This photomontage was part of an exhibition which was awarded a Golden Lion at the 2008 Venice Biennale of Architecture.
The concept for the Polish Pavilion exhibit in Venice was devised by architect Grzegorz Piątek and art historian Jarosław Trybuś. The curators cooperated with two visual artists, Nicolas Grospierre and Kobas Laksa, who selected several noteworthy buildings in Poland. Grospierre captured them in raw, objectifying shots, which Laksa then used to create visualisations for their possible development.
The curators described the Pavilion project as follows:
We are setting up an antithesis of promotional exhibitions (not only of architecture) which indiscriminately feature the most significant accomplishments of a given country, city or architect. Perhaps once challenged, the buildings will prove genuinely worthy.
The artists converted the Licheń Basilica into a water park, Warsaw University Library into a shopping centre, one terminal of Warsaw airport into farmland, and the Metropolitan and Rondo 1 office buildings, respectively, into a prison and a cemetery. Marina Mokotów, a gated residential complex in Warsaw, was submerged in trash.
Jeffrey Kipnis, the head of the jury, remarked on the Polish team’s first prize:
It is very difficult to assemble such a simple yet simultaneously intelligent, supranational, and extremely relevant exhibition. The pictures on display in the Polish Pavilion are the most beautiful photographs I have ever seen.
The artists parenthesised existing buildings in order to demonstrate potentially more environmentally and socially responsible uses for them. The exhibition coincided with the peak of the world economic crisis triggered by the crash of the real-estate market.
Originally written in Polish, translated by AG, edited by MB, Dec 2018