May 5, 2021 - Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Anachoresis
e-flux Architecture
May 5, 2021
May 5, 2021

Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Visual identity: Studio Lin.

Upon Inhabiting Distances
May 22–November 21, 2021

Preview: May 21, 4–7pm

Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Associazione Culturale Spiazzi
Calle del Pestrin, 3865
30122 Venice
Instagram / Facebook


“Living-Together, especially idiorrhythmic Living-Together, implies an ethics (or a physics) of distance between cohabiting subjects.”
—Roland Barthes, How To Live Together 

The Cyprus Pavilion at the 17th International Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition addresses the spatial experiences that occur when inhabiting distances becomes a paradigm for the development of new socialities. The notion of anachoresis, as explicated by Roland Barthes in How to Live Together, denotes an abrupt departure into spaces of atypical and idiorrhythmic manifestations of cohabitation. In the Cyprus Pavilion, anachoresis is introduced as an act that takes place on the convergence of urban-public and domestic-private space, where the distance between the two is blurred and inhabited.

The horizontal site-specific installation scales up one of the most archetypical structures and social objects, the table. Designed by Era Savvides and Nasios Varnavas (Urban Radicals) in conversation with Marina Christodoulidou and Evagoras Vanezis, it takes the pavilion’s original domestic typology as a point of departure, with the table expanding to a quasi-monumental form. The architectural gesture unifies the indoor and outdoor areas, guiding one through a paced walk with spaces for pause and activation—implementing new protocols of distancing whilst balancing our need for being together. 

The table’s foundations reference Cypriot landscapes, both raw materialities and terrains. The tabletop is fragmented and reassembled into a mosaic of “islands” which allow for cultural and social multiplicity of languages. Embedded into the surface are objects of play, infrastructure and craft, which archive narratives of collectivity and exchange by creating the basis for a cartography of places and characters, operating between local-global scales and rhythms.

Gathered on the table are proposals by architects and interdisciplinary groups from Cyprus and abroad, inviting reflections on the physical and social aspects of architectural practice. Through the perspectives of urban and domestic landscapes, queerness, play, architectural tradition, and technology, a micrography of fantasized communities is proposed. 

The project reenvisions spatial relations by furthering into the mediums of sound and movement. In collaboration with composer Yiannis Christofides, the soundscape Things in the Distance amplifies the reversibility of the indoors and the outdoors, while the choreographic score “ANEW” developed as part of Michalis Theophanous and Georgia Tegou’s dance-as-design practice, suggests counter-structures to our daily acts and typical behaviors. 

Anachoresis: Upon Inhabiting Distances is accompanied by a publication and a newspaper edition. The publication includes texts on the various thematics explored by the curatorial team and the project's contributors, while it opens itself to projects and texts by invited collaborators. The newspaper collects articles by curators and exhibitors of this year’s Biennale, as well as other cultural practitioners, and is available as Free Press throughout the duration of the exhibition. 

As part of the project, a series of collateral events will be announced via the Pavilion’s website and social media.

Curators: Era Savvides, Nasios Varnavas (Urban Radicals); Marina Christodoulidou; Evagoras Vanezis
Exhibitors: Urban Radicals
Commissioner: Petros Dymiotis
Deputy Commissioner: Angela Skordi 
Dance-as-design: Georgia Tegou; Michalis Theophanous 
Sound: Yiannis Christofides

Contributors: Dakis Panayiotou (Kiss The Architect), Theodoulos Polyviou; Mariza Daouti, Eftychios Savvidis; Natalie Savva, Mark Rist (Studio naama); Serhan Ahmet-Tekbas, Thanasis Ikonomou; Eleni Diana Elia, Kleanthis Rousos; Christophoros Kyriakides, Orestis Kyriakides (Kkreate Studio); Emilio Koutsoftides (Koutsoftides Architects), Gabor Stark; Kleanthis Kyriakou, Regner Ramos (Wet-Hard Agency); Charis Nika, Sebastian Koukkides; Rania Francis, Gergana Popova; Eleonora Antoniadou (Superside Studio), Nayia Savva; Veronika Antoniou, Tereza Tourvas (Urban Gorillas)

Graphic design: Studio Lin 
Fabrication: Design & Making 
Collaborators: Clayworks, Oban CNC, Werner Fraters, Antaios Compressed Earth Blocks, Vassos Demetriou Ceramics, Tradition Now, Cyprus Handicraft Service, CYENS Thinker Maker Space 
Supporters: Phileleftheros, ETEK, Youth Board Cyprus, Premier Shukuroglou, Peletico, Event Pro, Ergo

Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, May 5, 2021
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