Architecture Venice Biennale 2014
Fondamenta Arsenale, Venice, Italy
National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters
Aisha Alsager, Dana Aljouder, Sara Saragoça Soares, Hassan Hayat
Nesef Al Nesef, Noora Al Musallam, Gráinne Hebeler, Abdullah AlHarmi and Samer Mohammad
Writing & Film Team
Nima Algooneh, Liane Al-Ghusain, Adel Al-Qattan, Wafa’a Al Fraheen, Maysaa Almumin, Ghazi Al- Mulaifi, Fatema Alqabandi, Alaa Alawadhi
Editior & Content Writer
In response to the over arching theme of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Absorbing Modernity, the 2014 Kuwait Pavilion has been working under the headline, Acquiring Modernity, with the objective of investigating the repercussions of commissioning architectural works towards the formation of the State. To help articulate the nation’s history of modernization, the team has chosen to focus it’s participation on the establishment of the Kuwait National Museum in 1957;and through the envisaged program of its second, modern iteration of 1960/1983 address a series of projects that were commissioned to function primarily as symbols of progress. The information gathered and compiled since the start of this project presented in our publication and throughout this website– has been arranged in connection with the themes proposed for each of the buildings of the latter Museum compound:
Administration and Cultural Section,
Land of Kuwait,
Man of Kuwait,
Kuwait of Today
Ambiguous in what they are meant to convey, the themes are testament that any attempt to establish order without the involvement of the communities being served can only ever succeed as a folly. The reclamation of the themes is an effort to generate meaning and restore a sense of ownership and feelings of responsibility over Kuwait’s built environment. It is about questioning direction from those positioned above us—not out of rebellion, but in conversations halfway towards the production of healthy, functioning spaces. Kuwait’s 2014 participation at la Biennale di Venezia is artist-curated and researcher-informed. Comprised of various elements beyond the physical exhibition space, it includes a joint installation with the Nordic Pavilion and a film being produced inside of the Kuwait Pavilion, the Biennale, and in different locations around Kuwait and Venice. It is an exercise at creating connections and exchanging representation. Convened to inform the project from multiple perspectives, our researchers hail from a range of disciplines including architecture, visual and performing arts, history, literature, theology, and filmmaking. The project is obsessively local and utterly informal despite its appearance at la Biennale; its highest aspiration is to influence authorities so that when the project returns from Venice, it will have found a place inside of the Kuwait National Museum as a sort of ‘Special Projects’ program, or research and documentation center.
Experience & Involvement
Participated as a core member for the design and fabrication of the Kuwaiti Pavilion, a group effort lead with initial research into previous pavilions in the biennale history, familiarizing with the various types and studies. Collaboration with the research team, to pin point various key moments in the history of Kuwait, presenting multiple iterations of a design submission for the venue. The design was selected from the upper management, decided the theme was to focus on one particular time in the Kuwait history, documenting the Kuwait National Museum during its opening. Additionally, provided technical support for the publication and was tasked with ensuring printing quality, color correction and paper selection of publication prior to shipment.