XHOLOBENI YARDS. Titanium and the Planetary Making of SHININESS / DUSTINESS About Credits Related

About the project

18th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2023

‘XHOLOBENI YARDS. Titanium and the Planetary Making of SHININESS / DUSTINESS’ is a research-based installation presented at the Arsenale of the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale curated by Lesley Lokko. It is a collective effort by a network of activist and community representatives from Xholobeni (South Africa), experts in seismographs and transduction from Poland, researchers, sound editors, prop makers and the New York and Madrid teams of the Office for Political Innovation led by Andrés Jaque; to intervene the very problematic addiction to SHININESS in architecture now. This transnational distributed alliance has been needed to respond to a reality that gains its extractive capacity from its geographical and scalar distribution.

The SHININESS of the Hudson Yards in Manhattan is the result of TITANIUM-made coatings, being applied on self-cleaning glass and facades to enact the immutability of corporate global hegemonies, both aesthetically and through societal, material and ecological extractivism. The SHININESS of the global north is at the expense of Xholobeni, a small area on the East Coast of South Africa, where titanium can be found. By removing the titanium from the sand in locations like Xholobeni, the sand becomes light and volatile, making dusty the sites of extraction. DUSTINESS affects humans’ and more-than-humans’ health, makes farming impossible and, ultimately, forces communities and ecosystems to migrate and die. But the Xholobeni people resist extraction by singing together songs where they celebrate their entanglement with lands and ecosystems. This installation mobilizes architecture’s capacity to allow human bodies to feel the violence other bodies sense through human extractivism and to provide material and societal settings for mutual care and resistance to extractivism. The dissident temporary, ecological and spatial constructs these songs are part of, are the architectures where the future, a desirable future, resides.


XHOLOBENI YARDS. Titanium and the Planetary Making of SHININESS / DUSTINESS

A work by:

Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation

With Nohnle Mbthuma Forslund, Siyabonga Ndovela, Margie Pretorius, Sinegugu Zukulu, ACC (Amadiba Crisis Comittee) and SWC (Sustaining the Wild Coast), Steve Hoffe


José Luis Espejo, sound research and direction

Farah Alkhoury, research and field recordings

Roberto González, coordination and design

Vivian Rotie y Pablo Sáiz del Río, fabrication

Jorge Cañón, AV consultant

Ignacio Farpón, lighting consultant

Wojciech Gajek and Michal Malinowsky, seismic recordings

Walter Ancarrow, text editing

Joseph Hazan, studio recordings

Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero), photographs in Venice

Farah Alkhoury, photographs in Xholobeni


With the support of:

Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation


Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)

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