Countdown to Venice—6 days!

May 30, 2014

Only six days left until the opening of Treasures in Disguise—the Montenegro Pavilion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale! What can you expect to see?

Our team in Venice (Alban Bislimi, Jovana Miljanić, Jure Sadar, Laura Sattin, Chiara Paone, Jacopo Tiso, Nina Vuga, and Elena Zadra) is putting the finishing touches on four sectional models of Hotel Fjord, Spomen Dom, Dom Revolucije, and Kayak Club Galeb. At a scale of 1:10, these models will fill up approximately half of each of the four rooms of the Montenegro Pavilion at the Palazzo Malipiero. They are large enough for visitors to stick their heads in them, providing an opportunity to explore the spatial qualities of these buildings and of late-modernist architecture in former Yugoslavia. Glued on the models are photographic details depicting the current material textures, colors and decay of the buildings. The walls behind the models are wallpapered with atmospheric, large-scale photographs of the interiors or surroundings of the buildings. By fusing together the three-dimensional models and two-dimensional photographs into an almost seamless environment, the exhibition not only celebrates the architectural qualities of these buildings, but also exposes the deplorable condition that they’re in today. Panels with short texts introducing the buildings, old and new photographs, and architectural drawings on the opposite walls provide the essential information about each of the projects.

The exhibition scenography wants to provide visitors the opportunity for a close encounter with the  projects in order to emphasize their spatial qualities and potential as buildings, to introduce a different way of looking at this architecture. In the recent past, these structures have predominantly been studied through the lens of their ideological origin and programming. But given that these ideologies are no longer dominant in Montenegro today, this architecture risks being branded as a concrete necropolis of the failure and breakup of Yugoslavia, irreconcilable with Montenegro’s transition to a market economy. This haunting legacy makes it difficult to repurpose these buildings. With this exhibition, we’d like to add to the discourse of late-modernist architecture in Yugoslavia by exploring them primarily as buildings; we want to make them present as tangible spatial structures, so that you can imagine what it’s like to be in them and what they might offer Montenegro in the future.

Check out our Facebook page for more pictures of the making of the models:




Preview of the exhibition model and large scale photography for Kayak Club Galeb


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