Česká centra, Czech Centres

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05.12.2019 19:00

archint_1989_cz:de: Iconic Ruins? Representative Socialist Architecture in the four Visegrad Countries

Focusing primarily on politically prominent post-war public investment projects in the former state-socialist countries Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia (also called the Visegrad Group), the evening explores where the state’s ambitions of power and the architects’ creative ideas connected and where they clashed. How is the society’s relationship to these buildings and how is each of the Visegrad countries handling this heritage from the socialist era?

The rapid demise of this architecture in recent years as a result of dramatic redevelopment and radical demolitions has prompted unprecedented action on the part of the professional community and academic sphere. Therefore the project also tracks the current condition of post-war architecture.
On the occasion of this discussion a small exhibition Iconic Ruins? tracing the evolution of socialist architecture in the countries of the Visegrad Group will be shown. The buildings presented in the exhibition’s photographs are grouped into various typological categories, which include culture, media, education, business, international representation, sports, infrastructure, administration, and public administration.

Petr Vorlík (CZ), architect and architecture historian. Co-curator of the Iconic ruins? exhibition. He works in the Department of Theory and History of Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture, Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague.
Peter Szalay (SK), architecture historian and theoretician. He works as a researcher at the Department of Architecture, Institute of History at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava.
Anna Cymer (PL), architecture historian and journalist. She is the author of the book Architektura w Polsce 1945 - 1989 (Architecture in Poland 1945 - 1989) and co-curator of the Iconic ruins? exhibition.
Dániel Kovács (HU), art historian, architectural critic, chief editor of Epiteszforum.hu and curator of the Hungarian Pavilion at the 17. International Architecture Exhibition in Venice.
Bettina Güldner (DE), art and design historian, curator of art and design exhibitions.

Admission free, please register here.

Venue: Cinema hall of the Czech Embassy, access via the Czech Centre

archint_1989_cz:de is an event series focusing on the architecture and monuments from the post-war period and how they have been dealt with since the Velvet Revolution and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Why does our freedom often manifest as the freedom to destroy or simply just to forget? Can these actions be seen themselves as not only interventions but as actual monuments to the regained freedom, reunification and post-1989 transformation? Should these works of art and architecture be disconnected from their political connotations and instead be respected for their artistic value? Is it a question of East – West division? Here, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Hungarian and German architectural theoreticians will present their new projects and discuss them. 

Partners of the event series: Embassy of the Czech Republic in BerlinCollegium Hungaricum BerlinPolish Institute BerlinSlovak Institute in BerlinEUNIC Berlin.

The Iconic Runis? exhibition was created as part of Shared Cities: Creative Momentum - an international network for creative discourse at the intersection of architecture, art, urbanism and the sharing economy, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. From 2016 to 2020, Shared Cities brings together eleven partners from seven major European cities (Belgrade, Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Katowice, Prague and Warsaw) with the ambition to show urban citizens that their participation and cooperation is essential for creating a pleasant and valuable urban environment.






Photo by Alexandra Timpau: Slovak Radio Building in Bratislava (1967–1983, architects Štefan Svetko, Štefan Ďurkovič and Barnabáš Kissling)
Graphic design: Iveta Krajcirova, Deconstructed



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Wilhelmstraße 44 / Eingang Mohrenstraße
10117 Berlin


05.12.2019 19:00


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