Rural Studio Installation at Venice Biennale
Hanging spring-coil beds, insulation panels stacked as benches, and a handful of projected video stories make up “The Theater of the useFULL,” Rural Studio’s installation at the prestigious Venice Biennale, where they are the only U.S. representatives invited to the international exhibition by curator Alejandro Aravena. “The Theater of the useFULL” includes stories of Rural Studio’s battles that are told in a handful of short projected videos created by NYC-based filmmakers Claire Dub and Randy Rubin. To the soulful croon of a guitar straight from an Alabamian front porch, and through twenty-three years’ worth of stunning photography by Timothy Hursley, it’s easy to see that Rural Studio’s buildings are beautiful. Yet what is ultimately communicated is that they were created to fill desperate holes in the community.
The materials in “The Theater of the useFULL” were selected for their usefulness to two Venetian organizations, Assemblea Sociale per la Casa and Assemblea Sociale per la Casa, to which they’ll be delivered following the exhibition’s six-month run. The installation abides by Rural Studio’s philosophy for exhibitions—throw nothing away once finished—and extends the approach to projects back at their home base of Hale County, Alabama—consider not what can be done, but what should be done. The Rural Studio faculty team who designed and built the installation were admittedly less familiar with Venice so they turned to locals who could help.
Rural Studio’s installation at the Venice Biennale runs May 25–November 27, 2016.
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Photo: Provost Timothy Boosinger, his wife Dr. Marcia Boosinger, and CADC Dean Vini Nathan enjoy Rural Studio’s “The Theater of the useFULL” at the Venice Biennale.