by Neometro

Inbetween | 17th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Architecture - by Open Journal

2nd June, 2021

The Australian exhibition for the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale will be launched and exhibited locally for the first time since Australia opened it’s pavilion in Venice in 1988. Running from 20 May – 21 November 2021, Inbetween, curated by Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong, presents a collection of architectural projects and processes selected for their powerful representation of Indigenous and First Nations peoples and cultures. Projects that enable cross cultural exchange and highlight the value of Indigenous knowledge for improving the built environment.


Navigating the limitations of current border restrictions, Inbetween has been reimagined as an immersive, large scale and suitably beautiful video piece. “What we’re looking at through the exhibition is how architects, both non-indigenous and Indigenous, are working with First Nations peoples – traditional owners, knowledge keepers and elders – as a way of embedding cultural authenticity into our built environment.” explains Jefa. “Beyond that, we’re opening up a conversation around some of the shared challenges we’re facing in our broader Pacific region and pointing to the fact that when finding ways to connect with Indigenous culture, we don’t operate in a vacuum.”

Jefa Greenaway and Trista Wong

Inbetween curators Jefa Greenaway and Tristan Wong

Originally conceived for exhibition at the subsequently postponed 2020 iteration of the Biennale in Venice, Inbetween looks beyond Australia’s borders and invites the neighbouring nations of the Pacific to join the exhibition, leveraging Australia’s fortunate position as one of only 29 countries with a permanent pavilion to platform architecture and cultures that may have less international exposure, and highlighting the shared cultural context of the region. The film brings together 20 projects from across Australia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia to amplify the important role architecture can play in retaining and rediscovering lost cultural knowledge.

Showcasing projects from remote, regional, and metropolitan locations – every drawing, photograph or snippet of footage collated in the film offers insight into how architects are creating new protocols for better design outcomes through meaningful co-design processes. “Architects understand the value of engaging with deeper connections to Country. Inbetween explores different approaches, across a variety of architectural typologies and scales, but they are all working to a shared agenda. There’s a consistency of thinking and an attitude that shows we’re reaching a level of cultural maturity within the built environment disciplines where we can begin to enable cultural collaboration and exchange.” reflects Jefa.

Premiering on Thursday 20 May, Inbetween will be exhibited at satellite events across Australia and then made available for exhibition throughout Australia, across the Pacific region and more broadly. “Not being tied to the space in Venice has meant that we’ve been able to create something that can be experienced by a much larger audience. The great thing about the new format is that essentially anyone can access it and it has longevity beyond the dates of the Biennale.” explains Tristan. “This project isn’t a collection of artefacts; it’s forward looking and presents the innovative potential in learning from Indigenous methods and ideas. Embedding practices and knowledge that has been around for more than 60000 years into the way we design buildings creates opportunities for a new kind of architecture that is better for people, cities and the environment.”

Words and images courtesy of Inbetween and The Australian Institute of Architects. 

Find out more or watch the film here


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