Cyprus Pavilion Proposal, Venice Biennale 2016
reporting from the countryside
Venice, Italy
Team: Irgen Salianji, Marina Kounavi, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Stavroula Psomiadi, Andreas Ierides, Maria Prodromou, Antony Laurijsen


The proposed theme for the Cypriot Pavilion in the 15th Venice Biennale 2016 is the dynamics of everyday life within the context of non-urban or peri-urban environments. Research and discourse about the city have been long defining the mainstream and have left behind an important part of world population and economy, the countryside.
The slabs of the two remaining volumes are shifted; the void is distorted.

The design of the pavilion is based on the literal reproduction of a paradigmatic fragment of the Cypriot countryside inside the central space of Palazzo Malipiero, to be supported by three more spaces exhibiting the content of the research. In contrast to the surplus information usually overwhelming the visitors, the Cypriot Pavilion adopts a different approach by combining exhibits with the experience of the interaction and exchange between visitors. The act of transporting a fragment of the countryside inside the dense urban epicentre of Venice produces both a strong statement and potentials for a dynamic experience.

The central space of the pavilion is populated by plants, objects and organizational structures found in the Cypriot countryside by the curators during the early phase of the research. The exhibition is therefore characterized by the participation of the visitors with the living exhibits and the paradox of the coexistence between nature and technical interior space. The visitors are invited to populate and appropriate the central space of the pavilion by using and rearranging the 4 table and chairs provided, in order to organize activities and events within the exhibition. Following the Mediterranean and the Cypriot tradition, the table as an object symbolizes commons, gathering, eating and discussing - thus providing to the Biennale a strong contextual element. .