Venice Biennale 2018 ‘Repair’

The Venice Biennale 2018 opened it’s doors to the public on Sunday showcasing the work of 71 participants from around the globe through architecture. Architects Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright together with artist Linda Tegg chose to focus on architecture and the built form’s impact on the land and our natural world.

Their exhibit “Repair” housed in and around the pavilion designed by Denton Corker Marshall consists of some 10,000 native plants, including 65 species of Western Plains Grasslands. Only one percent of these plants are still existent in the Australian landscape.

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Barraco+Wright and Linda Tegg’s Venice Biennale 2018 ‘Repair’ Installation | Image: Rory Gardiner

“Since we’ve been making buildings and cities in Australia it has mostly been to separate us from the natural environment. Consequences of the disregard of natural systems are now being felt and there is a shift of thinking amongst built environment disciplines towards repairing the natural environment as a meaningful and enduring framework for urban form – an expansion of the natural environment in a sort of reverse order of urban sprawl”, state Baracoo+Wright Architects.

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Architects Louise Wright (right) and Mauro Baracco (left), and artist Linda Tegg (centre) | Image: Rory Gardiner
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Barraco+Wright and Linda Tegg’s Venice Biennale 2018 ‘Repair’ Installation | Image: Rory Gardiner

Creating a tiny eco-system of Australian endangered natives in the Italian city of Venice was no easy task. The grasses were transported initially as seeds from Victoria to San Remo in north-west Italy. It was here they were planted and grown to maturity before setting off on the journey to Venice.

Repair as an approach to architectural thinking, that is, how can architecture play a role in repairing the places it is part of, is set to become a critical strategy of architectural culture. – Baracoo+Wright Architects

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Barraco+Wright and Linda Tegg’s Venice Biennale 2018 ‘Repair’ Installation | Image: Rory Gardiner

With the Venice Biennale 2018 running until November 25th, the living installation needed to survive for the six-month duration. A large-scale skylight rig was designed to support 100 LEDs mimicking the sun’s energy – the lifeline for the native species.

Architects are at a privileged position to start the conversation around the value of the land and how the built environment fits in.  Mauro Baracco explained to Domain, architects have an “ethical mission” to actively focus on repairing the environment that they are building on.

Venice Biennale 2018 is open from May 26th to November 25th.

More information about the exhibition and the participants can be found here.