The V-A-C Foundation is bustling with news and activity. Not only is the Russian art platform making fast advances on its upcoming home by Renzo Piano in Moscow (the redesign of a decommissioned power station into a gallery); its Venice outpost, Palazzo delle Zattere, has just launched not one, but two new offerings during the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale that previews today.

The first one is a new installation developed by architecture and design collaborative Assemble and We Are Here, an independent non-profit organisation that ‘addresses Venice’s challenges as a living city by strengthening connections between the best available information and stakeholders.’ The new courtyard installation is freely open to the public and aims to enhance the relationship between Venice and its context.

Entitled ‘Laguna Viva’, the piece is a meandering green landscape of hills and ponds, referencing the water and nature of Venice, its lagoons and salt marsh habitat. This is designed to evolve and change over time; and it is only phase 1 in the V-A-C’s collaboration with Assemble. At the end of the year, the piece will be covered in tiles and transform into the foundation’s next phase – as part of an ongoing strategy to enable the foundation to connect with its surroundings. For now, the installation is going to sit right next to the Assemble designed new bar and restaurant for the complex, sudest 1401.

The second show opening this week at Palazzo delle Zattere is ‘The Explorers, part One’, organised by London’s Whitechapel Gallery and curated by its director, Iwona Blazwick. Working with pieces from the V-A-C Foundation collection, the exhibition looks at piece discovered in the collection by artists Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, James Richards, Mike Nelson and Fiona Banner, mixing paintings, prints and photographs in a journey through nature and human nature.§

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