... “We had no one funding this project, and no institution behind us,” said Octave Perrault, a Paris-based architect and one of the curators of the Cruising Pavilion. “It was just friends helping out and funds from our own pockets.” ...

The Cruising Pavilion on the periphery of the Venice Architecture Biennale offers a cultural study of nonnautical cruising: gay hookups.
The Cruising Pavilion on the periphery of the Venice Architecture Biennale offers a cultural study of nonnautical cruising: gay hookups. © Alessandro Grassani for The New York Times

Mr. Perrault and the pavilion’s other curators — Pierre-Alexandre Mateos, Rasmus Myrup and Charles Teyssou — landed on the idea for the show based on their shared experiences with cruising and curating. It seemed right, they said, at a time when L.G.B.T. people face enduring violence and oppression around the world, not to mention difficulties getting a gay wedding cake made in the United States.

“Cruising was a common subject for us, but we noticed there wasn’t a culture of exhibitions devoted to the topic,” Mr. Mateos, a Paris-based curator, said. “There wasn’t much interest from institutions, especially architectural ones, so we wanted to confront this subculture through architecture.”

Yet even in a Biennale inspired by the theme “Freespace,” the Cruising Pavilion stands out as an event with skin in the game.

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