Arsenale, Sale d’Armi, building A, 1st floor

“More than a year of living in a full-scale war has completely changed our perception of space. All objects around us are automatically perceived as a potential threat or protection. During the war, when we are in an open area, we always look up at the sky and try to find a landscape that can protect us. For more than a year now, our sleep has been interrupted every 4 hours and then we have two options for protection, to gather all important things and go to a bomb shelter or stay at home try to press against the inner wall in corridor by the rule of “two walls”. Without daylight, between massive walls and under a solid ceiling, we are used to teaching our children, talking, singing, rejoicing, uniting and thinking about the future.”

The installation at the Arsenale finds the normally lofty hall transformed into a dark, low-ceilinged space that enfolds the viewer in the safety of a closed sky and thick walls— physical barriers to harm. The structure manifests what the Pavilion team refers to as a “new comfort”, where claustrophobic, windowless, or even previously abandoned spaces can become vital sites for incubating plans for survival and hope for the future.