Towards the middle of 2017, Wolff Architects submitted a concept proposal for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. Our submission formed part of a formal tender process to the Department of Arts and Culture. To date we have not heard anything from the DAC on whether our proposal has been successful or unsuccessful. We learnt from a City Press article, that the DAC had decided not to award any tender and that the South African Pavilion in Venice, for which the South African public pays taxes towards its maintenance, would be standing empty for 2018.
Dissatisfied with the lack of engagement and care, we have decided to host an open call and exhibition at our office, 136 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town on 17 May 2018, a few days before the official opening of the Architecture Biennale in Venice.
Our Venice 2018 proposal, in short, proposed commissioning photographers to submit an image of an oppressive space, psychologically or spatially, with the idea that their images would be printed out in extreme miniature (2cm x 2cm) the size of an instagram thumbnail. Upon entering the pavilion it would appear that there is nothing on the walls - you would notice the diminutive captures only upon closer inspection. In contrast, the image by Paul Grendon, of a woman building her rondehuis in the Richtersveld would be projected large scale, in another room designed to evoke an immersive, contemplative space. What can we learn from the woman captured in the 1991 image about building with intent, creativity and around the resources that you have? Could this image perhaps, become an antidote for the architecture of coloniality? What are the other antidotes we could collect and discuss and imagine? Read the full proposal here.
We invite you to submit your photograph of an oppressive space. We invite you to join the conversation around space, freedom and non-freedom. We invite you to challenge, with us, the oppressive bureaucracies, which through their indifference, stifle public conversations on the unfreedom experienced by architecture and doing so, the articulation of ways out. We invite you to search with us for more antidotes.
Submission deadline: 30 April 2018 at 12pm
1. All submissions to be emailed to email@example.com
2. The submission deadline is Monday 30 April 2018 at 12pm.
3. Submissions to include the name, email address and contact number of applicant.
4. Submission to include a one sentence caption that locates and names the building or space in the photograph [we just want to know what it is and where it is].
5. The exhibited photographs will be printed very small [around 2cm x 2cm].
6. A selection of images will be displayed at the exhibition. Photographers will be notified by email.
Date: 17 May 2018 5pm - 8pm
Venue: Wolff Architects, 136 Buitengracht Street, Bo Kaap
PUMFLET: ART, ARCHITECTURE, AND STUFF - founded in 2016 by the pumfleteers collective: Ilze Wolff and Kemang Wa Lehulere