Primeira pedra: Venice show explores the virtues of natural stone

natural Portuguese stone
Curator Guta Moura Guedes, experimentadesign and stone research facility First Stone (Primeira Pedra) present 'Resistance' a show running during the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and focusing on the properties of natural Portuguese stone. Pictured: Álvaro Siza’s contribution to the project
(Image credit: Álvaro Siza’s)

Stone has always played a critical part in the development of humanity; used in everything from the creation of small intricate objects to some of the world’s largest architectural structures. To celebrate the material’s numerous possibilities and cultural heritage, 'Resistance', an exhibition curated by Guta Moura Guedes, and commissioned by cultural festival experimentadesign and stone research facility Primeira Pedra (First Stone), aims to explore the possibilities of working with Portuguese stone.

Presented during the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, the exhibit invites leading architects Álvaro Siza, Amanda Levete, Bijoy Jain, Elemental and Mia Hägg to investigate the theme of ‘resistance’ through their own personal adaptation of the materials on offer. Portugal has a rich history of extracting marble and limestone, and Primeira Pedra wanted to initiate a research initiative which would investigate the stone’s possible uses and functions. The two materials were selected due to their resistance properties, which subsequently inspired the theme of the show.

The exhibition, which is one of a three-part series, will run over a period of 18 months; 'Resistance', 'Still Motion' and 'Common Sense' will be exhibited in locations such as Venice, London, Milan, New York, Basel and Dubai, drawing to a close in 2018. A second presentation will take place during Art Basel 2017, and will include an exterior exhibition space for the objects, an interior space exhibiting concepts and a showcase for the production processes (which will be accompanied by a film and digital light installation).

small stone intricate objects

Stone has always played a critical part in the development of humanity, used in everything, from the creation of small intricate objects to some of the world’s largest architectural structures. Pictured: Mia Hägg’s stone pieces

(Image credit: Mia Hägg's )

Portuguese marble and limestone

The exhibition aims to explore the possibilities and challenges of working with stone, namely Portuguese marble and limestone

(Image credit: Pedro Sadio)

natural stone

One of the main reasons for selecting those two types of natural stone was resistance levels, which also helped inspire the exhibition's name. Pictured: Amanda levete’s stone object

(Image credit: Amanda levete's )

INFORMATION

’Resistance’ will be on view from 25 May until 4 October. For more information, visit the Venice Architecture Biennale (opens in new tab) website (opens in new tab)

Photography: Pedro Sadio

ADDRESS

Dépendence Villa Hériot,
Calle Michelangelo 54/P
Giudecca, Venice

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