Canadian Submissions to 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture find temporary home at Museum of Vancouver

(VANCOUVER, BC) – When people migrate, they bring their cultural memories with them and create a unique understanding of the world. Migrating Landscapes, a nation-wide competition for young Canadian architects 45 and under, explores the nature of contemporary Canadian migration through original designs for housing. Vancouverites can immerse themselves in this idea starting Thursday, November 3 when the regional stage of the competition launches at the Museum of Vancouver.

“The intention of the competition is to bring the Venice Biennale to Canada,” explains Johanna Hurme, one of the three young Winnipeg-based organizers and curators of Migrating Landscapes. “We want to showcase the up-and-coming generation of Canadian architects and designers to the Canadian public before they hit the world stage in Venice.”

The exhibition will display videos, in which each entrant talks about how their experiences of migration have affected them as designers, together with architectural models of dwellings that respond to the issues raised in the videos. These videos and models will be “settled” into a modular exhibition infrastructure, or “new landscape”, made of wood.

“When people migrate, they carry with them very specific memories of place and cultural heritage,” explains Hurme. “These migrated memories have to negotiate with their new locale and culture, resulting in an experience in which an immigrant never settles or unsettles.”

“When applied to architecture and design,” adds her colleague Jae-Sung Chon, “the built form is neither of the present location or the past. Instead, it’s a unique form that resonates with both locations and one’s own cultural memories.”

“We think Migrating Landscapes will be a timely and provocative exhibition,” says Sasa Radulovic, who completes the curatorial team. “It will generate and showcase innovative new designs for housing by young Canadians, confront the closing down of immigration policies globally, and project Canada as one of the most engaging and promising models of a multi-ethnic social democracy in the 21st century.”

The Museum of Vancouver is one of seven presenting hosts of the regional competitions across the country. Regional winners will progress to a national final competition and exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery next spring, where a high-profile national jury will select the young, architectural “Team Canada” that will represent Canada at the 13th annual Venice Biennale in Architecture in late summer/fall 2012.

The BC Regional Exhibition of Migrating Landscapes is at the Museum of Vancouver from November 3 to November 27. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011