Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Sweden

Work of R-Lab-student Guillermo Arsuaga selected at the International Architecture Biennial in San Sebastian

Guillermo Arsuaga has been selected to exhibit at the Biennial in San Sebastian with his work Pheasant Island. The exhibition runs from Nov 6 to Dec 10 in Palacio Miramar in San Sebastian.

Pheasant Island (in French, île de la Conférence) is an isle of around 6820 square meters, located in the Bidassoa River, which separates Spain and France in their most western border. This island is a rare example of a peculiar border agreement: the condominium. A condominium is a territory jointly administrated by two or more countries.

As can be imagined, this type of agreement depends on a gracious cooperation between all involved parties and, in fact, historically, most condominiums have not survived for very long. However, Pheasant Island is not just the oldest and smallest condominium in the world, it is also the only one where sovereignty is shared alternatively rather than simultaneously. Even today, a ceremony is held in the island every 6 months, where the armed forces of France and Spain exchange sovereignty.

The piece ‘La Isla de los Faisanes. Un Umbral en el Tiempo’ (Pheasant Island. A Threshold in Time), attempts to summarise the dilemmas of allegiance, sovereignty, collective memory and symbolism in this curious example of condominium.

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About Mugak – International Architecture Biennial in San Sebastian

The aim of the Biennial is to provide a forum on Architecture for scholars, professionals, university students and ordinary citizens to meet. It aspires to foster reflection and discussion on the current state of Architecture and the role of the Architect, by putting the main dilemmas and challenges currently faced by both the discipline and its professionals on the table.

The Biennial has an international focus and intents to have a multidisciplinary character. The event will be held every two years.