Ecological Citizens at the Venice Biennale: Re-deployment

Dec 4, 2018

The 2018 Venice Biennale closed last week, but SCAPE’s installation will continue outside the gallery’s doors. After 6 months of receiving visitors, the Biennale boasts over 275,000 attendees, half of which were under the age of 26. SCAPE was one of 7 teams representing the US at the Biennale, under the theme of Dimensions of Citizenship, commissioned by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and The University of Chicago. The pavilion’s theme considers how citizenship is constructed and contested in the built environment across seven different scales. SCAPE’s scale – the region – demonstrates that landscape architecture can be a critical tool for re-envisioning the response of citizens to climate change. Taking the Venetian Lagoon as a globally significant case study of a tidal region under ecological threat, SCAPE’s Ecological Citizens featured an array of 1:1 intertidal architectures, including wood fascines (pictured here), Econcrete® micro-tide pool units, and biodegradable coir logs that fight erosion, as well as video content about their use by regional citizens.

Central to the concept behind the installation has been the re-deployment of the fascines back into the Venetian Lagoon. This week, SCAPE is collaborating with Life VIMINE project (our local partners on the project) on the re-deployment in the northern region of the lagoon. The fascines will reinforce previously installed ones that were damaged by a storm, stabilizing the shoreline in place, reducing the impact of ongoing erosion, and protecting the fragile environment and biodiversity existing within the salt marshes.

The re-deployment is being coordinated and performed by Alberto Barausse of Life Vimine, along with Dario Smania, a local environmentalist who has led projects in the lagoon for 30+ years; Stefano, one of the last soft shell crab fishermen in the lagoon; and Lamine and Max, two refugees from Gambia that participate in restoration projects in the region. Stay tuned for more updates on the re-deployment in the coming days. Visit our Facebook and Instagram for more images.