Titled "Mapping Festivities", the Pakistan Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, explores the national wedding hall as an architectural typology of post-colonial Pakistan. Curated by Sara M. Anwar, the pavilion will be on display on the second floor of the Palazzo Mora from May 22nd until November 21st.
The Shaadi Hall is a traditional Pakistani typology that serves the wedding ‘performance’ which first appeared in the early 1980s to address the needs of the fast-growing population of the city of Karachi. Residential villas were transformed into wedding spaces through architectural interventions such as billboard-inspired entrance façades, which created a perforated layer between the space of the city and the newly-implemented space.
Our project particularly reveals the complex community that builds the underlying infrastructure of wedding festivities: a community of the architects, construction workers, designers, caterers, photographers, technicians, needle craft workers/tailors, makeup artists, videographers, and performers. These are the ordinary citizens that become purveyors of ‘extraordinary' festive dreams. Mapping Festivity investigates these complex relationships and how festive dreams materialize through the city and its people.. -- Pakistan Pavilion Curator
As a response to the evolving urban and social needs, the pavilion explores the various dimensions of weddings in Pakistan as a spatial network that stands as both an expression of cultural traditions and an institutional and economic interplay. Since weddings are festivities that bring people together, they establish a space for people from diverse industries and social classes to coexist in harmony.
Commissioned by the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planers (PCATP), the exhibition is displayed as a catalyst of urban research and data collection at a city wide scale to ‘engage, empower and elevate’ Pakistani students and citizens. The collected research was then transformed into visualization that can be clearly communicate to the Biennale's international visitors.
- Commissioned by: The Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planers (PCATP) and Mr Kalim Saddiqi
- Organizers/Coordinators: Rashid Rasheed and Antidote art.design (Najeh Ahmed and Laure Parise)
- Curator: Sara M. Anwar
- Research Director: Madeeha Yasin Merchant
- Lead Researcher: Farhan Anwar