What happens when an object loses its original purpose? Why does architecture find itself displaced, unwanted and repurposed?
“Buildings and physical infrastructure possess a longue durée that is fundamental to their spatial and political impact. But their long-term pretension can also become their undoing: politics, society, media and culture change faster than bricks and concrete. Structures can usually adjust only in very expensive ways: with renovation or destruction. History leaves behind either heritage or rubble, both a sort of an architectural ‘living dead’.”
“Politics, society, media and culture change faster than bricks and concrete. History leaves behind either heritage or rubble. Stagnant architecture; both remaining states are not in the realm of the living or dead. But houses and monuments have life beyond the intentions of their builders: decay, underuse, omission, ruin porn and gentrification emerge in place of glorification and remembrance.
When a space is displaced out of its initial determinants, something completely new may emerge from these states. We want to direct the attention to the vast residue of abandoned and altered structures that exhibit vigorous afterlife. This is the extensive archive of Nonuments – ‘Nonuments’ is a title created to describe the project representing the value and condition of these historical structures. Extending from abandoned monuments to decaying infrastructure, from speculative destruction of heritage to architectural residue of abandoned futures.
The Nonuments provide a connection to the past and tell us about the powers that built them. A Hotel, a power plant, a railway, a congress center, a control and dispatch hi-tech center and a former anti-aircraft tower stand neglected, or are in the process of being destroyed. With theoretical, conceptual and art-practice based contributions from around the world, Nonument symposium will address Europe’s Nonuments. From Cyprus to Prague and from Vienna to Balkan Mountains, Nonuments ceaselessly pose the question of how to engage and integrate them.
A two-day art and theory symposium will be held in Prague during the devastating destruction of the Transgas building. All matters regarding operation Nonuments and the delicate procedures will be evaluated at the symposium. The intension of the discussion is to create a language for the process, of how to resolve residue of these symbolic structures.”
9:30 – Nika Grabar (SI), architect: Nonument!
10:00 – Martin Bricelj Baraga, Neja Tomšič – Nonument Group (SI), artists: McKeldin Fountain
10:15 – Jürgen Weishäupl (A), artist: Flak Towers, Vienna
10:45 – Pavel Karous (CZ), artist
10:55 – Ljubica Slavković (SRB), architect: In search of Public Interest in Belgrade: Legalizing the Wild City
11:25 – Martin Zet (CZ), artist: Missing and invisible sculptures of Miloš Zet
11:35 – Discussion
12:00 – Danica Sretenović (SI), architect: The Pioneer Railway
12:30 – Vladimír Turner (CZ), artist: Ephemeral Monuments
12:40 – Martin Bricelj Baraga, Neja Tomšič – Nonument Group (SI), artists: From Nowhere to Noplace – Pioneer Railway
13:10 – Nicolas Grosspiere (CH), artist: A Subjective Atlas of Modern Architecture
13.40 – Katarína Hládeková (SL), artist, Markéta Žáčková (CZ), theoretician: Brno: Statues in Streets
13:50 – Discussion
15:00 – Special Lecture: Elke Krasny (A), theoretician: Curating Memory and Curating Mourning
16:00 – Anelya Ivanova (BG), artist: Buzludzha – The Apotheosis of the Socialist Art in Bulgaria
16:30 – Vít Halada, Benjamin Bradenský (SK), architects: Iconic Ruins
16:50 – Ole Frahm – Ligna Group (D), artist: Reenactment, Working-Through, Alienation. The Radioballet as performative Remembrance
17:20 – Petr Dub (CZ), artist: Public Boarders
17:30 – Veronika Vicherková (CZ), architect
17:50 – Discussion
18:20 – Special Lecture: Deimantas Narkevičius (LTU), artist: Too Long on the Plinth
19:20 – Final discussion
10:30 – Special Lecture: Miloš Kosec (SI), architect: Nonumental Infrastructure
11:30 – Workshops – Outcomes and Discussion
12:30 – Ladislav Zikmund-Lender (CZ), theoretician: Topography of Demolitions: Case Transgas
13:00 – Václav Aulický (CZ), architect, author of Transgas: Transgas Archive
13:10 – Peter Szalay (SK), theoretician: The Mirror of Unwanted Patrimony: Narcissism or Cynical Egoism?
13:40 – Hans van Houwelingen (NL), artist: Undone
14:10 – Discussion
12:30 – Vladimir Dulović (SRB), theoretician: Genex
13:00 – Viktória Mravčáková (SK), architect: How to Bring Good Art into the City?
13:10 – Elizabeth Sikiaridi (GB) and Frans Vogelaar (NL) – Hybrid Space Lab, architects: Deep Space
13:40 – Ana Jeinić (BA), architect
14:10 – Discussion
16:00 – Special Lecture: Branislav Dimitrijevič (SRB), architect: “Egypt” rather then “October”: Incongruences in Interpreting Yugoslav National-liberation Monuments, Then and Now
“Despite all the ruins and the heritage industry produced by the three volatile decades after the ‘End of History’ in 1989, the dichotomy seems to be a misleading one. Decay, under-use, omission, ruin porn, gentrification: these socioeconomic processes often operate outside of a clear dichotomous relation, producing something completely new as well. They demand a different set of conceptual tools to be able to think our time and our (in)ability to operate with the objects existing here and now. Our theoretical sieves have become too dense to differentiate in a meaningful way. We want to direct the attention to the vast residue that gets left behind. This is the extensive yield of nonuments, an open term extending from abandoned monuments to decaying infrastructure, from speculative destruction of heritage to architectural residue of abandoned futures. An amalgam of affirmation and negation, nonument asks for a redefinition of spatial politics through theory and art. Locating the spatial fragments and leftovers as indicators of otherwise unseen political and economic dynamics, nonuments demand our coming to terms with the existing.
Nonument symposium will scan for Europe’s nonuments on its geographic as well as other types of peripheries with the help of theoretical, conceptual and art-practice based contributions from around the world. From Cyprus to Prague and from Vienna to Balkan Mountains, nonuments ceaselessly pose questions of how to think them and how to engage with them. Hotel, power plant, railway, congress center, control and dispatch hi-tech center and a former anti-aircraft tower stand neglected or are being destroyed. At the same time they also trigger popular fascinations and consummations. A two day art and theory symposium in Prague, held in the shadow of the destruction of Transgas building, will address the dilemma of how to operate with the nonumental residue of geopolitical concussions, social changes and unresolved historical tensions.”