously selected the project “Sonic Investigations” by Mike Fritsch, Alice Loumeau and Valentin Bansac to design the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 19th Venice Architecture Biennale.

The project “Sonic Investigations,”centred around the acoustic practice of research on the Anthropocene, offers a sensitive exploration of Luxembourg’s territory, which cuts across different environments, positions, and voices. By reactivating our tendency to listen, it offers a new prism for understanding the territory, framing at the same time, the impact of human activity on our ecosystems.

The project was chosen for capacity to raise important contemporary issues related to the production of the built environment, its questioning of our normative apprehension of territories, well sourced and referenced documentation it draws on as well as its conceptual and curatorial consistency.

Its approach to research and design, driven by a desire to experiment and share new tools of understanding the built environment, convinced the jury, who also saw the opportunity to create a rich and positive dialogue around the questions raised about architecture and its related disciplines.

Statement of the curatorial team
Sonic investigations is an immersive, joyful and radical suggestion to focus on sound. In contemporary societies saturated with images, sight casts a shadow on other senses, key to fully apprehending the invisible dynamics of our sensitive relationship with territories. Following John Cage’s silent song 4’33’’, it is a proposal to close our eyes and actively listen. As a counter-project to the hegemony of images, the act of listening offers new possibilities to explore the built and natural environments and shift our focus towards giving voices to more-than-human agencies.

As a practical and theoretical research, the project serves as a tool to re-explore the dense territory of Luxembourg where sounds from biological, geological and anthropogenic beings blend into the intertwined soundscape of the Anthropocene. How to reveal the entangled character of specific contemporary situations in Luxembourg? Through listening, a new uncanny experience of space offers to reveal more than what we see as an opportunity to foster new thinking and sensorial approaches to architectural practices.

Photo © Simon Nicoloso

Biographies of the Curatorial Team
Mike Fritsch is a Luxembourgish architect, urbanist and educator working between Luxembourg and France. As a practising architect, Mike oscillates between large-scale transformation strategies and architectural repairs, in collaboration with l’AUC, this after having spent several years at OMA in Rotterdam. In parallel, Mike is teaching at the ENSA-Marseille where he manipulates new territorial narratives on adaptations and social interactions of the “already there”.

Alice Loumeau is a French-Canadian architect, researcher and cartographer. She conducts spatial investigations through writing and cartography, exploring the mutating territories of the Anthropocene. Alice graduated from the Experimentation in Arts and Politics master’s degree led by Bruno Latour at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po). Alice has worked as an architect in Rotterdam at OMA/AMO, in Paris and London, and participates in exhibitions, publications, and residencies, including at the Villa Albertine in Marfa, Texas, in 2024.

Valentin Bansac is an architect, researcher and photographer from France. He previously worked at OMA/AMO with Rem Koolhaas where he participated in Countryside, the future, research and exhibition project at Guggenheim New York. Valentin graduated from the Experimentation in Arts and Politics master’s degree led by Bruno Latour at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po). He is currently teaching a two-year research endeavour named Domesticated Foodscapes at the EPFL and participates in the program Organismo: Art in Applied Critical Ecologies facilitated by TBA21, a contemporary art foundation in Madrid.

In 2022, Alice and Valentin co-initiated MATTERS.xyz, a tentacular collective endeavour that explores new territorial narratives through interdisciplinary alliances and the accumulation of media.

Winning curatorial teams of the 1st round

The Jury

A Comparative Dialogue Act, a project by the Luxembourgish artist Andrea Mancini and the multidisciplinary collective Every Island will represent the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 60th Venice Biennale.

The project of the Luxembourg pavilion challenges the entrenched notion of individual artistic authorship by presenting a collection of works where artists relinquish ego in favour of a profound exploration of collective creativity through the medium of sound.

