Dismissed Modernity: The Ambiguous Memory of Socialist Architecture

A proposal for the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennial’s Hungarian Pavilion
with Dániel Kovács, Ádám Albert and Gergely Kukucska

Joining Rem Koolhaas’s concept of „a Biennial not about architects, but about architecture,” but turning around his call, our proposal is an inquiry into the conflict-ridden memories of modernism. In response to the Biennial’s theme „Absorbed Modernity”, the „Dismissed Modernity” project demonstrates how the reception of post-war modern architecture in Central and Easter Europe fades into the memory of the state-socialism; how it becomes subject to refusal, defunction, oblivion, domestication, rediscovery or protection; why certain buildings cannot adapt to the changing political circumstances, how they turn into stigmatized objects, or due to technological reasons, how they can no longer meet today’s standards. Based on these questions, the exhibition highlights the various relationships to the built environment, architecture and object culture of post-war modernism.

The materials presented at the exhibition are selected with a strong focus on Hungary, but considering the whole region’s architectural discourses, extending also to the peripheries of architectural thinking, in art, film and photography. The exhibition is conceived as a succession of sequences, using the Hungarian Pavilion’s spaces accordingly.

Read the full concept here (in Hungarian)

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