Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung represent Switzerland at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia, with their project titled Neighbours.
Two national pavilions and a wall that connects as well as separates, are the focus of Karin Sander's and Philip Ursprung's project Neighbours for the 18th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia. By turning the architecture itself into the exhibit, the artist and the architecture historian introduce the audience to new perspectives on the territorial relations within the Giardini of La Biennale.
Following an open call, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia chose to entrust the exhibition of the Swiss Pavilion for the Biennale Architettura 2023 to the artist Karin Sander and the architecture historian Philip Ursprung, both professors at ETH Zurich. Their project Neigbours highlights both the spatial and structural proximity of the Swiss Pavilion to its Venezuelan neighbor and the professional bond of the two architects: the Swiss Bruno Giacometti (1907 - 2012) and the Italian Carlo Scarpa (1906 - 1978).
Karin Sander is an artist and professor of Art and Architecture, and Philip Ursprung is professor of the History of Art and Architecture, both at ETH Zurich.
For their project Neighbors , Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung are supported by managing curator Sassa Trülzsch, project leader Tobias Becker and researcher Berit Seidel.
Find out more about the project in the press release.
Public Dialogues of the Swiss Pavilion
Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung host a series of public dialogues with various experts,
ranging from architecture, to photography and plant ecology. The program of speakers has been curated to draw you in. But the people you will meet on your left and your right, and those you encounter on your way, have not been pre-planned. Everything that they bring to the table is a surprise. You, too, are welcome to speak. The talks will be held in English, partly in the Swiss Pavilion and partly at Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi at Zattere.
The events are generously supported by the Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich.
Pavilion Days is an initiative started by six National Participations (Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Portugal and Switzerland) that belong to the Commissioner Group. This self-organised group of around 25 countries who participated in Biennale Architettura 2021 meets regularly to support each other, to exchange ideas, and to solve issues.
This year, on the occasion of the Pavilion Days (14 and 15 September), the Swiss Pavilion hosts two series of talks, on 15 and 16 September 2023.
Knocking on Neighbours' Doors
Friday, 15.09.23 and Saturday, 16.09.23
As part of the Pavilion Days, Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung are hosting two roundtable discussions in the Swiss Pavilion. On 15 September theoreticians will discuss the vicinity of art and architecture and on 16 September curators from the neighbouring pavilions will talk about the insights gained from the current Biennale. Both talks are presented by Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung and additionally, Sander and Ursprung will conduct guided tours of the Swiss Pavilion on both days.
“Art and Architecture”
Friday, 15 September, 2pm
Venue: Pavilion of Switzerland
Michael Hagner, Professor of Science Studies, ETH Zurich
Anh-Linh Ngo, Co-editor ARCH+, Co-curator, Pavilion of Germany
Sassa Trülzsch, Managing Curator, Pavilion of Switzerland
Harald Welzer, Director of Futurzwei: Stiftung Zukunftsfähigkeit
“The Uneasiness of National Pavilions”
Saturday, 16 September, 2pm
Venue: Pavilion of Switzerland
Tobias Becker, Project Leader, Pavilion of Switzerland
Iisa Eikaas, Co-curator Pavilion of Denmark
Samia Henni, Assistant Professor, Cornell University, College of Architecture Art Planning
Katarina Siltavuori, Director Archinfo, Commissioner of the Pavilion of Finland
Pippo Ciorra, Senior Curator, MAXXI, Rome
Giardini Days: Play for Two Pavilions
Authors: Adam Jasper, Elisa Silva and Philip Ursprung
With Pablo Aguilar as “Pavilion of Venezuela”, Philip Ursprung as “Pavilion of Switzerland” and Clara Richard as “Narrator.”
Director: Stephan Müller
Coordination: Berit Seidel
Recording and Production: Vivian Wang in May 2023
The podcast “Giardini Days: Play for Two Pavilions” was written by Adam Jasper, Elisa Silva and Philip Ursprung for the exhibition “Neighbours” by Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung at the Swiss Pavilion of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
The entire play is published in the book “Neighbours: A Manifesto, A Play for Two Pavilions and Ten Conversations”, edited by Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung, Park Books, Zurich, 2023.
The podcast can be listened to on this link.
Swiss presentations in the main exhibition
The main exhibition of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition– La Biennale di Venezia is titled The Laboratory of the Future and can be seen at the Giardini and Arsenale. By invitation of the curator Lesley Lokko, the Swiss artist Ursula Biemann (Zurich) and the collective Le laboratoire d'architecture (Vanessa Lacaille and Mounir Ayoub, Geneva) – who represented Switzerland in Biennale Architettura 2021 – will take part in the main exhibition (in the section called Dangerous Liaisons) and will feature experimental practices that seek to expand our understanding of what it means to decolonise knowledge and production. Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia sponsors both presentations in the central exhibition.