The Dallas Pavilion: Contemporary Art and Urban Identity

Jasper Joseph-Lester and Michael Corris


In the following statement, Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Michael Corris lay out the intentions of their project for the Dallas Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. By contrast with the national pavilions for which the Biennale is renowned, this pavilion represented a city, and was published in the form of a book rather than temporarily staged on the interior of a building. Available to visitors from a stall placed just outside the American pavilion in the Giardini (and now available here as well , by permission of the publishers – see Joseph-Lester and Corris – The Dallas Pavilion), this little book is a curated selection of works and texts, intervening within the Biennale’s official structure of curated national pavilions. It colourfully surveys the expansive art world of Dallas’ artists, critics, curators, collectors, galleries, museums and educators, while raising questions about contemporary urban identity vis-à-vis an aging architectural apparatus such as Venice’s international art exposition.

Keywords: pavilion, Dallas, city, identity, Venice Biennale, collaboration, contemporary art.

Full text: (PDF, 621KB)

Image gallery

Supplement: Joseph-Lester and Corris – The Dallas Pavilion (PDF, 7MB)


Biographical note

Jaspar Joseph-Lester is an artist based in London whose work explores the role images play in urban planning, social space and everyday praxis, latterly focusing on conflicting ideological frameworks embodied in urban regeneration projects. He has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom and abroad with exhibitions at Asprey Jacques Gallery and The British School at Rome. His video work was nominated for ‘Pilot: 1’ and selected for ‘All for Show: an international retrospective of UK Video’. Author of Revisiting the Bonaventure Hotel (Copy Press, 2009), co-editor of Episode: Pleasure and Persuasion in Lens-based Media (Artwords, 2008), he is a director of LoBe ( and the Curating Video research group He has recently completed a photo-essay titled ‘A Guide to the Casino Architecture of Wedding’ for the next issue of COLLAPSE: Philosophical Research and Development. He is Reader in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University and Research Tutor in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.

Michael Corris is an artist and writer whose work finds a home in the capacious field of conceptual art. His practice is situational and largely the result of collaborative and conversational encounters that draw upon diverse intellectual and social resources; occasionally, these dialogues intersect with aims and interests identified with contemporary art. Corris is Professor of Art and Chair of the Division of Art at the Meadows School of the Arts/SMU and editor of a series on art since 1980 published by Reaktion Books.