A Comparative Dialogue Act uses sound as a tool to explore different perspectives on identity and artistic research. An unprecedented collaboration by four emerging artists from diverse backgrounds, it brings together Spanish musician and performer Bella Báguena, French transdisciplinary artist Célin Jiang, Ankara-born performance Artist Selin Davasse and Swedish artist Stina Fors to offer four intersecting approaches to the multiple ways identity, performance and sound can meet. Navigating the realms of gender identity, Báguena weaves sounds inspired by intuition, motivation and a tableau of influences from pop culture to personal experiences. Jiang adopts a decolonial cyberfeminist approach, intertwining arts, technologies and digital humanities to provoke contemplation of identity within the context of transcultural aesthetics. Repurposing literary and performative techniques, Davasse embodies various feminine beasts with distinct syntactical, vocal and gestural characteristics to intimately traverse a speculative ethics of hospitality. And finally, Fors uses choreography, performance, drumming and vocals to explore the depths of a ‘sounding body’, unleashing a powerful voice that alternates between lethal force and seductive allure and showcasing the complexities of the self. A Comparative Dialogue Act offers a rich composition of singular voices brought together in a blurred sound artwork that pushes the boundaries of contemporary art production.

This exhibition investigates the transformative potential of sound as a medium for cultivating connection and understanding. It aims to transcend the limits set by singular perspectives of what sound can lend to the acts of interpreting, distorting and appropriating.

 

Performing artists

Selin Davasse
Residency: April 08–21
Selin Davasse (b. 1992, Ankara) lives and works in Berlin. Her performances repurpose disparate literary and performative techniques to enact and enforce a speculative ethics of hospitality between a bestial feminine stranger and a heterogeneous public. Embodying various narrative selves with distinct syntactical, vocal and gestural characteristics, she transmutes systems of thought into intimate and playful utterances oscillating between speech and song, in a permeable and unpredictable relationship to the viewer. Recent presentation settings include steirischer herbst, Graz (2023); Institute for Contemporary Arts, London (2023); Hangar Bicocca, Milan (2023); Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara (2023); Kunsthalle Bratislava (2022); Wiener Festwochen, Vienna (2022); BJCEM – Biennale des Jeunes Créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée, Procida (2022); School of Waters, MEDITERRANEA19 Young Artists Biennale, San Marino (2021); Volksbühne, Berlin (2021); KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, (2021).
Instagram: @radicalized_faghag

Célin Jiang
Residency: June 24–30
Célin Jiang is a French artist-researcher. Her work is transdisciplinary, political, and infiltrated: it aims to explore the relationship between art, technology, and digital humanities. The decolonial approach of her work is rooted in cyberfeminism. By questioning our perception of identities in a globalised context of transcultural aesthetics, Célin Jiang advocates interoperability and considers hybridisation as a sensitive vector of metamorphosis: how does the dissident potential of artistic expressions operate in the phygital era of social networks? Célin’s works have recently been shown at Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2023); Bourse de commerce | Pinault Collection, Paris (2023); Fondation Pernod Ricard, Paris (2023); Biennale Internazionale Donna, Trieste (2023); Château de Montjuïc, Barcelona (2023); Villa Arson, Nice (2023); VSRL, New York (2023) and Fondation Fiminco, Romainville (2022).
Instagram: @bis0u.magiqu3

Stina Fors
Residency: July 18–28
With a taste for the absurd and strange, Stina Fors (b. 1989, SE), a choreographer and performance artist, crafts unpredictable, once-in-a-lifetime performances. As a self-taught drummer and shocking vocalist, Fors tours with her one-woman-punk-band, Stina Force, claiming no two performances are ever the same. Extended ventriloquism and screams can be witnessed in her recent work, “A Mouthful of Tongues” – a magic show where the voice seems detached from the performer’s body. Fors’s work is filled with tension, wit, and raw power. She also teaches how to access extreme voices. Stina studied choreography at SNDO in Amsterdam, currently in Vienna, Austria. Her recent appearances include CA2M Móstoles (2023), Centrale Fies Dro (2023), MDT Stockholm (2023), Nobody’s Indiscipline Milano (2023), Secuencia#2/Fabra i Coats Barcelona (2023), Steinsland & Berliner Stockholm (2023), TQW Vienna (2023) Wiener Festwochen Vienna (2023), Brut Wien Vienna (2022), Campo Gent (2022), Inkonst Malmö (2022).
Instagram: @stinaforce

