library of exile
We worked with the artist and author Edmund de Waal, to design a temporary pavilion in his major new exhibition psalm, opened to coincide with the Venice Biennale 2019.
The library of exile is a temporary pavilion housed at Ateneo Veneto, a magnificent sixteenth-century building in the San Marco district of Venice, near the Fenice Opera House. The building has been a meeting place for cultural events and a forum for critical debate in Venice for over two centuries. The pavilion holds almost 2000 books by exiled writers along with four of de Waal’s vitrines. The books housed are in many languages or are a translation, reflecting the culture of translation within Venice.
The proportion and detailed design of the pavilion is a response to the Aula Magna room, creating an intimate space to sit, read and contemplate, within the great hall. The pavilion references the marble panelling lining the walls and leaves the ceiling open to enable the ornate lacunar ceiling to be admired. The external panelling is a plywood cladding painted with a porcelain slip, gold leaf and inscribed with names of lost libraries in graphite.
The library will host a cultural programme of events from May to the end of September 2019.
See http://www.psalmvenice.org for more details.