13.12.2023 #architecture #biennale #kulturlxnews

Luxembourg Pavilion welcomes over 102,000 visitors at the 18th Biennale di Venezia International Architecture Exhibition

© Antoine Espinasseau, 2023

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.