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"Weak Monument" wins curator call Venice in ESTONIA

Today, Estonian Centre of Architecture announced the winner of the International Curator Competition for the Estonian exposition at the 2018 La Biennale di Venezia Architecture Exhibition. The members of the winning team are Laura Linsi, Roland Reemaa and Tadeáš Říha with the proposal titled "Weak Monument". The curators of the project are young architects trained in Tallinn, Prague and Delft, with Linsi and Riha currently practicing in London and Reemaa teaching in Delft. 13 proposals were submitted to the international competition with 5 moving on to the second, public presentation stage which took place last Thursday in Tallinn.

"Weak Monument" stands out by its thoroughly prepared theoretical framework. The curators see architectural environment as a layered and historically continuous system, promising to focus the exposition on projects from recent and more distant past, researching the concept of ‘weak monument’ via examples from Estonia and elsewhere. The proposal deals with an important concept of architecture theory – the idea of "weak architecture", inspired by the example of Estonian architect Leonhard Lapin’s 1970s concept project Anti-International Monument, says a member of the jury and head of the Museum of Estonian Architecture Triin Ojari: ""Weak Monument" is a project by architects of a new, very young generation looking to interpret the heritage of Modernist architecture and its significance in present day, researching the role of an architect today, and stating that weakness, creative ambivalence and incompleteness in projects should not be something to be ashamed of, but it could rather be a strength. Why not also a strength for Estonian architecture today and tomorrow."

According to one of the team members Laura Linsi, the theme was reached through common interests during studies, discussing the possible roles of the architect within the increasingly constrained practice: "The graduation project entitled "Weak Architecture" by Tadeáš Říha was taken as a starting point. From here we can investigate the role of a monument within the historical, contemporary and future societies. The goal of the pavilion is to juxtapose two different concepts. The monument being an architectural device, which employs memory through form and aims to halt time. Weakness, instead, signifies flexibility to change and adapt. The proposal seeks new roles and possibilities for the practice of architecture between these two poles, respond to the overall theme for the Venice biennale and position Estonia into the international discourse."

The jury of the competition: Raul Järg (architect, Chairman of the Jury, Chairman of ECA, Commissioner of the Estonian exposition at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice); Toomas Tammis (architect, member of UEA, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture of the Estonian Academy of Arts); Maria Arusoo (art historian and curator, representative of the Estonian Society of Art Historians and Curators, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art Estonia); Johan Tali (architect, member of UEA, co-curator of the Estonian exposition in 2016); Veronika Valk (architect); Peeter Pere (architect, member of UEA); Triin Ojari (representative of the Estonian Society of Art Historians and Curators, director of Museum of Estonian Architecture).

Estonia has participated in the architecture biennale since year 2000, in 2016 the country teamed up with neighbouring Latvia and Lithuania for a project called Baltic Pavilion, exploring shared geopolitical histories and its impact on landscape in the age of anthropocene. More info about previous pavilions here

Estonian Centre of Architecture (ECA) is a non-profit organisation focussing on developing architectural culture in Estonia and promoting contemporary Estonian architecture abroad. The competition and the Estonian exhibition at the 16th Biennale di Venezia Architecture Exhibition are organised by the Estonian Centre of Architecture in co-operation with the Union of Estonian Architects and with support from Estonian Ministry of Culture and Estonian Cultural Endowment. In addition to being in charge of the Estonian exhibition in Venice, the Centre also organises Tallinn Architecture Biennial TAB, other architecture events in Tallinn and networking events abroad.

Images of the winning tem from the 2nd stage public presentation:

More info:

Eve Arpo
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