Towards the middle of 2017, Wolff Architects submitted a concept proposal for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. Our submission formed part of a formal tender process to the Department of Arts and Culture. To date we have not heard anything from the DAC on whether our proposal has been successful or unsuccessful. We learnt from a City Press article, that the DAC had decided not to award any tender and that the South African Pavilion in Venice, for which the South African public pays taxes towards its maintenance, would be standing empty for 2018.
Dissatisfied with the lack of engagement and care, we decided to host an open call and exhibition at our office, 136 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town on 17 May 2018, a few days before the official opening of the Architecture Biennale in Venice.
Our Venice 2018 proposal, in short, proposed commissioning photographers to submit an image of an oppressive space, psychologically or spatially, with the idea that their images would be printed out in extreme miniature (2cm x 2cm) the size of an Instagram thumbnail. Upon entering the pavilion it would appear that there is nothing on the walls – you would notice the diminutive captures only upon closer inspection. In contrast, the space at the end of the room would be occupied by a specially chosen image that would ask the audience to imagine alternatives.
See more images of the event here.
Chalwyn Thomas’s presentation on the construction of the Rondehuis.
Zuna Thomas reciting a poem she wrote in khoekhoegowad of the Nama.
Installation of the exhibition with chair to view.