British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale


A Clockwork JerusalemA Clockwork Jerusalem, curated by FAT Architecture and Crimson architectural historians, is the exhibition for British Pavilion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy.
A Clockwork JerusalemOutside the pavilion, visitors are greeted by a pair of Concrete Cows on loan from Milton Keynes – the last of the post-war British New Towns. Originally produced by artist Liz Leyh in 1978, shortly after Milton Keynes was established, the cows have become unofficial mascots of the town.
A Clockwork JerusalemShipped to Venice for the Biennale, the Concrete Cows assume a formal position on either side of the entrance to the British Pavilion in the manner of Venetian lions.
A Clockwork JerusalemThe portico of the British Pavilion has been transformed into an “Electric Picturesque” landscape. Tree trunks installed from floor to ceiling interrupt the symmetry of the Neoclassical pavilion. Seen through the forest is an animated white LED galloping horse, representing a high-tech reworking of the Neolithic white horses carved into British hillsides.
A Clockwork JerusalemThe main room of the pavilion features a giant earth mound which references thousands of years of British architecture, from ancient burial mounds to the rubble of demolished slums, sculpted into mounds as the central landscape feature of idealistic projects in places such as Arnold Circus and Robin Hood Gardens.
A Clockwork JerusalemSurrounding the mound is a panoramic narrative image that tells the story of British Modernism, referencing British visual and architectural culture: William Morris, Stanley Kubrick, David Hockey, Archigram and more. The eye of William Blake, author of the words to the famous poem Jerusalem, sits at the centre of the panorama, made up with a cog like a Droog from Stanley Kubrick’s famous A Clockwork Orange.
A Clockwork JerusalemIn the rooms around the central installation, images, objects and artefacts tell the story of British Modernism from Stonehenge to council estates, from Ebenezer Howard to Cliff Richard, from ruins and destruction to rural fantasies. Large scale models show three of the exhibition’s significant housing projects: Hulme, Thamesmead and Cumbernauld.

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