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Iconic Ruins ©VSVU


03I10I2019 - 21I10I2019

Tabačka Kulturfabrik, Košice, Slovakia

What is the future of Iconic Ruins – buildings of cultural and social institutions in Central and Eastern Europe that were designed to be monuments of the communist era but are in a state of ruin today? In a unique exhibition, the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava together with the Czech Centres present visions of transformation of these once prominent buildings into modern and viable urban spots.

Only recently has post-war architecture of former socialist countries become a prominent topic. For a long time, the public had perceived it with reservations and against the backdrop of the often bleak personal memories and life stories impacted by the communist regime. Recent expert studies, however, reveal the surprising diversity of forms that architecture of this time assumed. Moreover, some parallel initiatives in the former Eastern bloc managed to anchor the region’s architecture into the wider frame of historically relevant world architecture. The ICONIC RUINS? exhibition focuses primarily on politically prominent public investment projects and looks at where ambitions of power and creative ideas of architects connected and where they clashed.

The ICONIC RUINS? exhibition traces the evolution of socialist architecture in Visegrad countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. As photographs of socialist buildings are accompanied with details on the buildings’ current state and function, the exhibition presents a solid overview of post-war architecture up to 1989 in all four Visegrad countries.

The exhibition also presents the work of students from the architecture studio of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava (Vysoká škola výtvarných umení v Bratislave), in which they present their visions for the future of these iconic buildings.

Main organizer:
Czech Centers, Prague

Exhibition curators:
Petr Vorlík (CZ), historian of architecture
Henrieta Moravčíková (SK), historian of architecture
Anna Cymer (PL), historian of architecture
Ábel Mészáros (HU), historian of architecture

Organizers of the exhibition in Košice:
Tobacco Kulturfabrik
IMA - Initiative for Modern Architecture, Košice