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Alternate Languages at the British Pavilion

Alex de Little at Kosmologym Festival, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Arts

Alex de Little at Kosmologym Festival, Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Arts
Inua Ellams

Inua Ellams
Clod Ensemble Under Glass, 2008 Manuel Vason

Manuel Vason

Clod Ensemble Under Glass, 2008

9 August 2018
by Gwen Webber

Join the British Council and the Royal Academy to explore Alternate Languages through a series of workshops, performances and discussions this weekend at the British Pavilion in Venice; 11 and 12 August 2018.

To provide a platform for multiple voices and interpretations of Island, the British Council and curators Caruso St John Architects and artist Marcus Taylor have invited cultural and arts organisations to create a vibrant programme at the British Pavilion, alongside specially commissioned work by international and local artists, musicians and performers.

This weekend, 11 and 12 August, the British Pavilion will be occupied with a programme of events exploring sound and vision. Visitors to Island will be invited to participate in Alternate Languages, the Royal Academy’s Architecture Programme for the British Pavilion, which will animate the building's interior with performative workshops looking at 'the means through which we understand, critique and experience architecture'.

The events will include workshops challenging people's experience of architecture, led by Suzy Willson from Clod Ensemble and Alex De Little, and a performance both inside the Pavilion and on its platform above by playright and poet Inua Ellams, who will lead the curious and adventurous on a walk of the city. On Saturday, the participants will come together to reflect on Alternate Langauges in a panel discussion chaired by Kate Goodwin, Head of Architecture at the Royal Academy.

This is the first of two weekend programmes created with the Royal Academy in response to Island, Alternate Languages will continue on 24 and 25 November. Check back here and across ADF social media channels for more information about this and other British Pavilion programme highlights.

Alex De Little
Spatial Listening Games

Saturday 11am & 2pm, Sunday 12pm
Through his Spatial Listening Games, the researcher, sound artist and composer Alex De Little will encourage visitors to listen to the space inside the British Pavilion through a series of warm-up exercises and games.

Visitors will explore their relationship to, and understanding of, acoustic space through listening and creating sound in a social context.

Suzy Willson
Embodying Space

Saturday 12pm & 3pm, Sunday 11am
Suzy Willson, co-artistic Director of Clod Ensemble, will lead visitors through a series of movement exercises to explore the themes of migration, isolation, freedom, exodus, tempest, and uncertainty.

Drawing on the work of French theatre teacher Jacques Lecoq (1921-1996), who believed that in order to understand something better you embody it, visitors will work through exercises that encourage a state of responsiveness, openness and readiness. 

Inua Ellams
Ike Rust

Saturday 1pm & 4pm
The Nigerian-born poet, playwright, performer and designer Inua Ellams will share his poetry and reach out beyond the Pavilion in an evening cultural walk around the surrounding area.

In 2017, as part of Bedtime Stories for The End of the World, several poets were commissioned to take an existing myth and respond to it. Meditating on his immigrant background, and the current global migration crisis, Ellams chose to respond to the greek myth of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun and fell. For the first time ever, Ellams will read the full poem in its entirety inside the pavilion.

Alternate Langauges

Saturday 5pm
Panel discussion with Alex De Little, Suzy Willson, Inua Ellams and the Royal Academy’s Head of Architecture and Drue Heinz Curator, Kate Goodwin.

Inua Ellams
The Venice Mini-Midnight Run

Saturday 6pm
Ellams also founded the Midnight Run, an arts-filled, night-time, playful, walking, urban movement that attempts to reconnect inner city lives with inner city spaces. This special three-hour walking event will explore spaces and places around Venice and the British Pavilion and ask visitors to think of them as kindling grounds for creativity.