13th International Architecture Exhibition—Venice Biennale 2012

29 August—25 November 2012, Venice, Artiglierie, Arsenale

Commissioner: Tomislav Pavelić

Tomislav Pavelić was born in 1964 in Zagreb. He graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in 1990, and has worked ever since as an architect, critic, essayist, and visual artist. Until 2007, he worked with the architectural firm Studio BF, collaborating with B. Fiolić and Z. Boševski. In 2007, he opened his independent architecture bureau. He writes for the magazines ČIP and Oris, and in 2002 he launched and edited the radio show “The life of space (in the field of architectural theory and phenomenology)”, which aired on the Third Channel of the Croatian Radio (HR3) from 2002 until 2006. From 2007 until 2009, he taught residential architecture at the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb as a part-time lecturer.

In 2009, he won the Drago Galić Award of the Croatian Architect Association for a family house in Rudeš, Zagreb, honouring his achievements in the field of residential architecture. He has had several solo exhibitions and performances. In 2015, he published the book of architectural essays “On the turf of grass under the foot”, which was published by UPI-2m, and which earned him the Neven Šegvić Award that same year.

Team of authors: Pulska grupa (Tomislav Pavelić, Igor Bezinović, Hrvoslava Brkušić, Boris Cvjetanović, and Siniša Labrović)

Project: Unmediated Democracy Demands Unmediated Space (exhibition)

The audio-visual display of the Croatian pavilion presents problems of urban space in Croatia, frustration of citizens with such a state, their resistance to capitalism, and all the more frequent calls for unmediated democracy which, in the authors’ opinion, demands “unmediated space”. Pulska grupa is an informal group of like-minded activists composed of the curator Tomislav Pavelić, director Igor Bezinović, editor Hrvoslava Brkušić, photographer Boris Cvjetanović, and conceptual artist Siniša Labrović.

The Croatian pavilion of this year’s Biennale was shaped by videos, photographs, and performance projections, pointing to current urban problems, and asking the question “who is creating this unwanted living space for Croatian citizens and why”.
Consequences of bad urban planning designs in Croatia are shown through video footage of actual events taking place at sites of conflict, demands from a network of initiatives, and interviews with unsatisfied citizens.

Video installations created by Igor Bezinović and Hrvoslava Brkušić depict actual conflicts taking place in different cities, so that the pavilion is shaped by the pulsating images and rhythm of protests, welcoming the visitors to enter this space and navigate around the projections. The context is further described through the projection of Siniša Cvjetanović’s performance at the very same places of conflict, Boris Cvjetanović’s photographs and Pulska grupa’s videos.

The theme of this year’s Biennale, curated by the British architect David Chipperfield, is Common Ground, and Pulska grupa has interpreted it with its efforts to find a common denominator of the society and architecture, as well as to restore architecture’s lost social credibility.