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Venice Biennale 2012: Serbian Pavilion

Serbian Pavilion © Marija Strajnić
Serbian Pavilion © Marija Strajnić

As a response to David Chipperfield’s “Common Ground” theme for the 2012 Venice Biennale, the authors of the Serbian Pavilion have created JEDAN:STO / 100 - an installation that brings the archetypical object of a table to its extreme meaning by stretching it to a monumental scale that allows its surface to overcome the rectangular interior of the pavilion. This “minimalistic gesture” breaks down the “common” table into a “plethora of metaphors” that initiates thinking and encourages visitors to observe what is happening around it.

Continue after the break for the an abstract by the project authors.

Abstract by Authors

Solution that we offer is a table which with the surface of its plate almost entirely fills the pavilion. By denying or inverting the scale we wanted to bring the object to its extreme meaning i.e. the universal, indivisible, sculptural, banal.

Its size translates it into a surface. Its height relates it to the notion of table. We occupied the interior of the pavilion with one designed gap. The solution is sculptural as one of its dimensions is emphasized i.e. enlarged to a monumental size. We wanted to emphasize a term – large empty area.

The relationship between the table surface and the volume of the pavilion creates tension and defines its value. Perception is the theme that arises and that belongs to the atmosphere the most. Simple is associative and is subject to diversity in perception. Impossibility of perceiving the object as a whole and its transition to the surface is what makes it beautiful.

Large surface is pretty. Immense surface is beautiful.

One vs. Hundred (in Serbian table and hundred are homonyms) by Commissioner PhD Arch Igor Marić

Courtesy of Authors
Courtesy of Authors

A big white table, 22 x 5 m, in the rectangular space of the pavilion around which visitors can go at the distance of 1.5 m between it and walls. The installation is supported by visual photos of people going around the table, as well as sound effects created by visitors as they touch it.

Is one vs. hundred a possible metaphor of a common ground? Are we always those who are alone in an endless plethora of things? Are we alone against everyone or alone with everyone? In any case, it is clear that an individual shares a common “table” with many others and is almost always in the common ground, the space which we create for ourselves. A gesture of bringing the table – the surface in the pavilion – volume, is a minimalistic gesture.

Everything is white, white is broken down into the spectrum of colors, a table is broken down into a plethora of metaphors. Architecture thus created fascinates us, awakens us from the dream, initiates thinking and encourages us to observe what is happening around us. The interior becomes an exterior, we are not surrounded by empty walls but by architecture with ether in between, emptiness and fullness, the definitiveness of the placed object becomes a diversity of perception. Movements make the space pulsate, sound fills the silence, we touch the surface, we look at each other and hear each other. Does it separate or join us?

Do we want to use this table for work, conversations, negotiations or as a dining table? Its size and the very position in the space are, perhaps, too artificial to make us free to use it for any purpose, or, perhaps, they are not. Whether we can master its size and artistic experience radiating in the space and whether we have to do this, depends on us?

How many plenties are there in a minimalistic gesture, offered by the author of the installation, in the ideal since times immemorial that less is more? We should find an answer to the posed question. One of the “hundred” answers to the theme “COMMON GROUND” that will be offered at this years 13th Venice International Architecture Biennale, and, as I believe, there is no an uniform one, precisely consists of plethora of opinions.

Project name: JEDAN:STO / 100 (in Serbian table and hundred are homonyms) Commissioner : PhD Arch Igor Marić Curator : PhD Arch Igor Marić Assistants to the curator : PhD Arch Vladimir Milenković , Assistant Professor Arch Milan Djurić Supporters: Ministry of culture, media and information society of Republic of Serbia

Courtesy of Authors
Courtesy of Authors

Authors: Marija Strajnić, Marija Miković, Olga Lazarević, Milan Dragić, Janko Tadić, Nebojša Stevanović, Aleksandar Ristović, Marko Marović, Miloš Živković and Nikola Andonov

Cite:Karissa Rosenfield. "Venice Biennale 2012: Serbian Pavilion" 09 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>