Responding to the theme, The Laboratory of the Future - selected by curator of the Biennale Architettura 2023, Lesley Lokko - In Search of Hy-Brasil will present fieldwork from Ireland’s remote islands, investigating their diverse cultures, communities, and experiences. The Pavilion is curated by a team of five architects - Peter Carroll, Peter Cody, Elizabeth Hatz, Mary Laheen and Joseph Mackey. Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council.

In Ireland, myth, language and landscape remain intrinsically linked. The Irish language preserves the deep resonances that exists between humankind and the natural world. Hy-Brasil is a mythical Atlantic island that embodies the possibility for the re-imagination of the island of Ireland and its ocean territory.

The curators have studied the island landscapes of Inis Meáin (Inishmaan), UNESCO World Heritage site Sceilg Mhicíl (Skellig Michael) and Cliara (Clare Island) through drawing, survey, film, sound, model, mapping, and story. The installation will offer an immersive experience that draws connections between the social fabric, cultural landscape and ecology of these islands, shifting between the global and the local, the territorial and the intimate.

To raise awareness of the islanders’ management of resources and their balancing of the delicate equilibrium between culture and nature, the installation will have a focus on renewable energy, ethical food production and biodiversity, capturing the islands’ sustainable methods of livelihood through drawing, models, film, sound, writing and language.

To highlight the natural cycle of circadian rhythms and the detrimental impact of light pollution, while mimicking the natural conditions on the islands, natural light will be used throughout the installation as the key source of illumination.