Germany Tells the Story of the Past in its "2038" Pavilion at the 17th International Venice Biennale

Germany Tells the Story of the Past in its "2038" Pavilion at the 17th International Venice Biennale

Entitled 2038, the German pavilion looks back from the future to the past, which is, in fact, our modern time. Seeking to provide answers, the pavilion imagines the world in the era of “New Serenity”, and tells the “story of a world in which everything has just about gone well”, an alternative future without war.

Through a series of films, 2038 showcases a fictional world, a liberal utopia with national health care, a strengthened economy, progressive tax models, a national fund for research on climate change and other goals regarding progressive politics. Without asking questions and pinpointing problems, the pavilion describes the possibility of a perfect world, of how “we wanted to live together in the future”. The stories are based on the knowledge of experts from architecture, art, economy, ecology, literature, philosophy, science, and technology.

Courtesy of 2038
Courtesy of 2038

Designed in collaboration with Rebiennale, a platform created by a network of Venetian citizens, students, architects, artists, and political activists, the exhibition will reuse and recycle waste material generated by the Biennale. Using them for communal projects and urban renewal, Rebiennale will repurpose methods, skills, and know-how. The official publication of the German Pavilion is a collaboration with Arts of the Working Class, a multi-lingual street journal on poverty and wealth, art and society.

Courtesy of 2038
Courtesy of 2038

Read on for the curators’ description of the pavilion.

Today, in the year 2038, we have mastered the great crises. It was close, but we made it. The global economic and ecological disasters of the 2020s brought people, states, institutions, and companies together. They committed themselves to fundamental rights and jointly created self-sustaining systems on a universal basis, giving decentralized local structures the space to maintain their individual way of living. Technologies and big data helped us to turn new and old ideas into reality. And often architects were part of the solution because they had answers instead of coming up with more questions. Drama is now history. We live in radical democracy, in a radical bureaucracy. On a planet that doesn’t know or need heroes or villains.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "Germany Tells the Story of the Past in its "2038" Pavilion at the 17th International Venice Biennale" 25 Feb 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Courtesy of 2038


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