archint_1989_cz:de: Iconic Ruins? Representative Socialist Architecture in the four Visegrad Countries - Tschechisches Zentrum Berlin

archint_1989_cz:de: Iconic Ruins? Representative Socialist Architecture in the four Visegrad Countries
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Recorded 05.12.2019 at Tschechisches Zentrum Berlin

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 explored 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?


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 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.

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 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.

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 and German architectural theoreticians will present their new projects and discuss them.

Partners of the event series: Embassy of the Czech Republic in Berlin, Collegium Hungaricum Berlin, Polish Institute Berlin, Slovak Institute in Berlin, EUNIC Berlin.

Graphic design: Iveta Krajcirova, Deconstructed

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