05/18/2023 – Released USA Pavilion In the 18th International Exhibition of Architecture – La Biennale di Venezia It presents an exhibition focusing on one of the most widespread materials in the world: plastic. durable plasticAnd Designed by SPACES, an alternative arts organization based in Cleveland, Ohio, with support from the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with Tiziana Baldenbrough, Pavilion Commissioner and Director of SPACES, and Lauren Living, Curator of the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition is open from May 20 to November 26, 2023.
The petrochemical polymers we call plastics, developed in the United States in the early 20th century, have been hailed as revolutionary materials, capable of lowering social and economic barriers in ensuring access to goods previously available only to the wealthy classes. Today, plastic is being produced at an exponential and alarming rate, despite a growing awareness of its toxic impact.
durable plastic Born in response to the urgency of the moment and brings together specially commissioned works from Xavi L. Aguirre (Architectural Designer and Assistant Professor of Architecture at MIT), Simon Anton (active designer in Detroit); Ang Lee (Architect and Assistant Professor in Northeastern University’s School of Architecture), Norman Teague (Designer and Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Design) H Lauren Yeager (conceptual artist and sculptor active in Cleveland), his creative practice focuses on the analysis and recovery of plastic waste.
Analyzing how these materials permeate contemporary life, the exhibition reconfigures attitudes and approaches to managing excess plastic waste in water, landfills and streets. more than expressing a moral judgment, durable plastic He recognizes the global dependence on this material and proposes a careful rethinking of the way we live with plastic and the potential of the latter to become an agent of change.
“By representing the United States at the Biennale, we wanted to connect an industry deeply rooted in Ohio, where we are headquartered, and communities around the world, including Venice.” I have announced Baldenbro. “What was developed in the United States as materials with utopian potential now contributes to a dystopian reality for the planet. By investigating this dichotomy, design and art can guide us in changing the situation in which humanity finds itself.”
“The enormity of plastic waste and production requires innovative design thinking to look at materials in a new way, focusing on the visible and invisible ways in which they affect our world,” I have announced living. “Plastics are associated with environmental exploitation and global markets and have created many expectations that other materials also have a one-time use and are immediately disposed of. The exhibition provides a platform for experiments that simultaneously recognize the long-term impact of plastics and compare them with the re-appropriation of these materials in an innovative way.”
Each installation examines our relationship to plastic and explores different aspects of its production and consumption, encouraging discussion about how materials shape and erode contemporary ecology, economics and the built environment, while suggesting potential alternatives and new and needed insights into how plastics can be used. Business descriptions shown are given below.
Proof to Xavi L. Aguirre It analyzes the architectural strategies that make our built environments airtight and usable, from waterproofing to soundproofing and insulating from the outside gaze: it is a study of the ways we use to protect buildings and their users. The project begins by examining the material properties of spaces that want to prevent physical wear and tear—such as those caused by perspiration, stains, friction, and heat—from discos to gyms to hammams, to draw a link between what is designed for the body and a potential environmental setting.
this total installationwhich occupies two halls of the transept, and opens with a series of Partial scenes, each examining some commonly used protective materials to shed light on what often goes unnoticed in our interior spaces: coatings, rubber, gaskets, aluminum profiles, silicone, foam, concrete panels, beveled edges. Each scenario offers different possibilities for modifying materials so that you can reuse them while constructing and dismantling buildings. In the second room, a video, soundscape and augmented reality system lead visitors to live in these environments, while the boundaries between indoors and outdoors become increasingly blurred.
Simon Anton It is dedicated to the process Collecting plastic waste on metal framesTurning waste into functional things. Anton’s rig, which recovers plastic from various sources—including Detroit communities, laundries, and industries such as the automotive and toy industries—is a juxtaposition of matter that elevates plastic into an object of attraction and at the same time repulsion. Taxonomy investigates circular stories and reimagines the possible future of a world in which plastic waste becomes increasingly disconnected from the natural environment.
Anton’s installation in Venice combines earlier design and current materials to create monumental reconstructions, using decorative details that recall specific periods of architectural history that Anton places in the context of the current proliferation of plastic. Reconstructing clocks, barriers, and architectural elements taken from financial institutions, among other references, investigates plastics as a reflection of global capitalization and the urgent need to manage plastics production and consumer actions.
Site-specific installation of Ang Lee It explores the cultural heritage and physical survival of petroleum-based “wonder materials” in the built environment. The work arises from a series of reflections on the standard capabilities of expanded polystyrene (EPS) and its role in shaping twentieth-century building practices and spatial images. In construction, EPS is often used as a lightweight alternative to thermal mass. Hidden between walls and under layers of topsoil, this massive replacement forms a large layer of the built environment that remains hidden from view: the invisible inner lining of modern society.
The project aims to undermine the illusion of lightness often associated with EPS foam with a direct physical comparison: a 30-foot wall filled with condensed EPS waste from American recycling plants. The assembly logic of this reconfigured wall takes its cues from the modular systems and physical processes of the waste handling industry, while referencing ancient forms of interconnected construction. Through this improvised architecture of accumulation, the installation presents the audience with multiple readings of an exclusively modern material: as an inventory system, as a monument to a bygone age, and as a formation layer within shared geological strata.
Project submitted by Norman Teague In Venice it is a did experimentation It marks his departure from a creative practice centered around wood to embrace plastic as a research medium. Inspired by African basket weaving, Teague transformed his studio into a laboratory to discover what would happen if one approached plastic starting with the craft tradition. Originating in everyday items like laundry detergent and milk bottles, the new body of work preserves traces of the products we live with, bringing long-established traditions into dialogue with petroleum-based industrial mass production.
Teague has developed a process to crush recycled plastic down to the particle level. When cut, the plastic becomes a smooth, smooth paste that is patiently applied to layers of controlled rolls around pre-existing shapes. The resulting vase-like objects, placed in the center of the rotunda of the United States Pavilion, harken back to the artisan tradition of colombino or basket-weaving and experimented with the potential of plastic in terms of color, size, function, and history. Through this body of experimental work, Teague delves into the theme of the 2023 Architecture Biennale, “Lab of the Future,” which focuses on themes of production, resources, and representation.
Lauren Yeager He is a conceptual artist who reinvents everyday objects by transforming them into sculptural objects. Using recovered consumables, the artist references modern and classic forms in sculptures that rediscover and increase the value of recovered objects. Left largely unchanged, their local nature remains visible, allowing the works to move between different contexts and to be both formal sculptures and relics of personal history and everyday monotony. Familiar plastic objects are replacing traditional stone and plaster, highlighting their physical stability and our collective desire to reuse this copious waste stream.
Yeager created a series of geometric and vertical shapes by repurposing plastic objects salvaged from trash found in and around Cleveland. His installation, located in the courtyard of the pavilion surrounding the building with a custom-designed sculpture garden, is an anthropological re-examination of urban waste that abandons preconceived notions in favor of a re-evaluation of the physical form of plastic objects. By encountering everyday objects in this context, such as large coolers and children’s toys, the audience can perceive them in a new light to think about their potential and the potential of the space they occupy.
Exhibition design durable plastic Created by Adnan Faisal Altunbuzar and Chloe Monkenbeck. Graphic design was coordinated by Normal (Renata Grau and Lucas Reeve). Conceptually both refer to industrial plastics production systems and generic or undifferentiated production chains. Fonts are provided by Dinamo.
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