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British Pavilion; The Garden of Privatised Delights

3 March 2020

New dates for the Biennale Architettura and Biennale Arte.

We know that postponing the Biennale Architettura to 2021, and Biennale Arte to 2022, could not have been an easy decision and we fully understand and support the new dates. We look forward to coming together with audiences from around the world in Venice to stage our exhibition, The Garden of Privatised Delights, from 22 May – 21 November 2021.

We will work closely with curators Madeleine Kessler and Manijeh Verghese to prepare for the new opening, and also to explore the themes of the Biennale Architettura this autumn, as part of our online UK-Italy season of art and culture that will run from September to December 2020.

The British Council presents The Garden of Privatised Delights at the British Pavilion for the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Manijeh Verghese and Madeleine Kessler, the curators for the British Pavilion 2021, invite us to engage in the debate around the privatisation of public space in Britain today; from the pub to the playground, common land to the garden square, the high street to facial recognition technology.

Taking inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch's triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, the immersive exhibition will pose questions and offer ways forward to challenges such as how to make better use of urban green spaces and how can the local pub be repurposed to serve the wider community.

Together, with five teams of architects, designers and researchers, selected by Manijeh and Madeleine as part of their practice; Unscene Architecture, will present The Garden of Privatised Delights at the British Pavilion to highlight the threats to public space, propose new ideas for ownership and greater access and demonstrate the role that design and architecture can take in supporting the future of public space. 

Each room within the British Pavilion will present a new model for the future of public space through an immersive installation, designed to engage us in the debate. We'll be introducing each concept through a carefully commissioned film featuring each designer expanding on the ideation of their concept. To kick things off, we have our curators discussing whether we could open up and reprogramme exclusive garden squares to create more public outdoor space. 

Visit the British Pavilion website to find out more.