Authors: Andrea Kalinová, Martin Zaiček / Abandoned (re)creation
Guest: Paula Ďurinová
Architectural research support: Nano Zazanashvili
Curator: Zuzana Jakalová
Opening: April 5th 2018, 6pm
Exhibition duration: April 6th – April 29th 2018
Accompanying program: April 24th 2018 from 6pm
The idea of collective recreation embodied in spa architecture represents the condensed ideal of socialist society. Georgia, rich in resources of healing mineral waters was – besides Czechoslovakia - one of the major recreational regions of the Soviet Union. Many of local spa and health centers were designed by a specialised projection institute the Kurort project and epitomize late modernist architectural heritage.
Nevertheless, due to political, economic and social movements in the past 25 years Georgian spa architecture has undergone an extensive and a highly traumatic transformation. The war in Abkhazia in 1992-1993 lead to forced migration of over 200,000 ethnic Georgians from the Black Sea coastal separatist region of Abkhazia to Georgian inland. In trying to find a quick solution to the situation, many migrants have been temporarily moved to modernist hotels or spa resorts. The political crisis has, however, become a long-standing conflict lasting till this day. Thus, many of the migrants became permanent residents of facilities designed for institutionalized collective spa recreation. Many of the buildings were therefore rebuilt into collective residential quarters through random, participatory do-it-yourself processes.
The exhibition does not only refer to current physical situation of the architectural heritage, but rethinks it within its social, political and economic context. Paula Ďurinova's video is capturing nostalgia for the long left Abkhazian home, while the size of the roomrefers to the newly found home in Georgian holiday complexes (16m2, hotel room size). In the following two rooms topics of architecture and its transformation, diy design, collective and individual memory blend. Large-scale photographs by Andrea Kalinová document spatial and material transformation of the former Georgian spa sanatorium's architecture into permanent residences. Martin Zaiček's research elaborates the disintegration of modernist architectural utopias on the backdrop of socio-political changes. Tables with collected materials then serve as architectural archives and archives of collective memory and collective recreation.
The accompanying round table with curator and architecture theoris Michael Zinganel will take place on April 24, 2018 starting from 6pm. It will address specificities of spa architecture on both sides of the Iron Curtain and in the former Yugoslavia as well post-communist transformations of collective recreation into wellness culture.
Supported using public funding by Slovak Arts Council and Bratislava Self-Governing Region.