31.5.2016

[Home at Arsenale], Pavilion of Slovenia in La Biennale di Venezia

A curated library addressing the notions of home and dwelling.

The Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) presents the project [Home at Arsenale] in the Pavilion of Slovenia at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Commissioner Matevž Čelik, director of MAO, appointed as curators for the presentation in Arsenale the internationally acclaimed architects and educators Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič.

[Home at Arsenale] responds to Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena’s title Reporting from the Front by addressing the topics of home and dwelling as current critical social and environmental issues. The curators conceived a 1:1 spatial structure, an abstract home performing as a curated library that operates as a platform for exploring the concepts of home and dwelling during the Biennale Architettura 2016 and beyond. Aljoša Dekleva and Tina Gregorič propose:

Since the dawn of civilization, structures for dwelling have constructed the predominant part of our built environment, and have served to fulfil our most basic needs. Yet, they should aim beyond securing mere survival to provide the conditions necessary for a meaningful life.

Definitions of home have been continuously questioned and challenged within diverse historical and cultural settings. Today’s information-driven society is characterized by accentuated and proliferated mobility, ranging from seeking permanent relocation to various commuting scenarios. Accordingly, the notion of home requires readdressing. What defines home today, when so many can be almost anywhere and connected to anything, anytime? Despite this growing virtual connectivity the concept of home might still need a tangible spatial or social reality. Our personal experience with moving home provoked the initial question: is home where the library is, or is the library where home is?

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The project [Home at Arsenale] proposes the concept of home as a public curated library that operates as a platform for exploring the notions of home and dwelling, within the current critical social and environmental conditions. Challenging the private/public dichotomy within the dwelling domain the project suggests a transformation of the private home into a possible temporary public home environment.

The installation inhabits and reacts to the given space in Arsenale with a spatial structure containing a curated collection of books and objects of domesticity suggestive of the domestic realm. A 1:1 spatial structure, generated by a site-specific system of wooden bookshelves, performs simultaneously as a curated library and as abstract compact home encouraging visitors to inhabit and experience it.

Invited architects, artists, critics and curators from various backgrounds are participating with their selection of some 10 books addressing the notions of home and dwelling to share their experience and expertise ‘from their fronts’ in order to build the curated library of collective knowledge for the benefit of exhibition visitors. Additionally, the participants are invited to become temporary residents of [Home at Arsenale] for one hour to one day and to host live events that question what defines home today through interviews, talks or workshops, in order to intensify the interaction with the public. Ultimately the [Home at Arsenale], with around 300 books, will relocate to the Museum of Architecture and Design in Ljubljana, to be continually available for public use.’

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