Bella Báguena
Residency: September 9–15
Bella Báguena (b. 1994, Valencia) is a Spanish trans non-binary woman who works with different disciplines such as music, performance, jewelry and other media. Bella centers her artistic production in a gender self-examination and an intuitive, emotional process, using her voice, body movement and identity, as well as objects, spaces and technologies, to create sound, video, sculptural or performative pieces in which the emotional charge and thought load of the trans woman’s identity becomes the key. Some of her recent performance contexts include Trauma Bar, Berlin (2023); Teatro Academico Gil Vicente, Coimbra (2023); A10 Exhibition x Injuve, Valencia (2023); Rokolectiv, Bucharest (2023); Ex Aterriza. Las Cigarreras, Alicante (2023); Construction Festival, Dresden (2023); Systema, Marseille (2023); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2022); Dakota By Night. Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam (2022); Shape+ Platform. Meet Factory, Prague (2022).
Instagram: @xbellaxbaguenax

For the 60th Venice Biennale, the Luxembourg ministry of Culture has appointed Kultur | lx—Arts Council Luxembourg commissioner, and Mudam Luxembourg—Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, organiser of the Luxembourg Pavilion.

Commissionner appointed by the Ministry of Culture Luxembourg: Kultur | lx—Arts Council Luxembourg
Organiser: Mudam Luxembourg—Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Curator: Joel Valabrega (assisted by Nathalie Lessure)
Exhibitors: Andrea Mancini & Every Island
Performing artists:
Selin Davasse | Residency: 08 – 21 April | Performances: 17 – 21 April
Célin Jiang | Residency: 24 – 30 June | Performances: 29 – 30 June
Stina Fors | Residency: 18 – 28 July | Performances: 27 – 28 July
Bella Báguena | Residency: 09 – 15 September | Performances: 13 – 14 September

The exhibition is accessible for the public during the Residency periods according to Arsenale’s opening hours.

The project of the Luxembourg pavilion challenges the entrenched notion of individual artistic authorship by presenting a collection of works where artists relinquish ego in favour of a profound exploration of collective creativity through the medium of sound.

The title, A Comparative Dialogue Act, encapsulates the nature of this experimental project – an investigation of diverse sonic languages and a contemplation of dialogue beyond the visual, into the immersive world of sound as a tool for negotiation.

This exhibition explores the potential of sound as a medium for cultivating connection and understanding. It aims to transcend the limits set by singular perspectives of what sound can lend to the acts of interpreting, distorting and appropriating.

The pavilion is conceived as an infrastructure for the transmission of sound. Technology is used to develop a local experiment investigating the transmission of knowledge and work in progress.

A programme of four residencies taking place over the duration of the Biennale Arte 2024 will transform the pavilion into a production space where each individual research will contribute to a shared body of work. An unprecedented collaboration by four emerging artists from diverse backgrounds, it brings together Spanish musician and performer Bella Báguena, French transdisciplinary artist Célin Jiang, Turkish artist Selin Davasse and Swedish artist Stina Fors to offer four intersecting approaches to the multiple ways identity, performance and sound can meet.

The artists are invited to explore the elements that define their individual practices and artistic methods. Each of them is asked to create a sound library representing their unique approach by the start of the Biennale Arte 2024. These libraries will be made available in the Pavilion space as a common tool. Each artist will appropriate and use this library to create a soundscape. The aim being to stimulate cooperation and community through an understanding and interpreting of what was made available.

The body of work, both the libraries and the residencies’ productions, will constantly be absorbed and integrated anew – challenging notions of authorship and appropriation.

Each artist will engage in a series of performances. The performance is part of the collaborative artwork and is the moment during which each artist presents his/her contribution in public. The resulting sequence of pieces will be published as a vinyl record, to be released at the end of the Biennale Arte 2024.

A Comparative Dialogue Act offers a rich composition of singular voices brought together in a blurred sound artwork that pushes the boundaries of contemporary art production.

The jury of the call for projects for the conception of the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 19th Venice Architecture Biennale met on Tuesday, January 9 and selected the three projects for the second jury session from among 8 applications received.

