For the past two years, the Russian Federation Pavilion has explored the public role and social relevance of cultural institutions in times of global crisis, with the will to rebuild itself on more solid and inclusive grounds.

Working towards the reconstruction of both its architectural and institutional structures, the Russian Pavilion has devised an ideal testing ground to experiment with more empathetic and meaningful forms of alliance and kinship in the amorphous, nebulous space suspended across various dimensions – the physical, the digital and everything in between. It is in this tension that Open has found a tentative answer to the question posed by the curator of the 17th Architecture Biennale, Hashim Sarkis: How will we live together?

The Russian Pavilion considers how we can re-think cultural institutions through overlapping perspectives: the transformation of its own physical architecture, the digital environments that we access daily as well as the network of relationships and individuals that populate them.

These three dimensions first converged in Open?, the online platform that was conceived in response to the postponement of the 17th Architecture Biennale. In early 2020, in the face of harsh lockdowns that put the brakes on our social and cultural interchange, the Russian Pavilion migrated online, where it continued to serve as a journal for new contents and collaborations, while connecting to audiences beyond the perimeter of the Giardini, building up an archive for Biennale to come. What was meant to be a physical space for encounters gradually became a virtual gathering venue for a vast ecosystem of artists, architects and thinkers.
Curator — Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli

Curatorial team — Giacomo Ardesio, Liza Dorrer, Vladimir Nadein, Dasha Nasonova, Erica Petrillo

Exhibition design team — Guglielmo Campeggi, Kamil Hilmi Dalkir, Mattia Inselvini, Camilla Morandi with KASA – Kovaleva and Sato Architects

Design coordination and construction — MAP Studio Magnani Pelzel Associati

Contributors — Alice Bucknell, Federico Campagna, Emanuele Coccia, Cat Goodfellow, Daria Kalugina, Alina Nazmeeva, Alexander Vetushinsky

Design superviision and art direction— Giacomo Ardesio, Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Chiara Tomassi

Structural engineer — Tecnobrevetti Team Engineering

Music — Electric Red, Ilia Mazo, Lion & Unicorn with Dasha Nasonova and Dimitri Vesnin, Pavel Milyakov aka Buttechno, Vladmir Rannev, Volchok, Yuliya Kozhemyako aka Supr.

Production — ALTOFRAGILE

Visual identity — Lorenzo Mason Studio

Communication — Send / Receive