Nordic Nations Pavilion at Venice Structure Biennale highlights Sámi structure

A nomadic library created by architect Joar Nango that incorporates 15 years of fabric highlighting Indigenous Sámi structure kinds the idea of the Nordic Nations Pavilion on the Venice Structure Biennale.

Titled Girjegumpi: The Sámi Structure Library, the pavilion was designed by ArkDes and curated by Carlos Mínguez Carrasco and James Taylor-Foster.

It centres round a nomadic library that features over 500 books collected by Sámi architect Nango. The Sámi are Indigenous folks dwelling within the conventional area of Sápmi, and the books concentrate on their structure and design.

The Nordic Nations Pavilion includes a library by Sámi architect Joar Nango. Photograph is by Laurian Ghinițoiu

The fabric is an ever-growing assortment that Nango has gathered over a interval of 15 years, which goals to spotlight points surrounding activism, conventional constructing strategies and Indigenous structure and design.

“5 years in the past, I realised that I had a lot materials that I must share with the world,” Nango instructed Dezeen.

“I constructed this small little moveable shack, which is known as a gumpi, a casual kind of structure that is quite common,” he continued. “We construct small buildings and put them on skis, so you’ll be able to pull them behind the snowmobile.”

Photo of Girjegumpi: The Sámi Architecture Library at the Venice Architecture Biennale
It incorporates discovered objects and books. Photograph is by Laurian Ghinițoiu

Alongside the library, the pavilion additionally contains artworks, movie, supplies and located objects. Each bit of archival materials invitations guests to find out about and interact with subjects comparable to decolonisation, sustainability, local weather change and reuse.

“Girjegumpi is an inviting and playful sequence of areas, installations, and particulars – and its dialogue with the pavilion itself is exclusive,” curators Taylor-Foster and Carrasco instructed Dezeen.

“There may be an inherent heat to the room that’s constructed from dialog and collaborations which are a lot bigger than the Biennale,” they continued. “Whether or not guests attend a gathering or come for a day of studying, Girjegumpi offers completely different sorts of how into understanding and experiencing structure in Sápmi.”

Photo of the library in a snowy setting
The library on present within the area is nomadic. Photograph is by Astrid Fadnes

Taylor-Foster and Carrasco hope that the pavilion will turn into a “social area” for guests.

“At its coronary heart, Girjegumpi is a social area – a spot to collect, to sit down, to learn,” they mentioned.

“We expect that the guests will likely be struck by the materiality, the smells, the sounds,” the curators continued. “The soundscapes of Sápmi by Anders Rimpi that bathe the entrances to the pavilion set the tone.”

The Sámi individuals are descendants of nomadic communities who inhabit the northern areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia’s Kola Peninsula – which is in any other case generally known as the standard territory of Sápmi.

In line with Nango, “Sámi structure is one thing that we have to discuss”, and he hopes the Biennale will encourage this.

“We have to perceive what it’s and to create a social community round it, we have to dive deeper into it, we’d like many individuals concerned in it,” he defined.

“It isn’t just for Sámi folks, it is also for all architects to consider what’s our colonial heritage in Europe.”

Photo of the library
It has travelled round Nordic areas since 2018. Photograph is by Astrid Fadnes

Girjegumpi takes its identify from two Sámi phrases. The primary, girji, means e book, and the second is gumpi – the kind of casual constructing on which he modelled the library.

The identify references each the operate of the library and its travelling nature because it continues to relocate throughout completely different areas, which it has been doing since 2018.

“Since 2018, it has journeyed round Sápmi and, extra just lately, the broader Nordic area,” mentioned Taylor-Foster and Carrasco. “Its journey to Venice is the furthest it has travelled thus far, and the mission will return to Sápmi on the shut of the Biennale.”

“All over the place Girjegumpi travels, it adapts and expands,” mentioned Taylor-Foster and Carrasco.

Joar Nango at the Nordic Countries Pavilion
Nango (above) hopes it’ll draw folks to consider Europe’s colonial historical past. Photograph is by Knut

Reflecting on the mission, Nango mentioned he hopes the Biennale will likely be a “excellent spot” for the archive.

“I believe Venice is a superb place to attach and to lift necessary questions,” mentioned Nango.

“All these questions on Sámi structure, what it’s, the colonial historical past of northern international locations, who we’re,” he mentioned. “Sámi individuals are colonised folks, however our lands are nonetheless being expropriated.”

When the nomadic library will not be travelling, it’s based mostly at Sámi Dáiddaguovddáš, the Sámi Centre for Up to date Artwork in Karasjok, Norway.

A variety of pavilions on the Venice Structure Biennale had been revealed completely on Dezeen final week, together with the Swiss Pavilion, the Brazilian Pavilion and the Australia Pavilion.

The images is by Astrid Fadnes, until acknowledged in any other case.

The Venice Structure Biennale takes place from 20 Could to 26 November 2023. See Dezeen Occasions Information for all the most recent info you have to know to attend the occasion, in addition to a listing of different structure and design occasions going down around the globe.