The National Council for Culture, Art and Letters (NCCAL) has selected curators Asaiel Al Saeed, Aseel AlYaqoub, Saphiya Abu Al-Maati, and Yousef Awaad, to design the Kuwait Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia.
Responding to this year’s theme of “How will we live together?” the pavilion, commissioned by Zahra Ali Baba, will tackle with notions of discovery, interpretation, and projection of the hinterland. In fact, with 2020 marking the 70th anniversary of the First Master Plan commission and the 30th anniversary of the Gulf War -known as The First Space War- Kuwait will serve as a case study to explore “hinter-urban spaces that enable the state”.
Unveiling past, present, and future narratives, the participation entitled Space Wars analyses the hinterland, “projecting spatial defenses, offenses or alliances that define the future of these landscapes under threat - threat from extinction, threat from overuse, threat from domination and, at times, the threat of being forgotten”.
As the radial city expands, curious about the future state of unoccupied landscapes that serve for resource extraction, agricultural cultivation, military installations, and cultural sedimentation, the curators investigate the inevitable spatial war. In fact, they ask “How will these spaces continue to exist next to, between and amidst one another? Will their territories surrender to the metropolitan’s expansion campaign?”
Working across disciplines of architecture, art, policy, and urbanism, the curators were chosen “in response to NCCAL’s interest in commissioning projects that engage with cultural expressions and archaeological histories embodied in the desert landscape”.