At the Venice Biennale, the German Pavilion Undergoes a Transformation


Thomas Aurin

Thomas Aurin

Nicole L'Huillier, an alum of the Opera of the Future group, is collaborating with four other artists on a sound installation as part of the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year; the installation is related to her Media Lab PhD work, Membranas. 

A recent New York Times article written by A.J. Goldmann reads, in part: 

"At the 2022 Venice Biennale, the artist Maria Eichhorn exposed the foundations of the German Pavilion, long the event’s most controversial building. By tearing up a stretch of the travertine floor and parts of the wall plaster, she revealed the remains of the original building before it was altered in 1938 according to the monumental principles of Nazi architecture.

For Cagla Ilk, curator of the German Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, that bold artistic act was a sort of exorcism. “When Maria Eichhorn opened the ground, I felt that everything went out,” she explained. Freed of the ghosts of the building’s past, she felt that her task as curator was to find a way to fill the symbolic void left by Eichhorn’s interventions. “Now we need to put it back [together] and make it again,” Ilk said.

Toward that end, Ilk, 47 has recruited artists from various backgrounds to contribute to this year’s edition of what is arguably one of the art world’s most important events. At the Biennale she is curating two projects with strong narrative elements inside of the German Pavilion as well as a series of sound installations on La Certosa, a nearby island in the Venice lagoon.


On La Certosa, four artists—Robert Lippok, Nicole L’Huillier, Jan St. Werner and Michael Akstaller—are creating a series of beguiling sound installations that interact with the island’s environment. Ilk said she considered this site a refreshing contrast to the weighty architecture of the German Pavilion."

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