The multi-sensory installation unsettling Queenstown explores the themes of decolonization and decarbonization highlighting Australia's colonial legacy at the end of the second Elizabethan era

Real and imaginary Queenstown

There are Queenstowns all over the former British Empire: in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa and both Americas.

A place both local and global, it is the emblem of the decolonial struggle all over the world. Intertwining between real and imaginary Queenstown, the exhibition intends to question the relationship between people and the environment under the logic of colonialism and resource extraction.

See also: Architecture Biennale 2023: information, calendar and updates

Why unsettling Queenstown?

To answer the call to "chart a path through which the public can intertwine, imagining for themselves what the future may hold", the exhibition will present a process of 'demapping', revealing hidden stories of the country in which the colonies were built.

unsettling Queenstown – explain the curators – combines decolonial theory and practice, weaving together elements of real places of the current architectural intelligence in search of ingredients to contribute to The Laboratory of the Future from Venice."

In the center of the Pavilion hangs a model of the city's Empire Hotel belvedere, a ghostly fragment of colonial architecture, accompanied by sounds, voices and images.

The Australian Pavilion building

The first Pavilion to be built at the Giardini in the 21st century, it was designed by Denton Corker Marshall in 2015.

See also: Biennale 2023, Italian Pavilion: the curators and the theme


Anthony Coupe FRAIA - Director - Mulloway Studio

Founding director of Mulloway Studio, he is interested in the intersection of cultural storytelling and architectural expression. His practice embraces different typologies: urban design, architecture and exhibitions, where the design process is underpinned by storytelling and social responsibility.

Ali Gumillya Baker - Indigenous Associate Professor - Flinders University. Unbound Collective

her Originally from the Mirning community of the west coast of South Australia, she is an associate professor at Flinders University. She is a multidisciplinary artist and a member of the Unbound Collective, First Nations academic artist group, She is a celebrated South Australian artist and highly regarded academic in cultural studies relating to First Nations peoples.

Julian Worrall RAIA - Professor of Architecture, Director - School of Architecture and Design, University of Tasmania

His activities range from scientific research to teaching, from critical writing to design practice.
he Investigates the 'alternative modernities' of architecture and urban planning, which especially includes a deep connection with Japan. He is currently professor and director of the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Tasmania.

Emily Paech - Interpretation + Urban Environments Project Manager - Mulloway Studio

Practicing architecture, interpretation, master planning, urban design, as well as teaching roles, she is driven by a desire to create places that reflect the aspirations of the community.

Sarah Rhodes - Artist Photographer

she uses post-documentary practice to explore the ways in which the external environment shapes the internal world. She lives and works in Lutruwita (Tasmania), her attention is directed to the indivisibility of person and place.

she Won the Women's Art Prize Tasmania 2020 and the New York Photo Award (Fine Art) 2011. she Received her PhD from the University of Tasmania in 2023.

Australian Pavilion, Biennale 2023, in brief

  • Title: unsettling Queenstown
  • Curators: Anthony Coupe FRAIA, Ali Gumillya Baker, Julian Worrall RAIA, Emily Paech, Sarah Rhodes
  • Organizer: Australian Institute of Architects
  • Commissioner: Janet Holmes à Court AC
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