The jury appreciated the relevance of the themes developed in the selected applications and is confident that they will help to build a discourse around the Architecture discipline.

The members of the jury for the call for entries for the Luxembourg pavilion would like to thank all the applicants for the interest they have shown, by taking part in the call, in Luxembourg’s presence at this international event in 2025. The jury also salutes the work undertaken by the various teams on this occasion.

Selected teams :

The jury is made of:

▪ Maribel Casas, Director, luca – Luxembourg Center for Architecture;
▪ Michelle Friederici, President, Ordre des Architectes et des Ingénieurs conseils Luxembourg;
▪ Claudine Hemmer, Visual Arts and Architecture Advisor, Ministry of Culture Luxembourg;
▪ Marija Marić, Curator of the Luxembourg Pavilion 2023;
▪ Eléonore Mialonier, Project Manager Architecture/Design/Crafts, Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg;
▪ Marion Waller, General Director, Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Paris;
▪ Nemanja Zimonjić, Director, Ten Studio, Zürich/Belgrade.

The deadline for the second round is March 15, 2024, at midnight. The laureate will be announced on March 27, 2024.

More details about the call can be found here.

The unmissable Biennale di Venezia has drawn to a close with the Luxembourg Pavilion Down to Earth designed and curated by Francelle Cane and Marija Marić, a confirmed hit with the public.

Officially opened on 18 May 2023 in the presence of HRH the Great Duchess, the Minister for Culture Sam Tanson, Luxembourg’s Ambassador to Rome HE Michèle Pranchère-Tomassino and over 200 guests, the Luxembourg Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale has been packed ever since. The Down to Earth exhibition welcomed a total of 102,118 visitors during the entire Biennale which itself recorded over 285,000 visitors, along with 14,150 visitors to the preview, making it the second most visited Architecture Biennale ever.

Down to Earth, designed by architects, curators and researchers Francelle Cane and Marija Marić, was a critical behind-the-scenes exploration of the current paradigm of space mining, as well as its media narratives. Replicating a Lunar Laboratory—the research spaces designed to not only run full-scale tests of space mining technologies but also operative as media studios producing the visual imaginaries of the extractions on the Moon and beyond—the exhibition included contributions by Armin Linke, Lev Bratishenko, Jane Mah Hutton, Anastasia Kubrak, Amelyn Ng, Bethany Rigby, and Fred Scharmen, as well as collaborations with different institutions, including Canadian Centre for Architecture.

The pavilion was also a meeting point for fruitful encounters between creatives, curators, and the general public. In addition to the visits organised in September during the Pavilion Days, side-events such as public lectures and roundtables were also held both in Luxembourg and abroad.

“Looking back at our project in Venice, we find ourselves truly humbled by all the incredible encounters, conversations, and collaborations that deeply shaped our project. Starting with the Moon, but coming down to Earth, our exhibition aimed at raising a critical discussion around our relationship with resources, testing at the same time the boundaries between curatorial work, research, and social engagement. We thank all the conversation partners and collaborators for contributing to this project, the journalists for their important questions and curiosity about our work in Venice, and the institutions who supported our work from the very beginning”, the curators Francelle Cane and Marija Marić stated.

The exhibition was not only a success with the public, but also featured in the national and international press.

The publication Staging the Moon: Resource Extraction Beyond Earth, developed during the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale, contains texts by the curators and photographs by artists Armin Linke and Ronni Campana. It explores the topic of extra-terrestrial resources, highlighting the inextricable links between space mining and its portrayal in the media, the legal framework for its development, as well as the concept of commons and comradeship.
The publication costs €32 and is available from the publisher Spector Books.

Kultur | lx, following a decision by the Ministry of Culture, was tasked for the first time with commissioning the Luxembourg Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, a role in which it will continue for the development of future art and architecture pavilions in conjunction with the Luxembourg cultural institutions involved.

Following a month of assembly, the Sale d’Armi of the Arsenale in Venice, which has hosted the Luxembourg pavilion of the art and architecture biennials since 2018, finally opened its doors to the public on the 20th of May. Down to Earth, the exhibition developed by architects, curators and researchers Francelle Cane and Marija Marić, has received an outstanding response from both the press and visitors.

