CONEXIÓN: an autumn garden on a human scale
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CONEXIÓN: an autumn garden on a human scale

Lidia León Cabral

CONEXIÓN: an autumn garden on a human scale
By Editorial Staff -

Themed “How will we live together?” and curated by Hashim Sarkis, the 17th Venice Biennale of Architecture will be open to the public from Saturday, May 22 through Sunday, November 21, 2021. The event is part of the Venice Biennale.

Read for free the interview with Hashim Sarkis published on # THEPLAN122

This article is the first in a series dedicated to what will be happening at the 17th Venice Biennale of Architecture to help you plan your visit.

The exhibition was originally scheduled for August 29 through November 29, 2020. Due to the ongoing situation with Covid, however, and out of consideration for the invited architects, nations, and institutions, the Biennale postponed the event to 2021 and extended its duration.

“How will we live together?”
This is as much a social and political question as it is one about our relationship with space. And we do need a new spatial contract. By posing this question, the 2021 Biennale is asserting the central role of the architect as both a convener and guardian of the spatial contract.

Hashim Sarkis, curator

The exhibition will welcome 110 participants from 46 countries, who’ll occupy pavilions in the Central Pavilion, Giardini, Arsenale, and Forte Marghera areas.

The 63 participants from Italy will be located in the Giardini and Arsenale pavilions, as well as in the historic center of Venice. This year will see four nations participating for the first time, namely, Azerbaijan, Grenada, Iraq, and Uzbekistan.

The 17th Biennale of Architecture will also host seventeen parallel events.


The Dominican Republic’s contribution to the Biennale is CONEXIÓN, by artist and architect LiLeón (Lidia León Cabral) and curated by art critic Roberta Semeraro. The work was commissioned by the Dominican Republic’s minister of culture, Carmen Heredia de Guerrero.

CONEXIÓN, an interior design and architecture project, will be located in the Anglican church of St. George’s, in Campo San Vio, Dorsoduro, the old heart of Venice.

The project, which will occupy the length of the nave, comprises panels made of tobacco leaves. Together, the panels form a collage inspired by ancient stained glass windows – a characteristic trait of Venice’s great artistic and artisan tradition – and create a dynamic space in which visitors can find a connection with nature. The interconnecting panels reflect the rhythm of the series of windows above the nave itself.

The wabi-sabi philosophy, which seeks beauty in every stage of life, inspired LiLeón to envisage CONEXIÓN as an autumn garden, with the ocher and brown tobacco leaves reflecting the furnishings of St. George’s, including the precious frame of its altarpiece.

The movement of the leaves recalls and represents the cycles of being. Their transparency, which reveals their veins, is an invitation to look at collective spaces as a common good, a single living organism to be respected and passed on to future generations.

With the current social distancing precautions in place, people have detached themselves from their collective spaces. With CONEXIÓN, the artist endeavored to create a virtual place for the participation of Dominican professionals, who were invited to ponder the question “How will we live together?” The installation is therefore an ideas workshop focused on building a sustainable future and rethinking the collective spaces of our lives.

Find more about  CONEXIÓN

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