Spain Pavilion

The theme of the Spain Pavilion, which will be inaugurated on October 1, at Expo 2020 is ‘Intelligence for life’

The Spain Pavilion, which was presented today, is located in the Sustainability District, close to what are sure to be some of the main attractions at the venue, Al Wasl Square and the UAE Pavilion.

The architectural project of the Pavilion, commissioned to Amann-Cánovas-Maruri studio (Temperaturas Extremas Arquitectos S.L.P.), stands out for presence and its sustainability.

The pavilion, led by Acción Cultural Española (AC/E)- the SOE in charge of managing Spain’s presence at world and international expos – spans around 5,800 useful metre square, and features a large square covered with a series of impressive cones. Part of its facade has ultra-light and flexible photovoltaic panels designed by the Spanish company The South Oracle (TSO). Its defining feature- visible from the entire Expo grounds- will be its tall, colourful cones that use the atavistic memory of colours to convey Mediterranean culture and to endow the theme of sustainability with an optimistic message.

Exhibition design

The pavilion will have two thematic exhibition areas that complement each other. These spaces were designed by the temporary consortium formed by External Reference and Onionlab. Destellos, located in the square under the cones on the ground floor, includes a series of installations that show some of the contributions Spain has made to global culture and highlight our cultural ties to the Arab world. The Forest of Intelligence, on the below-ground level, is comprised of trees made from a special material that absorbs CO2. It is a metaphorical space where innovative Spanish contributions will be displayed to show how the country is committed to Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and how it contributes to the protection and sustainable use of natural resources.

The temporary consortium Empty – APD (ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño) is in charge of assembling the exhibition pathway, while The Others TV is in charge of the production of audiovisual content and illustrations, and the Pavilion app.

Artistic installation

Studio Daniel Canogar presents one of its most ambitious projects to date: Dinamo, an audiovisual installation specifically designed for the Spain Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, and created in collaboration with composer Francisco López. The installation hangs inside the Atrium and is surrounded by the ramps that descend visitors into the Theatre and the underground exhibition area. It consists of three sculptural screens in the form of an interlaced ringlet that show constantly changing generative audiovisual content thanks to the visitors’ interaction with the handrails along the ramp. As the handrail detects more contact, the content on the screens of Dinamo become more dynamic and saturated. Moreover, the sound will become more intense as interaction increases. As such, the activation of the installation is entirely in the hands of the visitors.

The Theatre: August Moon by Nacho Vigalondo

This area will house a very remarkable film aligned with the theme of the Expo, Connecting minds, creating the future, and the slogan of the Spain Pavilion, Intelligence for life. This film presents Spain to the visitors of Expo Dubai 2020 by showing it as a dynamic, lively country, brimming with talent and creativity, that is committed to a sustainable and inclusive future.

The title of the 8-minute movie is ‘August Moon’, which was created by one of the most creative minds in Spanish film today, Nacho Vigalondo. ‘August Moon’ is the story of an unexpected cosmic phenomenon that affects an entire country: the sun comes out in the middle of the night. This strange situation, based in science fiction, can only be resolved when we are all able to come to an agreement and work in unison towards an intelligent solution. Hence the link with the theme Connecting minds, creating the future, and the slogan Intelligence for life.

Vigalondo began writing the script in 2019, and the author believes that it only gained increased symbolism with the pandemic. This audiovisual installation was shot in different settings around Spain, from the Roman Theatre in Merida to a flamenco tablao in Madrid, from a festival in Torrelaguna (Madrid) to a view of Barcelona, and from Gerra Beach in Cantabria to the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Canary Islands). It highlights not only the diverse nature of Spain but also the openness of its inhabitants, its creativity and ability to resolve problems together, rooted in its joie de vivre and quality of life.

World School Chess Tournament online

Spain is today a pioneer in using chess as an educational tool. To that end and in resonance with the slogan of Expo Dubai 2020- Connecting minds, creating the future-, the Pavilion wanted to highlight the enormous potential that chess has to develop intelligence and create social connections by launching a World School Chess Tournament online. More than 2,600 students from 54 countries participated in the Sub14 to Sub16 categories (from students born in 2006 and under 14 as of January 2020 for Sub14 category, to students under 16 as of 1 January 2020 for the Sub16 category). This successful initiative has been headed by Leontxo García, chess curator for the Spain Pavilion and expert journalist, and Marcelino Sión, co-curator.

The 12 qualifying teams are expected to participate in the final round which will be held in-person during Expo Dubai from the 24th to the 30th of November. The ten qualifying teams are: three from India, one from Mongolia, one from Israel, one from Greece, one from Czech Republic, one from Hungary, one from the United States, one from Peru, in addition to two appointed teams, one from UAE and another from Spain (Escuela Municipal de Ajedrez de Torrelavega, Cantabria).

Spain Pavilion, a platform for ‘Made in Spain’ design and technology The Spain Pavilion serves as an exhibition platform for Spanish design and technology with companies such as Cosentino, provider of floor coverings and claddings, and Andreu World, designer of all the furniture. For the first time ever, we have developed the olfactory dimension of the Pavilion thanks to Iberchem, which has designed various aromas for each of the sections as well as an exclusive perfume that will be given to institutions as a gift from the Pavilion. In addition, the company Ambientair will perfume a range of candles with this fragrance. Barceló Group offers its hospitality with its two hotels in Dubai while the company Roca provides bathroom solutions, Canaletas water fountains, and Calzados Victoria shoes for personnel. The uniforms have been created by Madrid-based designer Juan Duyos.

Cultural program and specialized programme

The music and performing arts program for the Spain Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020 is the result of a public tender that received over 400 bids. Through this selection process, it wanted to offer as many Spanish artists as possible the opportunity to present their work in Dubai. The result is a diverse program for all types of audiences, based on Spanish culture with both traditional and innovative contemporary offerings. For families and children, during the Christmas holidays there will be workshops, magic shows, and street theatre in the Pavilion. Street theatre will also be offered at other times during the Expo in public spaces throughout the venue.

During the six months of the Expo, a total of 32 Spanish companies, including 200 artists, will present their work in Dubai. Around 100 shows will take place in the Spain Pavilion and on the main stages in the Expo venue. Flamenco will be heavily represented with names such as Miguel Poveda, Rosario La Tremendita and María Terremoto, among others. Visitors will also be able to listen to Spanish music in all its different styles: period music with the Medieval music ensemble Artefactum, the Renaissance flute quartet Piacere dei Traversi, classical music with violinist Lina Tur Bonet accompanied by pianist Alba Ventura, and Spanish guitar by Miguel Trápaga and José María Gallardo del Rey. Dance will be represented in the program by major companies such as the Spanish National Ballet and Jesús Rubio Gamo’s company, among others. As for theatre, Isabel Vázquez will present her creation La

Maldición de los Hombres Malboro, and shows will be put on by Tiritirantes, Bubble Factory, and Maduixa Company, Mulïer. In addition to these is a long list of names of extraordinary talent.

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