The opening week of the Venice Architecture Biennale represents a special moment for the professionals who attend, between a family reunion and a giant symposium, drawing in all the profiles, emerging or confirmed, and all the trends in architectural research. The professional days are important for those who defend a project, both to expand their network and to attract media attention.

During this marathon, the two curators Francelle Cane and Marija Marić conducted a series of interviews with the national and international press, before officially inaugurating the Luxembourg pavilion on the 18th of May, in the presence of H.R.H. Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Sam Tanson, Minister of Culture, H.E. Michèle Pranchère-Tomassini, Luxembourg’s Ambassador to Rome, and more than two hundred Luxembourg and foreign guests.

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A national pavilion focused on the issue of resources

Starting from Luxembourg’s role in the development of space mining, the exhibition Down to Earth by Francelle Cane and Marija Marić, critically explores what goes on behind the scenes of the space industry and the media and scientific narratives on which its future development is based. Conceived as a Lunar laboratory – research spaces designed to test space robots in real life but also serving as media studios for the promotion of of the race to space – the exhibition in the Luxembourg pavilion draws on contributions from numerous researchers, artists and collaborators.

The scenographic elements developed during the collective research process offer three ways of understanding the subject through a film, a workshop and a book. Armin Linke’s film Cosmic Market, made in collaboration with the Pavilion’s curators, shows the links between scientific research and the different interpretations of space legislation, between technological development and the creation of new markets, both on Earth and beyond. A collaboration between the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) and the Luxembourg Pavilion, the workshop “How to: mind the moon” takes as its starting point a reflection on five lunar materials, sketching out a new type of “materials library” in which humour is not absent. The book Staging the Moon, a stand-alone piece published by Spector Books (Leipzig; design: Studio OK-RM), contains critical essays by the two curators, as well as contributions by Armin Linke and photographer Ronni Campana.

Down to Earth thus presents in an immersive and inventive way the results of essential research into the question of resource exploitation, which fits perfectly with the theme of the Biennale’s international exhibition “Laboratory of the Future”, curated by Lesley Lokko. Rooted in the blind spots of official history, the international exhibition places architectural reflection under the sign of imagination, its main factor of change, and of ethics, which must guide us in our approach to the common space where we draw our resources.

This topic was at the heart of “(Re) penser les ressources“, a francophone discussion organised by the Belgian Pavilion in which the women curators participated on Saturday the 20th of May, alongside contributors and curators from the Belgian, Canadian and French pavilions.

Awards in line with the artistic direction

The jury of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, composed of Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (president, Italy), Nora Akawi (Palestine), Thelma Golden (United States), Tau Tavengwa (Zimbabwe) and Izabela Wieczorek (Poland), determined a list of winners that perfectly reflected the key themes of the Biennale: “decolonization and decarbonization”.

The Golden Lion for the best national participation was awarded to Brazil for an exhibition based on research and “an architectural intervention centred on the philosophies and imaginaries of indigenous and black populations that considers the modalities of reparation”. A special mention as a national entry went to Great Britain for the curatorial concept and spatial setting “celebrating the power of everyday rituals as forms of resistance and spatial practices in diasporic communities”.

On the international side, the Golden Lion went to DAAR – Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal for “their longstanding political engagement with architectural and learning practices of decolonisation in Palestine and Europe”.

In addition, Demas Nwoko, a Nigerian-born artist, designer and architect, was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition. Demas Nwoko has been at the forefront of modern art in Nigeria. As an artist, he strives to incorporate contemporary techniques into architecture and scenography to highlight African subjects in much of his work. His work will be on display in the Stirling Pavilion in the Giardini.

For its first appointment as organiser and coordinator of the Luxembourg pavilion, Kultur | lx was able to rely on the experience of luca – Luxembourg Center for Architecture. In charge of the Luxembourg presence in Venice for both the Art and Architecture Biennials, Kultur | lx intends to further extend its contacts and capitalise upon the successful experience of this biennial.

Down to Earth, by Francelle Cane and Maria Marić can be seen until 26 November 2023, 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, Arsenale, Sale d’Armi A, 1st floor.

