57° Biennale d’Arte, Venezia

The Nationless Pavilion


12.05 – 26.11.2017

The Nationless Pavilion becomes a “fondaco” from Friday, May 12th, with an open walk through the Venetian fondaci.

“Fontico” derives directly from the Arabic essence فندق, funduq which means: modest residence or inn on the ground floor, which in the Venetian dialect has become: fontego. Fondaco, born in the X century, in its historical sense of a place of accommodation and exchange of goods for the different cultures bordering on the Mediterranean. It is a tool for reflecting on the first relationships between foreign communities, and their cultural and economic dynamics, in the Mediterranean area.

What relations was the network of national and public fondaci able to foster in Venice? What kind of exchange was established between foreigners and locals in the lagoon area? What kinds of regulations were the foreign communities subjected to?

The Nationless Pavilion tryes to reactivate the network that has developed over the centuries in the Mediterranean through an exchange of thought and not thanks to monetary economics. For a re-reading of the background between past history and future perspective.

In Venice there were the national fondaci, and the public ones used for food and goods for the population. The three national fondaci – German, Turkish and Persian – that are today used for different purposes – lead us to territories still heavily affected by the phenomenon of migration. Their relationship will be extended by the Nationless Pavilion to the three related Official Pavilions in the Biennale.

The collective exploration, not defined beforehand, triggered reflections and ideas that were collected on this blog  and directly on site on a handbook available to participants. From here, the notebook, as a “moving fondaco”, become a journey from one side to another of the Mediterranean. The ancient geography of the fondaci becomes an opportunity to weave relationships and ideas, sketches, thoughts and projects.

The blog will remain active until the Biennial closes and will become a shared archive of this reflection, with works by artists, art historians, scholars and activists.

The book and the digital archive will then be displayed at the end of this journey during the closing event of the Biennial.

The third edition of the Nationless Pavilion, is curated by Nation25 with the collaboration of Chloé Bonnie More.