fbpx Biennale Architettura 2021 | Israel
La Biennale di Venezia

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Animal Stories in Imagined Landscapes

  • TUE - SUN 
    22/05 > 31/07
    11 am - 7 pm

    01/08 > 21/11
    10 am - 6 pm
  • Giardini
  • Admission with ticket

Commissioners: Michael Gov, Arad Turgeman
Curators: Dan Hasson, Iddo Ginat, Rachel Gottesman, Yonatan Cohen, Tamar Novick
Exhibitors: Dan Hasson, Iddo Ginat, Rachel Gottesman, Yonatan Cohen, Tamar Novick, Netta Laufer, Shadi Habib Allah, Daniel Meir, Apollo Legisamo, Adam Havkin


The exhibition LAND. MILK. HONEY. examines the reciprocal relations between humans, animals, and the environment within the Israeli context. Our point of departure is the biblical imagery of milk and honey as a metaphor for plenitude, and its construction in practice as a Zionist project of modernisation.
The exhibition focuses on five animals, domesticated and wild, each representing the multifaceted narrative of the introduction of modernity to the Levant.
Through five case studies - cows, goats, honey bees, water buffaloes, and bats — we construct a spatial history of a place in five acts: Mechanisation; Territory; Cohabitation; Extinction; and Post-Human.

Biennale Sneak Peek

Image 1 – How will we live together?
The exhibition Land Of Milk And Honey​ examines the reciprocal relations between humans and animals, and the far-reaching environmental changes experienced in Palestine-Israel during the twentieth century. Through initiatives in agronomy, engineering, architecture, and legislation, the phrase Land Of Milk And Honey turned from a religious promise to an action plan: the environment was reshaped by urbanization, infrastructural projects, mechanized agriculture, intensive afforestation, and the manipulation of animal bodies into food-producing machines. The preference of yield and the transformation of the land came at the cost of irreparable damage to natural habitats and to the local fauna and flora, as well as the disruption of human ways of living.
Our zoocentric exhibition offers a sober look at a land radically transformed by the combined powers of ideology and technology, and emphasizes the need to establish a new contract between humans, animals and the environment, thus addressing the Biennale Architettura 2021’s key theme – How will we live together?
Photo: construction drawing of one of the exhibit’s installations


Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
The exhibition Land Of Milk And Honey examines the reciprocal relations between humans, animals, and the environment. Our protagonists are animals, both wild and domesticated. The history of the dairy industry, for example, demonstrates the ways in which the bioengineering of animals and their living spaces had served the enterprise of constructing plenitude in Palestine-Israel – the literal realization of the biblical promise of a land flowing with milk and honey. Crossbreeding of Middle Eastern cows with European bulls gained prominence in the first half of the 20th century. This so-called “Hebrew Cow” emerged as a symbol of abundance and success in settling the lands of the East.
Photo: Stavit, a cow from Kibbutz Kfar Giladi, “the Champion of Champions” in milk yields, 1950. Courtesy of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi archives

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Biennale Architettura
Biennale Architettura