The Lithuanian Space Agency presents: Planet of People
The Lithuanian Space Agency (LSA) is thrilled to present the Pavilion of Lithuania at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. In the unique setting of the Renaissance church Santa Maria dei Derelitti, the LSA proposes a fictional outer space world that brings together gravitational aesthetics and cosmic imagination. The LSA’s exhibition in Venice is curated by Jan Boelen, commissioned by Julija Reklaitė and organised by Rupert, Centre for Art and Education.
“Take a large population of humans, strip them of all social, racial, cultural, sexual, political and economic constructs and bring them together so that they stay in close proximity for a substantial amount of time. That would be the ultimate revision of human architecture.” —Julijonas Urbonas, founder of the Lithuanian Space Agency
The LSA is an organisation that researches space architecture and gravitational aesthetics. The agency is an astro-disciplinary initiative that aims to create a truly extraterrestrial imagination. A think-tank-cum-space-logistics-company, the LSA is researching and developing the poetic logistics of establishing alternative ways of being and imagining together both on and beyond Earth. Acknowledging the cosmos as the site of radical other-worldliness, the agency focuses on how we can get closer to the unearthly while also shifting perspectives on humanity to those of an alien.
GUIDED TOURS AT THE PAVILION DURING OPENING WEEK
On 20, 21, and 22 May
Every hour between 11:00 - 13:00 and 15:00 - 18:00. Location Santa Maria dei Derelitti, 6691 Barbaria delle Tole, 30122 Venezia, Italy.
→ During the launch days, we invite you to familiarise yourself with LSA's laboratory in Venice. The guided tours will be led by the artist Julijonas Urbonas, Curator Jan Boelen and Assistant Curator Milda Batakyte.
→ After the launch days, for the duration of the exhibition, guided tours will be held daily (except Mondays) at 6pm by the pavilion’s assistants.
→ The duration of the guided tour is approximately 20 minutes and will be conducted in English. Online regaistraion, please follow the link HERE.
For the Biennale Architettura 2021, the LSA presents Urbonas’ most recent project, Planet of People –– an artistic and scientific study into a hypothetical artificial planet made up of human bodies. The agency explores what it would actually take to realise the architectural fiction of Planet of People and raises questions about its sociopolitical implications. When humans are liberated from the constraints of Earth and simply become the building blocks of this new extra-terrestrial structure, what is the role of our earthly cultural and ethical notions? At the centre of the installation of Planet of People is a 3D scanner that scans the participants of the experiment and ‘sends’ them into space as animated simulations. As more and more people participate over the course of the trial run in Venice, the scanned bodies begin to form a new planet.
‘Increasingly, we become aware of the fragility of Earth and the human species. More and more, we realise that we might not have an appropriate survival plan when the doomsday comes. What are the alternatives? There are two options: a planetary-scale funeral or a monument for the history of Earth and its inhabitants. It is time to consider both’, says Urbonas. ‘Imagination is inseparable from reality and vice versa. They neither contradict each other, nor do they exclude one another. The same goes for architecture. It is as imaginative as it is realistic. Scientific and architectural speculations are informed by social and technological constructs as much as they themselves inform those constructs. So, on this level, Planet of People is as real as the Eiffel Tower. The only difference between them is that one is yet to be built.’
The LSA includes a number of other Urbonas’ works or ‘prototypes’, such as Airtime, Barany Chair, Cerebral Spinner, Cumspin, Emancipation Kit, Euthanasia Coaster, Hypergravitational Piano, Oneiric Hotel. These so-called prototypes are based on Urbonas’ research into gravitational aesthetics, a name he has given to a genre of architecture, design and art. Gravitational aesthetics is concerned with the choreographing and locomotive power of things, both real and imaginary, and the effects these choreographies have on the sensual, psychological and social domains. Consider, for example, Cumspin, which uses artificial gravity to enhance human sexual pleasure, or Euthanasia Coaster, a roller coaster that ends in euphoric death. These works and research have formed the basis of the main installation, Planet of People.
22 May - 21 November 2021
Opened: Tue - Sun
Working hours: 10:00 - 19:00
Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Derelitti
Barbaria delle Tole, 6691,
(Castello) 30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Project by Julijonas Urbonas
Curator: Jan Boelen
Assistant Curator: Milda Batakytė
Commissioner: Julija Reklaitė
Laboratory design: Isora x Lozuraityte Studio for Architecture
Deployable structures design: Vladas Suncovas
Engineering: Povilas Ambrasas
Graphic design and programming: Studio Pointer\*
Producer: Mindaugas Reklaitis
Communication: Jogintė Bučinskaitė and Vilius Balčiūnas
Local manager: Marco Scurati
Coordinators: Eglė Kliučinskaitė and Erika Urbelevič
Presented by the Lithuanian Council for Culture
Organised by Rupert - centre for art, residencies and education, Vilnius
Strategic partner: X Museum, Beijing
The films ‘Standing’, ‘Falling’, ‘Levitating’ by Alexandre Humbert bring the head-turning artworks of the artist Julijonas Urbonas into the spotlight. The videos present selected projects based on Urbonas’ research into gravitational aesthetics, a name he has given to a genre of architecture, design and art. The three one-minute length films show the materials and design of the life-size and scale models of the projects. These video stories are a part of Humbert’s Object Interview project, which is a collection of one-minute videos about design objects in conversation, investigating how objects exist on their own.