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Dancing Before the Moon at the British Pavilion 2023

Dancing Before the Moon at the British Pavilion 2023 Visual identity by TEMPLO

Visual identity by TEMPLO

28 February 2023

The British Council and the commissioned curators – Jayden Ali, Joseph Henry, Meneesha Kellay and Sumitra Upham – are pleased to announce plans for the British Pavilion at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia 2023, which runs from 20 May to 26 November 2023.

This year’s inspiration 

‘Dancing Before the Moon’ aims to inspire debate that will challenge and influence the future of British architecture. Through its installations of new work, and a film and soundscape, it promotes the idea that everyday rituals (from growing food and cooking to playing games and dancing) are forms of spatial practice for diasporic communities and present new ways of thinking about architecture and the built environment. 

What to expect

As visitors approach the entrance of the British Pavilion, they will immediately encounter a new exterior installation designed by Jayden Ali. The main hall of the pavilion will consist of a large cinematic installation highlighting the central role that rituals play in reflecting the traditions and community values of people living in the UK.

Inside the pavilion, the galleries will focus on objects conceived and produced by six UK-based artists and architects, with an interest in materials and making: Jayden AliMac CollinsShawanda CorbettMadhav KidaoSandra Poulson and Studio Olaniyi. The objects will reflect global rituals and cultural practices that impact space. 

Collectively, this exhibition champions an expanded notion of architecture. One that is intangible, that cross-pollinates with performance, craft and other creative disciplines, and that is shaped by people. 

The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK's artists, architects, designers and curators. These exhibitions, and the British Council’s Venice Fellowships initiative introduced in 2016, help make the British Pavilion a major platform for discussion about contemporary art and architecture. 

The 2023 selection panel

The final panel selecting the 2023 pavilion was chaired by Sevra Davis, Director of Architecture Design Fashion at the British Council and Commissioner of the British Pavilion and also included:

Simon Allford, President RIBA

Gus Casely-Hayford, Director V&A East

Carole-Anne Davies, Chief Executive, Design Commission for Wales

Anab Jain, Co-Founder and Director, Superflux  

Chithra Marsh, Associate Director, Buttress Architects

Dr. Agustina Martire, Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Queen’s University Belfast

Vanessa Norwood, Creative Director, Building Centre

Dr. Neal Shasore, Head of School and Chief Executive Officer, London School of Architecture

The full press release is available here or visit the British Pavilion website to find out more.