During the Venice Architecture Biennale, the new project curated by Beyond Entropy Africa (Golden Lyon at the 55. Venice Art Biennale), virtually transforms the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore into “Ilha de São Jorge”, an extra-territorial island featuring a series of short films that document how modernity has been absorbed in the five Portuguese speaking African republics: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe.
Beyond Entropy proposes a reflection on the way modernity was conceived, developed, built, dwelled, absorbed and sometimes rejected in these countries and produces a model of urban conditions that may set new perspectives on urban development and architectural discourse in these regions. The legacy of Portuguese empire building pervades the Postcolonial discourse that attempts to explain the development of the modern nation state in Portuguese speaking Africa. It is with this historical and linguistic connection in mind that “Ilha de São Jorge” is thematically and structurally created. Although geographically distant, these countries share a heritage with each other and with Portugal. The cities and urban forms are a result of methods, techniques and procedures that can be linked with a common historical past tied to a Portuguese matrix yet deeply related to specifics of geography, culture and traditions. This shared Postcolonial heritage makes it relevant to develop a coherent discourse on the similar ways these countries have declined or absorbed modernist architecture. Placing the architectural discourse together for the first time, not only highlights their connections with Portugal, but more importantly, it highlights the internal connections, often neglected, that contributed to the development of a modernist discourse.
The project includes the publication “Ilha de São Jorge”, edited by Paula Nascimento, Stefano Serventi and Ana Vaz Milheiro that follows the same thematic thread of the exhibition. Divided in five sections: Objects, Buildings, Cities, Landscape and Visions, it is a collection of creative texts, images and academic studies by architects, researchers and artists that accompany the exhibition and enrich its curatorial mission.
Curators: Beyond Entropy Africa / Paula Nascimento and Stefano Rabolli Pansera
Exhibiting videos by Suleimane Biai+Filipa César, Filipe Branquinho+Tiago Correia-Paulo+Rui Terneiro, Monica de Miranda, Irineu Destourelles, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Kwame Sousa+René Tavares
Opening Times: 6 June – 6 July 2014 Monday – Sunday, 2 pm – 7 pm, free admission.
Venue: Piccolo Teatro Hall, Fondazione Giorgio Cini
Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
Transport: Vaporetto ACTV line 2, Stop San Giorgio
Beyond Entropy is a research based studio prac- tising architecture, urbanism and cultural analysis. Beyond Entropy uses the concept of Energy as a tool to conceive new forms of architecture beyond the rhetoric of sustainability and operates on a global level in three territories: Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean.