Photo © Ricardo Gonçalves


Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
plus May, 10Nov, 24 2019


Expanded is a research and investigation project based on art, created in the context of the First Stone Programme, which is promoted by Assimagra and curated by experimentadesign. Through a partnership with the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Expanded presents original creations by Carsten Höller, Julião Sarmento and Marina Abramović, all conceived to be displayed in a public context.


The artworks presented explore, in one way or another, our perception of space, scale, time and place, as well as the possibility of expanding our self-imposed or culturally-based borders. Produced in stone, a natural resource that is millions of years old, they share a unifying element that provides them with a deep, timeless and resilient character, contradicting the chaos and superficiality of the contemporary world.


Placed within the gardens of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, immersed in nature and displayed together, these pieces provide visitors with  moments of experimentation and confrontation, underlining the value of art and culture in public spaces.


First Stone

First Stone (Primeira Pedra) is an experimental international research programme that explores the potential of Portuguese Stone. Centred on the unique physical and visual characteristics of the various types of stone found across Portugal’s landscape, First Stone intersects production and design through the development of innovative applications for this exceptional material, highlighting its quality as well as the vast industry that is connected to its extraction and transformation.


Over 2016 and 2017, First Stone accomplished three central research and development projects – Resistance, Still Motion and Common Sense – which were materialised through exhibitions and presentations in Venice, Milan, Weil am Rhein, São Paulo, London and New York. Inviting some of the most resounding names from the fields of design and architecture, these projects are a tribute to the extraordinary versatility of this ageless resource.


Remaining true to its objective of revealing the possibilities of Portuguese Stone as well as the sociocultural context that it encapsulates, First Stone has developed new projects for 2019 and 2020 with architects and designers, while also broadening its scope into the visual arts with the contributions of prominent contemporary artists. The next projects will be presented in Venice, Paris and New York, as well as in a formative exhibition in Lisbon, showcasing all of the projects and pieces developed so far. First Stone is also complemented by a comprehensive website, a series of documentaries about the fruition of the several projects and two apps for digital mobile platforms.


Works presented in Venice:


Carsten Höller

Dice (Limestone) 2019

Dimensions 2400 x 2400 x 2400 mm
Approximate Weight 20000 kg
Stone Lioz Limestone
Finishing Polished
Stone Supplier Solancis
Production Julipedra, Solancis


Julião Sarmento

Azul Cadoiço 2019

Dimensions 1200 x 1200 x 1200 mm
Approximate Weight 2800 kg
Materials Azul Cadoiço Limestone, Wood Pallets
Finishing Honed | Sandblasted & Brushed
Stone Supplier and Production Airelimestones


Marina Abramović

Chair for Human Use (II) from the series Transitory Objects for Human Use 2015/ 2019

Dimensions 850 x 630 x 1130 mm
Approximate Weight 280 kg each
Materials Gabro de Odivelas Granite, Quartz Crystal
Finishing Sandblasted
Stone Supplier Pedra Secular
Production Mármores Galrão