Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic


Pavilion of the Dominican Republic at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia

Venice, St. George's Anglican Church, Campo San Vio

Dorsoduro 729/730

May 22th - November 21st, 2021

The Dominican Republic takes part this year in the 17th Venice International Architecture Biennale with a dynamic, living project, an agora, offering gathering spaces in both the Dominican Republic and Venice. CONEXIÓN is an interior architecture work full of symbolism, inspired by the wabi sabi philosophy and our bond with Mother Earth. Accompanied by multidisciplinary exchanges in such a way as to nurture a comprehensive vision of architecture, it addresses issues related to territory, society, city planning, tourism, creativity, environment, and sustainability…

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Minister of Culture of the Dominican Republic - Carmen Heredia de Guerrero On-site Representative Iris Peynado
Roberta Semeraro
Costanza Salini
Dominican Republic
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About the exhibition

CONEXIÓN is a concrete example of a possible way to encourage coexistence between individuals in a space, by integrating the language of art into architecture.

With this installation based on tobacco leaves, Lidia Leon Cabral has transformed St.George’s Anglican Church - a spiritual center for many of Venice’s international residents - into a sort of agorà where diverse cultures can meet. The tobacco plants, which situate the work in a Caribbean landscape and are a crucial part of the socioeconomic development of the Dominican Republic, are a recurring theme in LiLeón’s imagery: she was born and raised in a prominent family of tobacco farmers.

In the hands of the artist-architect, these large leaves become a raw material to be used in construction, keeping the essential link to Mother Nature open. The collage of tobacco leaves on the panels was inspired by the church’s ancient stained-glass windows dedicated to famous English residents of Venice – including J. Ruskin, who was the first to develop a different theory of beauty in architecture. Beauty restores the world, and helps people live in peaceful coexistence. Architecture as a form of Art must create beauty by rediscovering its own purpose in nature.

During these months of lockdown and pandemic, which have made the 17th Biennial an extraordinary historical event with an almost prophetic title, many prominent Dominican professionals in diverse fields were invited to reflect on the question “How will we live together?” With their help, CONEXIÓN has become the choral expression of a nation’s hope for a sustainable future.

Roberta Semeraro curator

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Curators and Participants

Curator: Roberta Semeraro.

Commissioner: Minister of Culture of the Dominican Republic Carmen Heredia de Guerrero

On Site-Representative for the Commissioner: Iris Peynado.

Exhibitor and participants: Lidia León Cabral with Alex Martínez Suárez, Jesús D'Alessandro, Juan Miguel Pérez, Julia Vicioso Varelas, Orisell Medina-Lagrange, Traza_do (Collective of architects Melisa Vargas, Rafael Selman, Dante Luna, Javier Pérez, José Marion-Landais, Alejandro Marranzini, Carlos Aguilar), Michelle Valdez, Shaney Peña Gómez, Mizoocky Mota, Yomayra Martinó, Carmen Ortega González, Ching Ling Ho, Sara Hermann, Virginia Flores-Sasso, Elia Mariel Martínez, Lissette Gil, Romina Santroni, Maribel Villalona.

Organizers: Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic, LiLeón Foundation, Cultural Association RO.SA.M.

Collaborators: Aidita Selman (General Manager), Rafael Melo Carram (Strategic Planning), Mario García Haya (Audiovisual Producer), Félix Fernández (Editor), Lourdes Saleme (Graphic Designer), Carlos Lora (Digital Images), Lidia Viyella León (Text revision), Luis José Viyella León (Logistic and assembly), Luis Nova (Photographer), Paddy Bianca (Spanish/English translations), StudioBegnini (Press Office), Clemens F. Kusch (Director of fittings), Michele Crosera (Photographer), Chiara Spina (Administrative procedures banner), Costanza Salini (Curatorial Assistant), Mara Gerety (Italian/English translations), Geraldine Ludbrook (Relations with St. George’s Anglican Church), Venice Music Project (Concert), Natividad R. Brand Brito (Dance choreography).

Supporters: Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, Ministry of Foreign Affair of the Dominican Republic, Dominican Republic Embassy in Rome, Italy.

Partners: Banco BHD León.

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The Dominican Republic participates in XVII Venice International Architecture Biennale 2021 with a dynamic, living project, an agora, offering gathering spaces in Dominican Republic and in Venice. CONEXIÓN curated by Roberta Semeraro is a installation full of symbolism by architect and artist Lidia León, inspired by wabi sabi philosophy and our bond with Mother Earth. It gathers dialogues, debates, reflections on the ethics of coexistence, urban planning and habitat, culture and heritage, tourism and sustainability…in a series of audiovisuals produced by Mario García Haya.

Audiovisual series:

- Conexión x3

- Territorio en Feminino (Feminine Territory) :

Urbanismo y Hábitat (Urbanism and Habitat)

Cultura y Patrimonio (Culture and Heritage)

Turismo y Sostenibilidad (Tourism and Sustainability)

- Una Ciudad Vivible (A Livable City) Vision of Traza_do For Santo Domingo

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Pavilion partners & sponsors

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