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Golden Lions of the Architecture Biennale 2023

Topos Magazine

The Architecture Biennale 2023 started last weekend, on May 20. There was also, as every year, the ceremony of awards for the best works and artists.




As with every Venice Architecture Biennale, this year, more precisely last weekend, the best works and artists were awarded. Read more about the awards here.

The jury of the Architecture Biennale 2023

This year’s jury was composed of the following personalities:

  • Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (chair), Italian architect and curator.
  • Nora Akawi, Palestinian architect and curator
  • Thelma Golden, US director of the Studio Museum in Harlem
  • Tau Tavengwa, Zimbabwean researcher
  • Izabela Wieczorek, architect from Poland

Awards Architecture Biennale 2023

The Golden Lion for the best national pavilion went to Brazil. Their exhibit, titled “Terra [Earth],” addresses issues of reparation for Brazil’s indigenous and black populations.


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Bienal de São Paulo (@bienalsaopaulo)

The Golden Lion for best work went to Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti of DAAR – Decolonizing Architecture Art Research. Their installation titled “Ente di Decolonizzazione – Borgo Rizza” in the main exhibition, curated by Lesley Lokko, explores the critical reappropriation of fascist architectures in Italy.

The Silver Lion in the Young Artist category was awarded to artist Olalekan Jeyifous for his expansive installation of an Afrofuturistic traffic hall in the central pavilion.


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von Olalekan Jeyifous (@kidcadaver)

In addition, it was announced back in March that Nigerian artist Demas Nwoko would receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.


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Ein Beitrag geteilt von La Biennale di Venezia (@labiennale)

Special mentions

In addition, the jury awarded the following four special mentions:

  • Jayden Ali, Joseph Henry, Meneesha Kellay and Sumitra Upham were honored for their large-scale sculptures and video installation in the British Pavilion. Their theme, “Dancing Before the Moon,” explores the rituals and spatial practices of the diaspora.
  • Photographer and video artist Sammy Baloji/Twenty Nine Studio received a special mention for his reflection on colonialism, space and agriculture in his work “Aequare: the Future that Never Was.”
  • At Arsenale, an award also went to the textile work “Tectonic Shifts” by Heinrich and Ilze Wolff.
  • The murals “The Uhuru Catalogues” by Thandi Loewenson in the main pavilion also received a special mention.

Read everything you need to know about this year’s Venice Biennale and its theme “Future Lab,” curated by Ghanaian-Scottish architect Lesley Lokko, here: Architecture Biennale 2023.


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