Luanda, Encyclopedic City

The first pavilion of the Republic of Angola at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
Dates and Venue:
Vernissage: 30 May 2013
Public Opening: 1 June – 24 November 2013
Palazzo Cini in San Vio, Dorsoduro 864, Venice, Italy
Curators: Paula Nascimento & Stefano Rabolli Pansera

Luanda, Encyclopedic City was the first pavilion of the Republic of Angola at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. It was also awarded the Golden Lion that year. The Pavilion, commissioned and supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Angola was curated by Paula Nascimento and Stefano Rabolli Pansera (Beyond Entropy Ltd) and sponsored by BAI, Banco Privado Atlantico, and Ensa.

The Pavilion continued the research initiated by Beyond Entropy at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition and develops a reflection on the theme of “Encyclopedic Palace” through the work of Edson Chagas, a young Angolan artist.

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher

Curatorial statement:

Luanda, Encyclopedic City

The Encyclopedic Palace has been given an impossible task: no building can contain a universal multiplicity of spaces, possibilities, and objects. When a building tends towards the encyclopedic, it becomes a city. The city includes multiple conditions in the coherence of form—even though this is an urban, conflict-ridden form. Luanda is the privileged research site of the Republic of Angola Pavilion, which continues the curatorial line adumbrated by Beyond Entropy at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia. The complexity of Angola’s capital, Luanda, derives from the presence of unpredictable spaces and the coexistence of irreconcilable programs: city and country, infrastructure and habitations, garbage tips and public spaces. Luanda is an encyclopedic city. How can the knowledge of a city be organized through the taxonomy of its spaces? Central to the pavilion is a reflection on the ways in which images are used to give form to the way the city is experienced. Edson Chagas’s Found not Taken series concentrates on the systematic cataloguing of abandoned objects that are repositioned within an urban context to create new relationships between the objects and their context, form and its codification. What relationship is created between spaces and their images? What role are imagination and creativity allowed to play in this urban taxonomy? In the ambiguity of a vision which uncovers and nonetheless reconstructs, what is delineated is an urban cartography mixing documentary-like precision and poetic reconstruction: a new way of observing the encyclopedic wealth of spaces around us and, perhaps, a new way of inhabiting these spaces.

Paula Nascimento
Stefano Rabolli Pansera

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher

Images courtesy of Paula Nascimento

Trailer for the documentary that outlines the making of the Luanda, Encyclopedic City
Access the full documentary in the resources below.

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher

RESOURCES

Photography by Paolo Utimpergher
Click here to watch the documentary on the Pavilion.
Click here to find out more about the Pavilion on Paula Nascimento’s website.
Click here to access a video interview with the curators.
The Pavilion is part of the Zeitz MOCAA Collection.

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