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Venice Biennale

Swiss Pavilion Biennale Architettura 2023
Media moment

Photo: Tobias Becker

Media enquiries

Swiss: The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia


InternationaI: Pickles PR

Zeynep Seyhun
M +39 349 003 4359

Benedetta di Costanzo
M +39 348 781 9511

Additional information and press images available on: biennials.ch

“Neighbours” by Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung

Pavilion of Switzerland at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia

Friday 19 May 2023 at 11:00am

Please register via this online form and inform us about specific interview requests. You will receive a confirmation.


Friday, May 19, 2023, 11:00 am CEST
Swiss Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale di Venezia

  • Welcome
  • Introduction of the participants: Karin Sander, artist and professor of art and architecture at ETH Zurich; Philip Ursprung, professor of the history of art and architecture at ETH Zurich; Philippe Bischof, Director of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia; Katharina Brandl, Head of the Visual Arts Department at Pro Helvetia
  • Presentation and guided tour of the exhibition with the project team and Pro Helvetia. The guided tours can be organised both in English and German.
  • Live Q&A: Questions will be taken at the end of the tour

Individual interviews with the project team and the director of Pro Helvetia will take place from 12:00 CEST (by appointment).

Please note that accreditation to the Biennale Architettura 2023 is required to access the Giardini della Biennale di Venezia and attend the media moment in the Swiss pavilion. Deadline for media accreditation is May 6, 2023. It can be requested online.

“Neighbours” by Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung

Following an open call, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has chosen to entrust the exhibition of the Swiss Pavilion for the Biennale Architettura 2023 to the artist and professor of art and architecture, Karin Sander and the professor of history of art and architecture Philip Ursprung, both at ETH Zurich. Their project Neighbours highlights both the spatial and structural proximity of the Swiss Pavilion to its Venezuelan neighbour and the professional bond of the two architects: the Swiss Bruno Giacometti (1907 – 2012) and the Italian Carlo Scarpa (1906 – 1978):

“The Swiss and the Venezuelan Pavilion form an ensemble of exceptional architectural and sculptural quality. Despite this, they are conceived as separate because of their representative function, and thus, are staged accordingly. We are rethinking the functions of the two pavilions and their surroundings in a new light and are dissolving their borders with artistic means“, Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung explain.

“We see the two pavilions as a spatial continuity and articulate what already exists. The pavilion is no longer functional as a container for housing an exhibition of some kind – instead, the architecture itself, its material and spatial relations is turned into the exhibit. Acting within the perspective of art, we can do things differently than within architecture. ‘Neighbours’ is also  an open conversation between art and architecture.”

Project Team

Karin Sander is an artist and Professor of Art and Architecture, and Philip Ursprung is Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, both at ETH Zurich.

For their project Neighbours, Sander and Ursprung are supported by Managing Curator Sassa Trülzsch, Project Leader Tobias Becker and Researcher Berit Seidel.

Public dialogues

Exchange with neighbours, whether friendly or confrontational, empathetic or guarded constitutes the texture of the everyday. On Saturday 20th May and Sunday 21st May, Karin Sander and Philip Ursprung host a series of public dialogues with various experts, ranging from architecture, to photography and plant ecology. The talks will be held in English, partly in the Swiss Pavilion and partly at Palazzo Trevisan degli Ulivi at Zattere.

The main exhibition “The Laboratory of the Future”

The main exhibition of the 18th International Architecture Exhibition– La Biennale di Venezia is titled “The Laboratory of the Future” and can be seen at the Giardini and Arsenale.

By invitation of the curator Lesley Lokko, the Swiss artist Ursula Biemann (Zurich) and the collective Le laboratoire d’architecture (Vanessa Lacaille and Mounir Ayoub, Geneva) – who represented Switzerland in Biennale Architettura 2021 – will take part in the main exhibition (in the section called “Dangerous Liaisons”) and will feature experimental practices that seek to expand our understanding of what it means to decolonise knowledge and production. Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia sponsors both presentations in the central exhibition.