This year’s curatorial team, Caruso St John Architects working in collaboration with artist Marcus Taylor, respond to the 2018 Biennale theme of Freespace with the construction of a new public space on the roof of the British Pavilion. This elevated piazza will offer visitors to the Giardini a place to meet and a unique vantage point looking out across the Lagoon. At the centre of this new public space, the peak of the Pavilion’s roof protrudes up through the floor, suggesting both an island and a sunken world beneath. Below, the doors of the Pavilion are open to visitors, but the building is empty of exhibits. Throughout the Biennale, the British Pavilion will host a programme of events including poetry, performance and film, as well as architectural talks and debates.
The curators commented that Island suggests many themes, “including abandonment, reconstruction, sanctuary, Brexit, isolation, colonialism and climate change”.
Sarah Mann, Director of Architecture Design Fashion and Commissioner for the British Pavilion 2018 highlights, “this is the first time we have a joint commission between art and architecture at the British Pavilion. Rather than presenting an exhibition, we want to offer an unmediated experience through a new piece of architecture, which offers a generous space to reflect and to come together.”