The Lithuanian Pavilion has released details about its exhibition at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of Venice Architecture Biennale.
The Lithuanian Pavilion, themed Children’s Forest Pavilion, will act as an educational tool that helps children learn about the forests and demand agencies in forming it.
The pavilion, curated by Jurga Daubaraitė, Egija Inzule, Jonas Žukauskas, will be composed as a playscape and conceived to acknowledge the unique approaches of children to observe, draw conclusions, explain the forest.
Bringing the power of nature together with children, the pavilion will highlight the awareness of green and natural resources with its interactive playground.
The Venice Architecture Biennale 2023 will take place from Saturday 20 May to Sunday 26 November, 2023 at the Arsenale and Giardini venues in Italy. The theme of the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale is The Laboratory of the Future curated by Lesley Lokko.
The pavilion brings together works and findings developed in parallel to outdoor activities held with children in woodlands in Lithuania and Finland.
Paljakanvaara old growth forest, 2021, photo © Jonas Žukauskas
“Forests as negotiated spaces”
Guided by environmental educators, activists, artists, architects, and foresters, the children are expected to think of forests as negotiated spaces where no single actor has a central stake.
The Lithuanian Pavilion is located directly opposite the entrance to the Arsenale, one of the venues of the Venice Architecture Biennale.
The pavilion’s installation will function both an architectural object and a conceptual structure, meandering through a Venetian patio house, allowing different formats of discussion, interaction and play.
The installation is made out of timber from trees on the Curonian Spit that have, over several years, been collected in an archive at Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts as part of the project Neringa Forest Architecture.
In addition to the installation, the pavilion will present film installations, worktables and play structures, the architectural elements that support the research and learning environment of the exhibition.
Workshops with children in Mustarinda, 2022, photo © Zuzana Janečková
The pavilion “shows how the children that participated learned about ancient forests, primordial swamp landscapes and long processes of geological formations,” said the curators Jurga Daubaraitė, Egija Inzule, Jonas Žukauskas.
The exhibition will also be supported with the outdoor activities.
“The children explored the forest at various levels of scale and perception, looking at the growth patterns of lichens, investigating chemical pollution molecules through augmented reality, and discovering sounds from reverberations of ancient and living timber, among other things,” the team added.
Fragment of the playscape, 2023, photo © Jonas Žukauskas
The exhibition will include an alphabet made of the branches of hundred-year-old mountain pines, a space with supersized shadows, as well as computer-generated spores and slime moulds in a myriad of shapes and forms, and invite visitors to play and learn about forests, as architectural and infrastructural spaces: environments of natural systems governed, exploited, and regulated by human interventions, technologies, industries, institutions and agencies, but also places of depleting biodiversity.
Conceived as an educational tool with the potential to “branch off”, it will connect children to other spatial and thematic elements.
At the end of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2023, the pavilion will be dissembled and returned to the woodlands of the Curonian Spit where it will function as a destination for forest walks and environmental education workshops.
Hyrynsalmi timber depot, 2021, photo © Jonas Žukauskas
The pavilion is organised by the Neringa Forest Architecture project that was initiated in 2020 to reflect on the agency of cultural practices and institutions in framing environmental relationships.
The project has its starting point in Nida Art Colony, a subdivision of Vilnius Academy of Arts, located in the Lithuanian part of the Curonian Spit.
As a continuous programme, Neringa Forest Architecture involves a growing assembly of collaborations and participants to read the cultural landscape of the area from multiple perspectives and practices as a case study in the context of the forests of the region.
Project name: Children’s Forest Pavilion
Curators: Jurga Daubaraitė, Egija Inzule, Jonas Žukauskas
Contributors: Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė, Ancient Woods Foundation, Gabrielė Grigorjevaitė, Laura Garbštienė, Mustarinda Association (Tiina Arjukka Hirvonen, Michaela Casková, Robin Everett, Riitta (Nyyskä) Nykänen), Mantas Peteraitis, School of Creativity (Kristupas Sabolius), New Academy (Ikko Alaska, Nene Tsuboi, Tuomas Toivonen), Urbonas Studio (Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas), Kornelija Žalpytė.
Commissioner: Ines Weizman
Architecture: Jonas Žukauskas in collaboration with Antanas Gerlikas, Jurgis Paškevičius, Anton Shramkov.
Graphic design: Monika Janulevičiūtė
Video production and editing: Eitvydas Doškus, Elis Hannikainen, Ignė Narbutaitė
Lighting: Martynas Kazimierėnas
Organised by: Neringa Forest Architecture, Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts
Partner: Centre for Documentary Architecture
Supported by: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Neringa Municipality, Nordic Culture Point
Top image: Filming workshops with children led by environmental educator Riitta (Nyyskä) Nykänen in Neringa forest, 2023, photo © Jonas Žukauskas.
> via Neringa Forest Architecture
Venice Architecture Biennale