Tests of perspective: architectural histories of a vague country

17.11.2023, 16:00 h: Keynote Lecture by Henrieta Moravčíková

The fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 fundamentally influenced the reflection and interpretation of the development of the architectural debate not only in Central Europe, but also in the broader international context. New actors entered the scene, new contexts emerged. For Central European countries, however, this was not a new but a familiar situation. As Éve Blau aptly put it in 2007, constant change was perceived as a permanent condition in these countries. Slovakia is an exemplary example of an environment in which historiography was constantly reacting to the changing socio-political context and the related change in the object and subject of study. At one time it was important to defend the cultural independence of the successor countries of the Habsburg monarchy, then to build the identity of a new nation-state, later to reinforce belonging to the camp of socialist countries, and finally to defend again the cultural identity of a relatively indeterminate small country somewhere on the border of Central Europe. In Slovakia, the perspective of exploring, evaluating and interpreting one's own cultural context has thus changed practically continuously over the last 100 years. Modernism has played a significant role in each of these perspectives. Let us try to outline the historical situations that have triggered changes in interpretation, present the themes that have been at the center of these interpretative shifts, and describe the changing roles that modernism has played in them. In doing so, let us focus on an interpretative trajectory that embraces the Central European context and can thus enrich contemporary narratives.

Henrieta Moravčíková 

Henrieta Moravčíková is Professor of Architecture History at the Faculty of Architecture Slovak University of Technology, Head of the Department of Architecture at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, and chair of the Slovak DOCOMOMO chapter. Her field of interest is 20th and 21st century architecture and modern architecture heritage. Her book, Architect Friedrich Weinwurm (2014), was awarded the International DAM Book Award. Together with her team she prepared the first complex analytical monograph on modern town-planning of the capital of SlovakiaBratislava(un)planned city ( 2020). The International Creative Media Award recently awarded the monograph the Gold Award.

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Henrieta Moravčíková
- Fri, 17.11.2023, 16:00 - 17:30 h

Conference venue and dates

Pilecki Institute, Paris Square

Pilecki-Institute, Pariser Platz 4 A, 10117 Berlin
- Thu, 16.11.2023, 9:30 - 20:30 h
- Fri, 17.11.2023, 10:00 - 20:00 h

Associated exhibition
"Soft Ground. 5 Years of Excercising Modernity" at BHROX bauhaus reuse, Ernst-Reuter-Platz
- 25 Oct - 25 Nov 2023,
Tue - Sun 12:00 - 20:00 h