Luxembourg has been a regular participant at the International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia for the past 20 years, along with around 70 other countries. Since its launch in 1980, this event has been the main international meeting place for specialists in architecture, a discipline whose major contemporary trends it helps to showcase and define. As well as raising the profile of those involved, Luxembourg’s attendance allows it to contribute to international exchanges and debates on architecture, whose theoretical foundations and fields of application are constantly expanding.

In 2022, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Culture delegated curatorship of the Luxembourg Pavilion (architecture and art) to Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg, in collaboration with luca – Luxembourg Center for Architecture.

The winning team is made up of two curators, Francelle Cane and Marija Marić, surrounded by an Advisory Board and a team of contributors in the fields of scenography, content production and publishing.

About Down to Earth

From the development of human settlements on the Moon to the asteroid mining of rare mineral and metals—the wild imaginaries of extraction-driven growth have, quite literally, transcended the boundaries of the Earth. This displacement of resource exploitation from the exhausted Earth to its ‘invisible’ backstages—celestial bodies, planets, and ultimately, the Moon itself—calls for an urgent debate on the impact this shift will have on our understanding of land, resources and the commons.  critically unpacks the project of space mining through the perspective of resources. It starts from the following questions: How does tDown to Earthhis new iteration of the space race, wrapped in the false promises of endlessly available resources, depart from the existing extractivist logic of capitalism and its destructive environmental and social effects on the ground? How will the ongoing privatisation of space, characterised by a sharp turn towards private companies as main actors in the exploitation of space resources, affect the current status of extraterrestrial bodies as a form of ‘planetary commons’? What are the materialities of space mining—its logistics, technologies, infrastructures and workers—and their relationship to the existing geopolitical power hierarchies? And finally, how are architects to mediate critically the ramifications of these material fictions, rooted in the existing paradigms of growth?

Designed as mock-ups of the Moon’s landscapes, ‘lunar laboratories’ have emerged in recent years as a default feature that many institutions and private companies around the world use as infrastructure for testing different mining technologies. However, within the context of speculative economies of the space mining industry, the role of the lunar laboratories seems to go beyond being merely spaces meant for carrying out scientific experiments, instead appearing also as media studios for the production of imagery of human technologies on the Moon. The exhibition Down to Earth uses the lunar laboratory as a site for unpacking the tech industry’s space exploration narratives. With the space of the Pavilion itself turned into a lunar laboratory, a stage where the performance of extraction takes place, Down to Earth focuses on the unveiling of the backstages of the space mining project, offering another way of seeing the Moon that goes beyond the current optics of the Anthropocene.

The 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia will take place from May 20 to November 26. The Luxembourg Pavilion is located at Arsenale (Sale d’Armi, 1st floor).

More information: www.venicebiennale.kulturlx.lu/en/
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Continuing its series of Visual Arts “Repérages”, Kultur | lx hosted a series of meetings with Berlin professionals and actors in the visual arts field from 20 to 22 July 2022, on the fringes of the Berlin Biennale. The group started its journey with a visit to Lisa Kohl, a Luxembourg photographer and video artist in residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien since 1 July.

Following a first Visual Arts Repérage hosted in Kassel in June, Kultur | lx focused its “Mobility, Research and Career Development” support scheme on the city of Berlin, offering support to artists who wished to explore this art scene or deepen existing relationships. During three days, artists and curators from Luxembourg were invited to meet with directors of residencies, gallery owners and curators present in Berlin. Six artists were able to benefit from this specific programme.

Residencies with variable sizes

The first meeting took place at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien with Christoph Tannert, director, and Valeria Schulte-Fischedick, curator and coordinator of the international residency programme. The Künstlerhaus Bethanien GmbH, Germany’s top artist residency (founded in 1974), has been located in a former Lichtfabrik near the Kottbussertor underground station in the heart of Kreuzberg since 2009. Since it was founded in the former Bethanien hospital, it has welcomed more than 950 artists in some thirty studios.

