The European Pavilion 2024: Here are the five finalists hoping to radically change Europe

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The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) has announced the selection of five finalists competing to be selected for The European Pavilion 2024, an EU-focused alternative to the Venice Biennale

These five projects have been put forward for their potential to ignite critical discourse and reimagine the trajectory of Europe through artistic expression.

Launched by the ECF in 2020, The European Pavilion extends a commissioning grant of of up to €500,000 to a European cultural organisation that presents the most ambitious and compelling vision for curating and hosting events. 

The unveiling of this year’s winner is taking place on 14 February 2024 at a ceremony at the prestigious Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. 

Here are this year’s five finalists: 

1) FAILLE, by Cittadellarte and OGR Torino

OGR Torino

FAILLE will explore the Insubric line, tracing its path through the Alpine region and its connection to the Balkan migratory route. The project views this territory as a convergence of regional identities. 

Four partners from the Alpine region will host four-month artist residencies, reflecting on the contemporary significance of these internal European borderlands. 

Exhibitions will be held at OGR Torino and Fondazione Pistoletto in Italy. 

2) Let’s dream we are all EQUAL, by antiwarcoaltion.art and partners

Poster for the transnational project Let’s Dream We Are EQUAL

This transnational project aims to reflect on the idea of a network as a potential framework for the future enabling to break the hierarchical power relations and structures, avoiding conventional clichés and stereotypes.

Let’s Dream We Are EQUAL features interconnected offline and online exhibitions taking place simultaneously in various geographical locations, with a major event in Kharkiv, Ukraine and bridging them into a virtual web through a specially developed online platform.

3) Liquid Becomings, by Stichting Pássaros | espaço agora now and partners

Promo photo for the project ‘Liquid Becomings’

In Liquid Becomings, independent artists will create a mobile pavilion, launching from Gdańsk on 1 September 2024. Four boats, each led by a crew of five artists and a captain, will navigate the Danube, Rhine, Vistula, and Tagus rivers for 28 days. 

Each boat will explore a different theme, including “Ruins and Monsters”, “Perimeters”, “Togetherness”, and “Bodies and Politics”. 

These journeys will serve as platforms for durational performances, culminating in a polyphonic, interdisciplinary work to be showcased in Lisbon in November 2024. 

4) Space of togetherness, by NEON

Promotional photo for ‘Space of Togetherness’

This proposal proposes a five-week exhibition at the National Drama School in Athens, exploring the relationship between our envisioned future and present realities. 

It addresses issues like racism, social and climate mobility, and migrant rights, aiming to foster belonging and coexistence across class, race, and gender lines. 

The exhibition will feature The AfroGreeks, an ongoing community project documenting the African Diaspora in Greece. 

5) Utopia is not an island,by LABoral Artand Industrial Creation Centre

Promotional photo for ‘Utopia is not an island’

This project aims to mobilise utopian storytelling and art to imagine a better and ecologically viable future, as it revolves around three aspects of what Europe is today: diversity as a constituent characteristic, mobility as a cohesive condition of our society, and climate action and policy as driving forces.

From September 2024 to April 2025, LABoral will devote over 2300m2 to hosting Utopia is not an island in the form of an experimental space, somewhere between an open studio, an agora and an exhibition, in its’ own centre and in Gijon. 

Part of these shows is the work of artists that earlier on embarked on 5-week artistic residencies on a train departing from their home town.

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