ICONIC RUINS / STRATEGIES
opening: 18.1.2018 at 6pm
duration of exhibition: 19.1. - 11.2.2018
authors: Matúš Bišťan, Benjamín Brádňanský, Vít Halada, Petr Hájek, Zoltán Holocsy, Danica Pišteková, Kristína Rypáková, Ján Studený, študenti A2, A3, A4 KAT VŠVU, Jana Hojstričová + Olja Triaška Stefanović a študenti PK KFNM VŠVU
curators: Benjamín Brádňanský, Ján Studený
text: Marián Zervan
Our relationship to architecture of distant and near past is controlled by preservation and activism, as two reactive forces against an expansive active power of developers and investors. While the reactive force of solicitude externally emerges from the position of universal principles that do not distinguish between historical and modern architecture and architecture of the second half of the 20th century then activism no longer distinguishes between nonarchitecture and architecture. Universal preservation principles are passably able to cope with the quandary of architecture as samplers of historically valuable layers or the unification of the masterpiece based on the most valuable layer, then about architecture of 20th century they are not at least able to decide what layers are to be protected or what the most valuable layer is. By modernism the staircases are protected, instead of saving that, what controlled the spatialist modernism: the spatial constellations and arrangements. The architecture of 20th century is refused to be protected because of diverse made-up architectural or urban bugs instead of saving its characteristics: hybrid connections of atypical forms and materials and spatial clusters of various origins. Activism is able to address the public and rouses the public opinion possibly by bricolage but not with architecture. Architects; in this world ruled by financial predation, preservation rigidity and naivism of activism; are pushed to periphery of interests and are invited as consultants with advisory voice. For that reason I understand the efforts of architects to get into the centre of attention, but that won't happen without showing, that they dispose of well-thought out concepts and strategies, and ultimately also superior and more effective results. I consider the project Iconic ruins as one of those emerging platforms, where all tasks are interchanged and the activists become to be the advisory voices and the solicitude is replaced by lasting consultations of close disciplines, for example architecture and art history – and attempts of rescuing themselves are replaced by instructions how to integrate architecture of 20th century into human and social-cultural environment. A well-considered approach should, among other things, be characterized by a conceptual apparatus, which forms not only specific architectural problems, but which is able to address also other disciplines and the cultural public. That is why I also understand the choice of the name of the emerging architectural platform as equally provoking oxymoron and as memorable logo highlighting the variety of problematics and at the same time disposing of critical options to distinguish. I understand the project Iconic ruins as a project of symbolic de-tabuism of architectural works of the second half of the 20th century, as well as project of not only symbolic but also factual reintegration those works into the contemporary social environment. This requires beside conceptual distinctions also innovative strategies of that kind of factual integration – different from preserving approaches to historical architecture moving within the sampler polarity of all historic layers or style unity based on the „most significant“ historical layer as well as from docomomo's approaches to modern architecture, that retains its design fragments and not what was typical for modern architecture: exceptional spatial arrangements. There is a serious task standing in front of us: to explore specific strategies suitable for architecture of second half of 20th century in our country as well in countries of the former Eastern Bloc, which will respect its individuality and unsubstituability for architecture.
(published in Projekt 3-4/2017)
Shared Cities: Creative Momentum (SCCM) is a European cultural platform addressing the contemporary urban challenges of European cities. SCCM is a joint project of Goethe-Institut (DE), Czech Centres (CZ), reSITE (CZ), Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava (SK), Association of Belgrade Architects (RS), Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre – KÉK (HU), Katowice City of Gardens (PL), KUNSTrePUBLIK (DE), Mindspace (HU), Old Market Hall Alliance (SK), Res Publica – Cities Magazine (PL). Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
The project has been made possible by public support from Bratislava Self-Governing Region