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STIRring Together: Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli on the curation of Russian Pavilion

Vladimir Belogolovsky speaks with Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli on his OPEN! transformation at the Russian Pavilion; the recipient of special mention at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

by Vladimir BelogolovskyPublished on : Oct 29, 2021

Vladimir Belogolovsky travelled to Venice during the opening days of this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale where he had a chance to see the Russian Pavilion and meet its curator, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli. In early September, the pavilion’s transformation OPEN! was awarded a special mention. Following this introduction, we present a Zoom interview by Belogolovsky in New York with Pestellini Laparelli in Milan, recorded before the announcement.

Milan-based architect, curator, and educator, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (b. 1980) was educated at Politecnico di Milano and TU Delft in The Netherlands. He is teaching at the Royal College of Art in London. Before establishing his independent agency 2050+ that employs architects, curators, researchers, art directors, and filmmakers, Pestellini Laparelli worked at OMA in Rotterdam from 2007 to 2020, becoming the firm’s partner in 2014. He co-curated the Manifesta Biennale in Palermo in 2018, developed Monditalia, the Arsenale exhibition of the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, and co-curated Cronocaos at the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale. Together with Rem Koolhaas, he led the transformation of the 16th century Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice.

In our conversation here we discussed the curator’s ideas behind the Pavilion’s appearance – the original building by a prominent Russian architect Alexey Shchusev (1914) was radically transformed by the young Russian-Japanese Tokyo-based office, KASA – how the curator sees the role of architectural exhibitions, whether national borders remain relevant, the most urging questions that architects face now, and how OPEN! addresses the biennale’s main theme, “How Will We Live Together?”

The Russian Federation Pavilion
Commissioner: Teresa Iarocci Mavica
Curator: Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli
Exhibitors: KASA (Kovaleva and Sato Architects), Mikhail Maximov, Lion & Unicorn, Ilia Mazo, Yuliya Kozhemyako, Electric Red, Pavel Milyakov aka Buttechno, Vladmir Rannev

STIRring Together:
Curated as a series of thoughtful engagements that enhance the contemporary debate and discussion on architecture, the STIRring Together series introduces readers to the many facets of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. Tracing the various adaptations and following the multitude of perspectives, the series carefully showcases some incredible projects and exhibits, highlighting the diversity and many discourses of the show.

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