Arcipelago Italia is a temporary exhibition based on architect Mario Cucinella’s curatorial proposal for the Italian Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale. The exhibit focuses on the marginal urban spaces created in the internal territories of Italy running along the Alps, down the Apennine range and into Sardinia. Cucinella’s vision was to bring these liminal areas together and create a collection, or an ‘archipelago’ of stories, landscapes and communities; taking the visitors on a journey and allowing them to understand the issues that these areas are facing as well as their possible solutions. At the heart of the exhibition is an exploration of the past and the present narratives within these territories, leading to an investigation into the future of Italian architecture.
The first space functions as an itinerary for the visitors’ journey; 8 giant ‘books’ made of wooden panels replace the traditional printed guide showing the areas investigated in Cucinella’s research. The landscape prints, illuminated by LED lights from the back, provide the audience with an immersive lighting experience.
The second space is designed as a wide, open area with five large, cedar wood tables joined together like a puzzle in the middle of the room. These five experimental projects physically illustrate the concept of ‘Arcipelago Italia’.
The exhibition continues outside the pavilion with a circular pre-cast concrete bench and a series of panels celebrating the legacy of the Italian architect Giancarlo De Carlo. This serene and contemplative space allows the visitors to relax and reflect on their experience.
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