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FAQ for British Pavilion Open Call 2020

FAQ for British Pavilion Open Call 2020

19 December 2018

We have launched the open call for the British Pavilion 2020. To supplement the information in the open call documents, here is a list of questions and answers. Apply with your proposal by 18 February 2019, click here to find out how.

Is it necessary that the curator is from any particular background and/or has any specific qualifications or experience?
We are looking for a cross-disciplinary team, which is led by a curator with experience either in curating programmes or exhibitions. The curator does not need to have a particular background or qualification for this. We encourage teams to bring together a wide range of cultural and architectural expertise, however one or more members of the team must demonstrate a good knowledge of contemporary British architecture. The appointed curator will lead on the project’s curatorial direction, commissioning, collating and/or writing all written materials for the book and exhibition, and manage the proposed team. 

Are the British Council open to supplementing or increasing the £200k budget via sponsorship or value-in-kind contributions from potential suppliers?
We expect teams to lead on fundraising for any costs that are in addition to the proposed production budget and to present a breakdown for this as part of the submission. This includes identifying potential sponsors and suppliers who can support the project via materials or expertise in-kind. We will work with the selected team to support their approaches. 

Do we need to register interest prior to the submission on the 18 February 2019?
No, the deadline of 18 February 2019 is the first stage of the application process.

Do the curator and the lead applicant need to be from different companies? 
No. The curator can also be the lead applicant. The only requirement is that the lead applicant needs to either be currently working or residing in the UK.

Can you explain more about what you expect from the curator's role? 
We expect the curator to develop a clear curatorial narrative for the project, taking into account the visitor experience at the Pavilion, in addition to writing texts for the book, and/or commissioning all written materials, and managing the team to develop a rich, coherent and compelling project for the British Pavilion. 

Are there a maximum or ideal number of members to a team?
This is for your judgement. Each team member should be listed in the application, alongside their role for this proposal.

Should the submission include a summary of all team members?
Yes, a summary of all the team should be included in the submission. This can be provisional at this stage but please make sure you have permission to list all members of the team.

Should the contents of the exhibition be detailed and described in the submission?
It is not mandatory to describe the contents at this stage. Depending on your submission, however, it may support your proposal to include an outline or examples that are indicative of the exhibition content. We do require images (drawings, renders or sketches) in this first stage submission, which indicate your interpretation of the exhibition/installation.

Is there a scope to build an installation on the external façade of the pavilion?
Yes, however please note that the British Pavilion is a listed building and we have a limited footprint (curtilage) so any installation that requires use of the façade will require considerable development and be subject to approval with the Venetian authorities, which would be led by British Council.

We have a number of exhibition ideas. Are we permitted to submit more than one proposal?
Yes, we will accept multiple proposals. However, each proposal should be treated as an independent submission and sent separately following the submission guidelines and requirements to If you are selected for interview at Stage 2, you may be asked for a rationale as to why multiple proposals were submitted. 

Considering the display of archive material such as historic drawings, should it be assumed that ‘climate control’ within the Pavilion will be provided by the British Council? 
The British Pavilion is a former tea house in a park in Venice, surrounded by trees and water. Visitors access the main gallery spaces on the ground floor through the large metal front doors or the rear wooden doors which are usually kept open to allow for people to enter and exit the building. In addition, the British Pavilion has a large skylight in several gallery spaces, which provide daylight. This means that controlling the environment within the gallery is challenging and should be considered when preparing your proposal. Should you anticipate requiring specialist equipment or vitrines this will need to be included within your budget proposal. Archival material will be likely to incur specialised freighting arrangements, which should also be included in the indicative budget in your submission. 

Click here to find all the open call documents and information on how to apply on the British Pavilion website.




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