Pavilion of Turkey at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021
Architecture as Measure | Curator’s tour
Monday, May 24, 2021
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Join us for a virtual curator's tour of the Pavilion of Turkey at this year's Venice Architecture Biennale, streaming from Monday, May 24, 2021.

Curated by Neyran Turan and coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the Pavilion of Turkey presents Architecture as Measure at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, titled How Will We Live Together? and taking place from May 22 to November 21, 2021. 

Taking curator Neyran Turan’s recently published book Architecture as Measure (New York and Barcelona: Actar Publishers, 2020) as a theoretical preamble, the exhibition positions architecture as a measure that can help assess our place on Earth and our role in relation to those with whom we live together: as architects with the actors of other disciplines and domains of work, and as a species alongside more-than-human others. Presented through an installation, an online publication, and storytellingArchitecture as Measure focuses on the politics and nuances of the seemingly mundane aspects and sites of architectural construction, juxtaposing them with their planetary counterparts through geographies of resource extraction, material supply chains, maintenance and care in Turkey and beyond. 

The installation designed by NEMESTUDIO titled Four Dioramas comprises a quartet of rooms. Each diorama stages both a generic site of architecture with banal details and a specific mise-en-scène of an imaginary story taking place in Turkey. Diorama of Quarry is a marble quarry abandoned after centuries of resource extraction in the old land. Diorama of Logistics is a large warehouse enabling a massive transit during a multi-species migration to a new land. Diorama of Maintenance and Care is a site of repair in the new land, where both the built structures and the endangered more-than-human beings are continually given maintenance and care. Diorama of Formwork is a site of reconstruction for the future inhabitants of the Earth. 

Visitors can walk inside the dioramas as if they are in the interior space of an architectural model. As the dioramas collide the architectural and the planetary, the human and the more-than-human, the banal and the spectacular, and the everyday and the mythical, ideas of foreground and background are constantly flipped and negotiated. 

In addition to the installation, the exhibition extends onto a website as its main publication platform. Exploring topics of focus through four different formats—Paperwork, Episodes, Conversationsand Essays—the website presents content written by the Pavilion’s curatorial team and the invited contributors, published periodically over the course of the biennial. The dioramas in the pavilion showcase selected published pamphlets from the website publication, where they become part of the mise-en-scènes of the stories depicted. 

Architecture as Measure is curated by Neyran Turan. Assistant curators are E. Ece EmanetoğluMelis UğurluBetsy Clifton, and Samet Mor. Exhibition design is by NEMESTUDIO. The editorial assistant is Ian Erickson. Visual identity and graphic design are by Paleworks (Yağmur Ruzgar and Ozan Akkoyun). The Pavilion of Turkey is coordinated by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), co-sponsored by Schüco Turkey and VitrA, and realised with the contribution of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. The Pavilion of Turkey has taken part in the International Architecture Exhibition since 2014, thanks to the acquisition of the permanent venue at Sale d’Armi, Arsenale on the initiation of the İKSV and with the support of 21 sponsors.

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