02.04.2024 #architecture #biennale #kulturlxnews

The "Sonic Investigations" project by Mike Fritsch, Alice Loumeau and Valentin Bansac selected for the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 2025 Venice Architecture Biennale

fig. 1: spectrogram from a field recording

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, a tentacular collective endeavour that explores new territorial narratives through interdisciplinary alliances and the accumulation of media.

Winning curatorial teams of the 1st round

  • Mike Fritsch, Valentin Bansac, Alice Loumeau
  • Turkan Nies-Dagli, Mohamed Hamdi, Antonio Marvuglia, Dalibor Černý, François de la Caffinière, Julie Schadeck, Karolina Pernar, Stella Arieti, Ulrich Leopold
  • Céline Zimmer, Paul-Antoine Lucas, Bui Quy Son

The Jury

  • 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 (she sent her apologies for the second tour);
  • 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, Ten Studio, Zürich/Belgrade.