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Egyptian Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Sheds the Light on Local Egyptian Laborers

Egyptian Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Sheds the Light on Local Egyptian Laborers

Titled "The Blessed Fragments", the Egyptian Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, sheds the light on local Egyptian laborers and their value to the community, in a space designed with optical illusion fragments. Curated by Algorithm Architecture's Mostafa Rabea Abdelbaset, Mohamad Riad Alhalaby, Amr Allam, and Ahmed Essam, the pavilion will be on display at the Giardini from May 22nd until November 21st, 2021.

Courtesy of The Egyptian PavilionCourtesy of The Egyptian PavilionCourtesy of The Egyptian PavilionCourtesy of The Egyptian Pavilion+ 10

Inspired by the quotes of an old Egyptian bread maker, the pavilion looks beyond the first impressions of laborers and appreciates the value they add to society. The entrance of the pavilion is divided into two fixed complementary partitions; a white front on the left side and a black back on the right side. The free-standing frames create optical illusions that look closed from different perspectives. As visitors get closer into the pavilion, the two partitions split up and separate from one another, welcoming them into the pavilion's story line.

Courtesy of The Egyptian Pavilion
Courtesy of The Egyptian Pavilion

It is not my appearance you see; it is not the way I look. Come on; discover the origin of joy through my Face wrinkles. Go deep and meditate what is hiding inside of me. Can you see now my real beauty mixing inside my humble fragments? If so, now you can see me .Sometimes they call me one of the poor people. Sometimes they call me one of the community scum. Actually, I am the black and white, the positive and negative. You need me to complete your world. I am the one who contains the peaceful balance that everyone needs to sustain this life; the one who is selling you fresh bread every day with a humble smile. I am the one that everyone needs in this life. -- Egyptian Bread maker


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Each side of the pavilion tells a story of its own. The left zone, titled "One in All", displays frames of diverse individuals arbitrarily throughout the space. All of the images are printed in black and white using pop-art techniques, and secured with black frames. Some of the images are suspended from the ceiling, and others are standing up on the floor. The spaces between them allow visitors to walk through the portraits and discover the faces and expressions of local Egyptian people. In the center of all portraits and facing the main long axis of the right zone, a large red frame is fixed on the floor, inviting visitors to stand behind it and blend with the portraits behind them. 

Courtesy of The Egyptian Pavilion
Courtesy of The Egyptian Pavilion

Please, aggregate my humble fragments considering me; my real inner value. Let me reveal my inner peaceful balance while spreading the blessing bread among people. Let me integrate with all people who need to live -together- a better life. -- Egyptian Break maker

The right zone, titled "All in One", merges all the faces together, symbolizing strength, unity, and importance of local community. Three large frames are secured on the floor, visually unifying the independent ones. Towards the end of this zone, all fragments and frames randomly combine around an iconic doodle. In addition to the frames, random fragments are suspended from the ceiling, linking the portraits with the doodle on the wall. 

Courtesy of The Egyptian Pavilion
Courtesy of The Egyptian Pavilion

The Blessed Fragments

Commissioner: Ministry of Culture, Egypt
Team Design: Algorithm Architecture (Mostafa Rabea Abdelbaset, Mohamad Riad Alhalaby, Amr Allam, and Ahmed Essam)

We invite you to check out ArchDaily's comprehensive coverage of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021, and watch our official playlist on Youtube featuring exclusive interviews with architects and curators of the Biennale.

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Cite: Dima Stouhi. "Egyptian Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale Sheds the Light on Local Egyptian Laborers" 25 May 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/962232/egyptian-pavilion-at-the-2021-venice-biennale-sheds-the-light-on-local-egyptian-laborers> ISSN 0719-8884

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