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La Biennale di Venezia

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Studio Ossidiana

Variations on a Bird Cage

  • TUE - SUN
    22/05 > 31/07
    11 AM - 7 PM

    01/08 > 21/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Arsenale
  • Admission with ticket

Giovanni Bellotti (Italian, b.1987) and Alessandra Covini (Italian, b.1988) of Studio Ossidiana (The Netherlands, est.2016) with Sze Wing Chan (Hongkonger, b.1990), Marie Saladin (French, b.1988), Ebru Guner (Dutch, b.1996), Daniele Ceragno (Italian, b.1996), Lyubov Viller (Russian, b.1991), Jackie van Dijk (Dutch, b.1999), Riccardo de Vecchi (Italian, b.1993), Mariagiulia Pistonese (Italian, b.1992), in collaboration with Baukje Trenning (Dutch, b.1969), Tomaello Bv (Dutch, b.1924), Luigi D’Oro Studio (Italian, b.2004)



Variations on a Bird Cage is an exploration of the objects through which humans formalize their encounters with birds—animals which, along with people, have most contributed to the globalization of nature, inhabiting in every culture a place both physical and symbolic. Combining historical research and new architectural types, working prototypes and new materials, the installation spatializes the relation between bodies/species through a series of intermediary objects, translating the actions of retreating, advancing, abandoning, transforming, domesticating, feeding and playing, into a performative object-space. The installation proposes to rethink the archetype of the cage as a physical language, rather than an enclosure, addressing the physical, corporeal nature of the cage, as well as its symbolic power, its capacity to abstract, to represent ideas of nature, and inform relations between species. While the cage expands from the tender to the coercive, the ironic to the dramatic, the metaphorical to the caloric, we see the actions embedded in living together becoming the ingredients for a project of mutual transformation, of exchange between humans and other animals, as the cage shifts from a form of seclusion to a meditative object.
The project also includes an outdoor installation in the Giardino delle Vergini.


Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie
Het Nieuwe Instituut / Jaap Bakema Study Centre
Jan Van Eyck Academy

Production credits

Production: Studio Ossidiana, Tomaello BV, Luigi d’Oro Studio
Thanks to: Dirk van den Heuvel, Ahmet Topbas, Hicham Khalidi, Huib Haye van der Werf, Peter del Tredici, Adèle Naudé Santos, Rafi Segal, Mario Covini, Giulio Tomaello, Creative Industries Fund NL

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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura