Venice Biennale 2012: Serbian Pavilion

  • 09 Aug 2012
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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.

Courtesy of Authors

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

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.

Courtesy of Authors

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

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

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Venice Biennale 2012: Serbian Pavilion" 09 Aug 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 21 Aug 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down +12

    glupost kao rezultat namestenog konkursa…i autori koji se hvale…

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +8

    Horrible. Must be a rigged competition, nothing new in that country.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +10

      8 out of 10 “authors” did their diploma thesis as students of one of the jury members, what else to expect from milenkovic and co.???

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +5

    I like the ambiguity of this.

    It’s a thin line between a good humor and a good tragedy.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +15

    How would you like your emptiness? Boiled or roasted? How about a dessert?

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +8

    architects or carpenters?

  6. Thumb up Thumb down +8

    It seems more work has been done on writing (not really understandable) than designing.

    • Thumb up Thumb down +6

      Unfortunately, this is how most “designers” actually “work”
      - create an ambiguous what-ever and then spend more time thinking of a description… trully sad…

  7. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    If this is a “Serbian” pavilion, why the entrance sign says “Yugoslavia”? And is there a subliminal political message in calling a pavilion with a huge empty table inside with the the name of a no longer existing country?

    • Thumb up Thumb down +11

      It’s a hipster thing.

      • Thumb up Thumb down +6

        or maybe it’s a PhD thing. or both..

  8. Thumb up Thumb down +7

    Yugoslavia is written there from forever ago. It doesn’t have anything to do with this exhibition. Serbia inherited Yugoslavian pavilion when it had split. I hate ignorant comments.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down +9

    ovo je jedan cist udruzeni zlocinacki poduhvat! namestili su konkurs i poslali neko sranje da predstavlja srbiju…

    • Thumb up Thumb down -6

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down +6

    ..konkurs nije bio namesten, vec je ziri izabrao jedno od s…. koja su pristigla na konkurs..sad da l je ovo s…. bolje il ne od ostalih je diskutabilno..

    …nego, rad bas odgovara na temu – “common ground” – svi se nalaze pri stavu da je postavka s…. i strucni i nestrucni, upuceni, neupuceni, mladi, stari…cak i autori manje vise(verovatno vise kad budi se nasli pri izvedenoj postavci, ili tek kad im skromni ego dozvoli da se propitaju, s distance)

    ..barem je na kraju smesno..

  11. Thumb up Thumb down +3

    Sastav zirija:


    PROGRAMSKI SAVET BIJENALA 2012 – koji ocenjuje radove, na osnovu raspisa konkursa i opšte priznatih pravila struke i svog ličnog profesionalnog ubeđenja, čine:

    Dr Igor Marić, dipl.inž.arh., predsednik Udruženja arhitekata Srbije,

    Komesar nastupa Republike Srbije na Bijenalu arhitekture u Veneciji 2012.

    Prof. Branislav Mitrović, dipl.inž.arh., dopisni član SANU

    Prof. Zorica Savičić, dipl.inž.arh.

    Doc.Mr Vladimir Milenković, dipl.inž.arh.

    Doc.Milan Đurić, dipl.inž.arh.

    Mr Lazar Kuzmanov, dipl.inž.arh.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down +7

    “Less is a bore”, krilatica 80ih… eh, Where Have All The Flowers Gone …..
    Campo Baeza je na Orisu proaktivno iskritikovao ovaj projekat u govoru o minimalizmu…)) Sećate se? )

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Malo sam se ogresio u prethodnih 40 komentara, projekat je super, samo nisam imao lekice pri sebi, a tada postanem malo nervozan…

  14. Thumb up Thumb down +21

    After Junya Ishigami’s tables and spaces, this seems a little bit pointless. Pity for Serbia.

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