Onboard the (French) pirate ship METAVILLA (whats being pointed at in Venice this year?)

Text on wall of French pavillion, METAVILLA, occupied by EXYZT collective reads in Italian, French, Albanian, English:

The occupation of a palace

By a jubilant crowd is a common image of revoluionary excesses. It has been witnessed in various forms throughout the ages, depending on the historical context. The fact that the image keeps recurring makes it a ritual and necessary representation, an ingredient of the revolution itself. It embodies the hope for justice through the fair redistribution of space. Occupation is the architectural expression of a social vision.

Metacity / Metavilla attempts to put this collective movement into practice. This event is to a classic architectural exhibition what implementation is to a concept. The public can experience the architectural design displayed there, and particularly assess the practical ideal being presented, not just as a utopian theory but as a concrete action that needs to be accomplished. In occupying this national emancipated pavilion and opening it up to the public in this unusual way, an architectural act is being performed.Probably the only such act that can be made in these times of insecurity and underlying tensions of war. The welcome of strangers, implacably “other”, is more than ever a relevant act. Happily the joyful city on show in the pavilion really does exist, here and elsewhere. This exhibition is just a pointer.

OCCUPATION OF A PALACE: the writing is on the wall

Audio interviews arising out of the French pavilion at the Venice architectural Biennalle 2006

1 – Welcome to Metavilla; the French pavillion, Hospitality, Tilli and Robins adventure in Mali
2 – The writing is on the walls : The Occupation of a Palace
3 – the French Pavillion is the best and the craziest says the German girls
4 – This place is about la vie, its amazing, Argentinian Martin
5 – Kevin – there is more than just architecture
6 – architecture just for weekends?
7 – Un autre lieue est possible = Another place is possible
8 – impressions of the Bienalle so far, from the pirate ship METAVILLA
9 – Ozzy Laura’s views on the bienalle ; make it more accessible

visit 2 – widening the discussion, RESIDENTMETA and Moments d’Architecture avec Lucien Kroll

1 – Patrick Bouchain – last words from the last
2 – Nantes architect student David about life in METAVILLA and improved communication mechanisms
3 – arky spass chat in sun near cuban temp pavilion
4 – el pavilion de Cuba (audio shortly)
5 – France says ciao to Cuba (audio shortly)
6 – Viva Cuba : a summary of the day
7 – What is METAVILLA? – our German neighbours become METAmedia workers for the day

METAVILLA pavilion found on EXYZT collective site :
THE TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE; Pirate Utopias by Hakim Bey :
Paris Commune of 1871, a previous (french) occupation of a palace

———-Venice Biennale Architecture…
Venice Biennale
History of the Biennale
wiki History of the Biennale

IMC-ie dunk has been onboard METAVILLA for some days, he has travelled over land and sea to get here, visiting and living in various other places that perhaps toward which the “exhibition is just a pointer.”

he prevoiusly lived and worked out of la condition publique, which is anotherplace Patrick Bouchain and his crew berthed some time ago.

he is amongst other things an architect, eco activist, gardener, land squatter, community media worker, street partier, wanderer, dreamer and do’er. In Ireland he worked with a group to attempt to turn Dublin into an eco city, last years art bienalle talked a bit about that; The Irish at Venice – Monks Garden

He came to the Bienalle not expecting much from the “architectural world”, as he feels there is room for much impovement there. He was not aware of EXYZT’s occupation of the French Pavillion beforehand, but on meeting old friends on arrival he was made to feel immediately at home, in fact he was invited to live there, to participate in the communal activites of cooking, cleaning, washing; eating, drinking, sleeping.

He Thinks Metavilla is something super as it points to the “other” world. But it is still closed, as is the Bienalle, people only enter if they pay. This should change, it should be open and free, so all people could come and participate in what should be an even greater jubilant crowd occupying this city. And who knows what that could lead to….

Writing in Cities, radical urbanism, sqatting, social centres On Sep. 04, 2006, he stated;

At the moment there is an ever growing radical network of autonomous spaces and ways of living that are about inclusivity, action for improved living conditions, DIY, self organisation and more: social centres, squatted villages, squatted city industrial space turned into organic food gardens, radical radio centres, reclaimed streets…….

We are wondering whether these ideas will be discussed in Venice, there was no mention at the london exhibiton (Future city: experiment and utopia in architecture 1956 – 2006). For a long time there has been walls put up against this “alternative” world but perhaps now it is getting to the time when the “architectural” world will have to listen to this new world of autonomous spaces and living, for many the “architectural” world has become sterile and lifeless, perhaps now it will have to be seriously confronted, perhaps Venice will be the meeting ground.

Who knows, maybe the “architectural” world will find that it is in this “alternative” world that the critical edge of architecture has been happening for the last while.

Perhaps we are on the virge of a new age, as the
anthropologist David Graeber said “But then, the anarchist century has only just begun.”

un autre lieu est possible – another place is possible

Tilli gives METAVILLA the thumbs up

Ive added a cluster map, which will register the hits this story gets from people around the world, we will see how the discussion is widening.

(Article first published on EASA blog– note audios not available, due to tek problems at radio indymedia server)


VIDS from the adventures: (added 2012)








Widening the discussion – RESIDENTMETA workshop @ METAVILLA

One Response to Onboard the (French) pirate ship METAVILLA (whats being pointed at in Venice this year?)

  1. fuspey says:


    The (Temporary) Cuban Pavilion existed at the Venice architectural Biennale, for a short time in 2006. On Monday 16th October, the French Pavilion, which was called METAVILLA, was turned into the Cuban Pavilion with full permission and support from curator Patrick Bouchain and all invited participants who were living and working out of the space during the ResidentMETA workshop. A letter was written and signed by various people and copies sent to groups in Cuba seeking any possible participation. A rough map outline of the island of Cuba was marked out on the gravel area in front of the French Pavilion, over time a structure was built around this. Maps of the edited area were printed and distributed to people inside the Biennale area and outside to the public, people were invited to attend a special Cuban night at Metavilla that night with music and film. That night a documentary was shown using the walls of the temp pavilion to take a screen and the steps of the British pavilion as a fine outdoor seated cinema, the film that was shown was “How Cuba survived peak oil, the power of community”.


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