Biennale di Venezia
As a part of the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2018, the Serbian pavilion has a vibrant and long history. Located in the Giardini, arguably at one of the best locations, the inherited pavilion from the former Yugoslavia hosts Serbian artists, architects and many more over the years. In 2018 we were comissioned to create a visual identity, signage and participate in the exhibition design for the Serbian pavilion and the exciting project by the author, Branko Stanojević.
The 2018 theme of the Biennale was Freespace, an open and very wide subject that posed the question of what defines freedom, what is a free space, where is it and weather it is something intimate or collective?
The artist and architect Branko Stanojević was entrusted with creating the concept and production of the Serbian pavilion, while BVK was very fortunate and honored to be a part of that production by designing the complete material for and around the exhibition.
Revolving around one of Serbia’s (and indeed Yugoslavia’s) best and most respected architects and once a mayor of Belgrade – Bogdan Bogdanović – the exhibition explored his once prominent but now abandoned and dilapidated village school of architectural philosophy linking it to his seminal book The Citissary (a metaphysical dictionary of a city) and the artists exploration and interpretation of the space that once was at the school, the many notions selected from the Citissary and rendered in the artist’s own voice and vision.
The entire project was thematically divided into three interconnected chapters. The first one deals with the discovery of the village school of Bogdan Bogdanović and is depicted through a powerful, symbolic, and miraculously intact mural discovered in the basement of the house. This is regarded as the last remnant of a once visionary and progressive school of thought and architecture.
The second chapter acts more as a linking device between the past and present and is the Citissary – a poetic, metaphysical meditation written as a dictionary of urban terminology which the artist utilizes as a basis for the third and final chapter of the exhibition.
The third chapter is the artist’s rendition of each of the selected terms from the Citissary and creates projects of his own based on the brief and ambiguous descriptions which leave an open space for interpretation and intimate exploration of each of the terms. In the end they become an abstract structure within one’s own space and can be transposed onto anything an individual regards might represent them.
The design for the exhibition had to be a minimal, complementary device that would only enhance the experience of the visitors while still leaning on the familiar notions that Boganović and the period during which he worked have left behind in the rich history of memorial architecture and avant-garde design and art.
The core of the identity was the font called Soyuz Grotesk which we had modified to accommodate a few specific Serbian Cyrillic characters with the kind permission of the author of the font, Temporary State. It’s intricate execution and merger of the characters were both an homage to Bogdanović’s very specific style as well as an archetypal notions of the very philosophical themes that the entire exhibition tackled.
We also had the opportunity to have the control over the designing the catalog for the exhibition. The book itself was an extensive piece of material, following all the aspects of the project in greater depth and displaying the future plans for reestablishing the village school of architecture. If you wish to explore the project more, we suggest you download the official catalog by clicking here.
Design and art direction:
Bureau for visual communications