Birkbeck partners with the British Council on Venice Fellowships programme

The Fellowships will enable two Birkbeck students to spend a month in Venice conducting independent research.

Birkbeck is partnering with the British Council on the 2018 Venice Fellowships programme which forms part of the British Pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Birkbeck will support two students, Danilo Reis and Uli Gamper, to spend a month in Venice, conducting independent research and invigilating the exhibition, Island, curated by Caruso St John Architects working in collaboration with artist Marcus Taylor.

The students are given an exclusive opportunity to spend a month in Venice during one of the world’s most significant art and architecture exhibitions organised by La Biennale di Venezia, which will run from 26 May to 25 November 2018. They will be invigilating the British Pavilion and undertaking independent research projects while in Venice.

The Venice Fellowships programme offers students, graduates and researchers the opportunity to become actively involved in La Biennale di Venezia and gain first-hand experience of the British Pavilion, this year’s curators and their vision.

Uli Gamper, MA Museum Cultures student, said: “I am thrilled to be part of the Fellowship cohort working with the British Pavilion at this year’s Architecture Biennale in Venice. I am very much looking forward to fruitful debates with other Fellows from across the UK and visitors from all over the world during my time there. The Fellowship will be an invaluable occasion to conduct in-depth empirical research on cosmopolitan museology and the contested representation of nationality in such contexts for my upcoming dissertation. I would like to express my gratitude to the Department of History of Art and the British Council for giving me this opportunity.”

Danilo Reis, BA History of Art with Curating student, said: "I feel really honoured to be a fellow in this year’s Birkbeck Venice Biennale partnership with the British Council. I look forward to gaining more professional insight into the functioning of the Venice Biennale, while also expanding my research. The access that fellows have to libraries and archives while in Venice, together with experiencing the city of Venice itself, will provide a valuable opportunity to expand my research."

Laura Broderick, Venice Fellowships Programme Manager at the British Council, said: “The Venice Fellowships programme is a fantastic international experience for students and graduates – with bespoke training in London, skills development opportunities at the British Pavilion, and a chance to expand networks across the UK. The Fellows are involved in research and the production of creative responses to the Biennale and Venice itself. This is key for our UK partners engaged in improving outward mobility and employability. For the British Council, it is very important to support emerging artists, architects, curators and researchers – and to place informed stewards at the heart of the British Pavilion.”

The British Pavilion at Biennale Architettura 2018, commissioned by the British Council, will be represented by the work Island from Caruso St John Architects working in collaboration with artist Marcus Taylor, with the construction of a new public space on the roof of the pavilion building.

Throughout Biennale Architettura 2018 the Pavilion of Great Britain will programme a unique series of events including poetry, performance, film and architectural talks and debates in response to Freespace and ideas raised by Island. The British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion in Venice since 1937, showcasing the best of the UK’s artists, architects, designers and curators to an international audience.

The Fellowships programme was initiated in 2014 by the British Council to strengthen the British Pavilion contribution as a platform for ideas and research. This programme aims to educate and enrich the exhibition, making it a reference point for universities and arts institutions. The Fellowships offers a way of viewing and experiencing art and architecture that provides a new outlook on issues of public and private space, artistic process and display.

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