Lisa Kohl, winner of the residency programme at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien initiated by the Focuna and taken over by Kultur | lx in 2022, opened her studio to us where she was still getting her bearings. This 6-month programme will enable her to develop her project Shutdown dreams | Angels in fall, to show her work in a group exhibition which will be launched in mid-September, to participate in studio visits or open days, and to benefit from a critical article in Be Magazin, a newspaper which publishes critical essays on the work of the residents, commissioned by the Künstlerhaus Bethanien.

The group then had the opportunity to meet Isabelle Parkes, coordinator of the Callies International Residency Programme, a venue that opened in the Wedding district in 2020, initiated by an American artist living in Berlin. This second venue welcomes artists from all walks of life, with practices ranging from writing and performance to dance and music. Callies is open to unsolicited applications all year-round and offers great flexibility to aspiring residents.

Germany-Luxembourg hops

One of the highlights for our 6 participants was the meeting with Lidiya Anastasova, curator at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK) and director of the NBK’s art library collection, a collection that can be borrowed by anyone, consisting of 4,000 original works, including Marina Abramović, Victor Vasarely or Thomas Schütte, which allows Berlin-based artists to benefit from regular commissions, notably in the context of screen printing editions. Lidiya had participated in the studio visits of the Visual Arts Focus in May 2022 and met a large number of Luxembourg cultural actors.

The six artists also visited their compatriots who had a current exhibition in Berlin. On 20 July, Catherine Lorent gave a talk at the Kunstverein Tiergarten Berlin on the issue of gender in art in the context of her exhibition Relegation ~ via. Voice:over II. On 22 July, Eric Mangen launched a duo exhibition with the Ukrainian artist Artjom Chepovetskyy at the Jarmuschek + Partner gallery.

Finally, the Berlin Biennale, orchestrated this year by the artist Kader Attia (FR), provides the backdrop to these meetings. The 12th biennial takes place in contemporary art institutions and museums but also in informal places. Its title, Still present! invited us to consider individual and societal traumas from the perspective of Mending – that of objects and individuals, but also that of time and history. The exhibitions visited formed a coherent and rich whole, perfectly reflecting the commitment of the artistic team involved in the project. After the documenta, a completely different way of placing art directly linked to societal commitments, which was a source of inspiration and provides food for thought to the group.

The next Visual Arts Repérage will take place during the professional days of the Lyon Biennale on 12 and 13 September.

Révélations – Biennale Internationale des Métiers d’Arts, celebrated from June 9 to 12 at the Grand Palais Ephémère in Paris the French and international craft creation.

Conceived and created by Ateliers d’Art de France, a professional organisation representing the 281 French fine crafts, the biennial is the major economic event of the sector. The stage for countless meetings, Révélations brings together the creation market’s professionals and fine crafts aficionados around unprecedented works and exceptional expertise.

During 4 days, Révélations, the international biennial of art and creation crafts, gathered in the center of Paris more than 300 exhibitors: creators, art craftsmen, factories, galleries, designers, foundations, schools… coming from the all over the world to unveil unique and audacious pieces, with contemporary lines, specially created for the occasion. This exhibition is the opportunity for De Mains de Maîtres Luxembourg to fulfill one of its main missions: to promote Luxembourg’s craftsmanship internationally by presenting several artists with different disciplines.

From stone carving to clay sculpture, Revelations brings visibility to talented Luxembourgish artists and is one of the most important events in the sector.

De Mains De Maîtres Luxembourg proposes, this year, Nature against nature. This exhibition questions the influence of new technologies on ancestral gestures and know-how. On the banquet, Karolina Pernar, Christiane Modert and Marc Hubert present respectively wood sculptures, ceramics and carved stones, in dialogue with some new experiments (3D sculpture, transformed plastics, artifacts…) shown on the associated stand, like a real cabinet of curiosities.

Exhibited artists :
Erny Heuertz-Piret, Textile sculptures
Pit Molling, 3D Sculpture
Martin Dieterle, Plastic sculptures
Michel Metzler, Metal sculptures
Alejandra Solar, Stone jewelry
Birgit Thalau, Plaster jewelry
Flavia Carbonetti, Fashion designer

De Mains de Maîtres is supported by Kultur | lx – Arts Council Luxembourg.