Dániel Kovács held a presentation about the concept of Othernity at the Tschechisches Zentrum in Berlin.

Photo: Kun Liang

Here you can find the podcast of Dániel Kovács's presentation (40:20-50:10) and the round table (50:16-97:48).

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?

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 tracked 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 are showed. The buildings presented in the exhibition’s photographs were grouped into various typological categories, which include culture, media, education, business, international representation (hotels), sports, infrastructure, administration, and public administration.

Photo: Kun Liang

Presenters:

  • 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.
  • Ania 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.