Serbian Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Reflects on the Present and Future of Industrial Cities
The Serbian contribution to the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale explores the connection between a city’s economy and its urban structure -that the curatorial team defines as the life-work relationship- investigating the prospective futures of mono-functional industrial cities. Titled 8th Kilometer and developed by MuBGD, the exhibition uses the mining town of Bor, located in eastern Serbia, as a study case for how economic activities have not only shaped the urban environment but the forms of collectivity connected to it.
This edition’s Serbian Pavilion illustrates how the core economic activity of mining has shaped the socio-economic framework of the town of Bor, being its sole reason for existence and impeeding opportunities for alternative developments. The exhibition derives its name from how residents of Bor locate individual places in town, through their distance from the open cast mine, defined as “zero kilometer”.
Gojkovic opens Serbia Pavilion at Venice Biennale
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and Information Maja Gojkovic officially opened the Pavilion of Serbia today at the 17th International Biennale of Architecture in Venice.
Gojkovic pointed out that the exhibition “The Eighth Kilometre” prepared by the team of authors “Modern in Belgrade” convincingly testifies to the fact that Serbia has once again shown that with creativity and imagination it can make a valuable contribution in facing global issues of our time.
She assessed that the exhibition of the team, which consists of eight young and talented architects, responds in a multi-layered way to this year’s Biennale slogan: “How will we live together?”, stating that the answer to that question, through the artistic concept of the exhibition, represents a step forward into the space of the industrial city of Bor, which metaphorically offers a hint of future solutions for urban development.
Gojkovic recalled that our country has been performing independently at the Biennale of Architecture since 2006 and that this is one of the most important cultural events for Serbia at the international level.
Exhibition Commissioner Slobodan Jovic said that the theme of the Biennale “How will we live together?” by Hashim Sarkis, curator of the 17th International Biennial of Architecture, has received new meanings and new readings since 2019, when it was set up, and that it pointed to the urgent need for new reflections on the built environment.
The team “Modern in Belgrade” consists of architects: Iva Bekic, Irena Gajic, Dalia Dukanac, Stefan Djordjevic, Snezana Zlatkovic, Mirjana Jesic, Hristina Stojanovic and Petar Cigic.
Thus, the inhabitants have internalised the seven city kilometers planning and construction of the town, translating it into an orientation system. In this sense, the title 8th kilometer suggests a new path in the development of Bor beyond the mining industry.
Through archive and design research, the exhibition seeks to provoke a conversation around the current and state and future opportunities available to Bor and other similar urban environments. The Pavilion will display a large-scale model of the cast mine bordering the seven kilometers. Each of the latter is explored in connection to a specific, defining topic such as industry, town planning, public spaces, housing standard, everyday life culture, ecology and demography.
Source: archdaily.com (Andreea Cutieru), Government of Serbia