Architecture Design Fashion

British Council

Show menu Follow us on Instagram

A Clockwork Jerusalem opens in Venice

 Photo Cristiano Corte

Photo Cristiano Corte

Graham Sheffield and Mark Wadhwa cutting the ribbon

Graham Sheffield and Mark Wadhwa cutting the ribbon
 Photo Cristiano Corte

Photo Cristiano Corte

 Photo Cristiano Corte

Photo Cristiano Corte

 Photo Cristiano Corte

Photo Cristiano Corte

5 June 2014
by Hannah Burgess

We're excited to announce that A Clockwork Jerusalem, our exhibition for the British Pavilion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale has officially opened.

In a special ceremony this afternoon, Vernissage guests gathered outside the Pavilion to toast the exhibition, which was introduced by the curators Sam Jacob and Wouter Vanstiphout, and official Pavilion commissioner Vicky Richardson. The ribbon was cut by Director of British Council Arts Graham Sheffield and Mark Wadhwa, founder of pavilion sponsors Vinyl Factory.

Outside the pavilion, visitors are greeted by a pair of Concrete Cows on loan from Milton Keynes – the last of the post-war British New Towns. Originally produced by artist Liz Leyh in 1978, shortly after Milton Keynes was established, the cows have become unofficial mascots of the town. Shipped to Venice for the Biennale, the Concrete Cows assume a formal position on either side of the entrance to the British Pavilion in the manner of Venetian lions.

The portico of the British Pavilion has been transformed into an "Electric Picturesque" landscape. Tree trunks installed from floor to ceiling interrupt the symmetry of the Neoclassical pavilion. Seen through the forest is an animated white LED galloping horse, representing a high-tech reworking of the Neolithic white horses carved into British hillsides.

The main room of the pavilion features a giant earth mound which references thousands of years of British architecture, from ancient burial mounds to the rubble of demolished slums, sculpted into mounds as the central landscape feature of idealistic projects in places such as Arnold Circus and Robin Hood Gardens.

Surrounding the mound is a panoramic narrative image that tells the story of British Modernism, referencing British visual and architectural culture: William Morris, Stanley Kubrick, David Hockey, Archigram and more. The eye of William Blake, author of the words to the famous poem Jerusalem, sits at the centre of the panorama, made up with a cog like a Droog from Stanley Kubrick's famous A Clockwork Orange.

In the rooms around the central installation, images, objects and artefacts tell the story of British Modernism from Stonehenge to council estates, from Ebenezer Howard to Cliff Richard, from ruins and destruction to rural fantasies. Large scale models show three of the exhibition's significant housing projects: Hulme, Thamesmead and Cumbernauld.

A Clockwork Jerusalem will be open to the public throughout the duration of the Biennale Architettura 2014, from 7th June to 23rd November 2014, with a press preview from 5th to 6th June.

 

Category
British Council Project

Location
Italy

Tags
Architecture
Biennale