May 29, 2007 - Portugal Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Angela Ferreira: Portuguese Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia
May 29, 2007

Angela Ferreira: Portuguese Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia

 Ângela Ferreira, Maison Tropicale (Niamey), 2007 

Ângela Ferreira

10 June-21 November 2007

curated by Jürgen Bock

Fondaco Marcello (Grand Canal)
Professional Preview Days: 6-9 June 2007
Press Conference: 8 June 2007, 13 h, Teatro Piccolo, Arsenale
Official Opening Reception at the Pavilion: 8 June 2007, 18 20 h

Ângela Ferreiras Maison Tropicale reflects on colonial history and its contemporary, post- and neo-colonial resonances. Amidst the territorial reorganisation undertaken by the colonial powers in Africa after World War II and following a public tender process, the French Overseas Ministry, through collaboration with the French designer Jean Prouvé, saw the possibility to further develop modernist ideas of conceiving a series of aesthetically sophisticated homes, that could be mass-produced and that would give people greater access to well-designed, high quality architecture based on prefabricated aluminium modules. Prouvés ideas never took hold in Europe, but the possibility to install a large number of his houses in the African colonies led to the development of his Tropical House. Of the thousands of units originally envisaged, only three prototypes ultimately left Prouvés workshop. In 1949, the first Tropical House was transported by plane to Niger and installed in the capital, Niamey. Two other houses were transported to the Congo and installed in Brazzaville in 1951.

With the rediscovery of Prouvés work in the 1990s, the houses also incited new interest and became part of a process of fetishisation of Prouvés productions by the design world. The three Tropical Houses were dismantled and transported back to France where they were restored and subsequently presented there and in the United States, in a new context. This is what we know about Prouvés Tropical House, and it is at this point that the story of Ângela Ferreiras Maison Tropicale begins.

The installation at the Portuguese Pavilion in Venice presents us with the displacement of these houses, not located in France, the United States, Niger or the Congo, transforming them into containers of history, in transit between the worlds of the colonisers and the colonised, the de-colonised and post-modern worlds with their realities of post- and/or neo-colonialism. Ângela Ferreira recreates the places where Prouvés houses were originally installed, highlighting their absence and the traces left behind, evoking the structures themselves through the sculptural objects produced by the artists modular form of architecture resulting from the accumulation of objects in a claustrophobic space and remaining permanently adrift.

The Portuguese Pavilion is located at Fondaco Marcello on the banks of the Grand Canal, a two-minute walk from the Palazzo Grassi between the Accademia and Rialto bridges.

A bi-lingual publication will be launched at the opening of the Pavilion. The catalogue offers extensive documentation on Ângela Ferreiras Maison Tropicale and will contain essays by Jürgen Bock, Manthia Diawara, Andrew Renton and Gertrud Sandqvist.

The Portuguese Pavilion is organised and financed by the Portuguese Ministry of Culture / Institute of the Arts, additional funding is kindly provided by Turismo de Portugal.

Portuguese Pavilion
Fondaco Marcello
San Marco 3415 (Calle dei Garzoni), 30124 Venezia
Vaporetto 1 Sant Angelo; Vaporetto 82 San Samuele;
Traghetto from San Tomà to the pier next to Pavilion;
Direct water taxi landing at the terrace of the Pavilion.

For further information please contact the International Press Office of the Portuguese Pavilion: European Art Projects
Anne Maier
T. 49 30 30 38 18 37
F. 49 30 69 81 94 15

Portugal Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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