December 15, 2017 - United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Dimensions of Citizenship
e-flux Architecture
December 15, 2017
December 15, 2017

United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Mika Rottenberg, Cosmic Generator (still), 2017. © Mika Rottenberg.

Dimensions of Citizenship
US Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

dimensionsofcitizenship.org

US Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale to feature film and video artworks that expand the exhibition Dimensions of Citizenship

The curators of Dimensions of Citizenship, the US Pavilion exhibition at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, today announced that they will present film and video works that explore multiple perspectives—narrative, speculative, or impressionistic—in the pavilion’s rotunda. Entitled “Transit Screening Lounge,” this collection features recent single-channel works by Frances Bodomo, Mandana Moghaddam, David Rueter and Marissa Lee Benedict, Mika Rottenberg, and Liam Young. As reflections on the spatial conditions of citizenship, these evocative works join installations by the Pavilion’s seven commissioned participants: Amanda Williams & Andres L. Hernandez, Design Earth, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, Keller Easterling, SCAPE, and Studio Gang.

The commissioners of the 2018 US Pavilion are the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago.

Curators Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, and Mimi Zeiger said, “While each of the installations commissioned from the architects and designers will consider what it means to belong at different and specific spatial scales, the ‘Transit Screening Lounge’ will offer more ambiguous readings of contemporary citizenship, involving blurred boundaries, gray areas, and alternative histories. The selected works look at citizenship through a lens of movement: migration, transgression, transmission, travel, and mobility, as a way to visualize conditions that can be difficult to delineate through traditional architectural means.”

The following films and videos have been selected for the US Pavilion:

Afronauts (2014)
Frances Bodomo

It's July 16, 1969, and the US is preparing to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy is hoping to beat America to the moon. Inspired by true events. Frances Bodomo, born in Accra in 1988, is an award-winning Ghanaian filmmaker.

Exodus (2012)
Mandana Moghaddam

Borrowing a title best known from the Bible, Exodus addresses the mass flight of people across the world in the wake of war, poverty, and social injustice. Through images of luggage adrift at sea, the video evokes the sense of being uprooted, losing one’s identity, and having to fight for one’s integrity.

Dark Fiber (2015) 
David Rueter and Marissa Lee Benedict

Tunneling through commercial and industrial fiber optic networks and traveling in their shadows, Dark Fiber follows the course of a single cable, in a video that pushes against conventional representations of networks and logistics. The video’s montage sequences depict movement between systems and scales as seen in vast landscapes, industrial infrastructure, media apparatuses, art venues, domestic spaces, and imagined worlds.

Cosmic Generator (2017) 
Mika Rottenberg

Cosmic Generator explores a kaleidoscopic world in which the US and Mexico are linked by a secret system of tunnels, which enable trade among various places and actors. The tunnels lead from the Golden Dragon Restaurant in Mexicali, Mexico, to a 99 Cents Store in Calexico, California, while an enormous plastic commodities market in Yiwu, China, also plays a role in the imaginary network.

Where the City Can't See (2016) 
Liam Young

Where the City Can't See is the first narrative fiction film shot entirely with the laser scanning technology used for navigation by self-driving vehicles. In a Chinese-owned and controlled Detroit Economic Zone, a group of young auto workers drifts around in a driverless taxi, searching for a place they know exists but that their car doesn't recognize. They are part of an underground community in which people adorn themselves in machine-vision camouflage and anti-facial recognition masks to enact escapist fantasies in the city’s hidden spaces.

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