kaip.tik.ten  del.icio.us phantom survivals, part II

2013.05.19, 21:59

(this is second part of the post) :)

‘Continuity', architecture of the post-independence period, generally puts emphasis on the rupture, the break with the ‘soviet' past. The insistence on the discontinuity has become so trivial that the third section seeks to investigate the opposite phenomenon.

What I gather from this is that deliberate and emphasized „rupture" from homogenized, authoritarian, mostly state-dictated architecture is supposed to be a bad thing? And what does that mean exactly - „opposite phenomenon"?
Or will you just play devil‘s advocate and try to investigate other side because of fun and because it‘s (sort of) there? And no one is really sure that other side exists - you mean you will investigate possible continuity of phenomenon of Soviet architecture?
And if I understood correctly, then this is just entirely self-serving analysis, the argument for the sake of argument, for all the curators to become more curatory and hipstery, and controversial, and what-have-you, and to move on to another exhibition, this time bigger, and hopefully in MOMA.

This insistence on rupture can not be trivial - essentially it symbolizes breakage from all things totalitarian and alien. Another question is the embodied expression of that rupture - possibly uneducated, probably not very tasteful at times, mostly because of lack of tradition and broken social processes. This expression of freedom to create, which took place after Soviet era, is another problem entirely and you are not adressing it here.

And why "phantom"? From the examples you are showing, this heritage is only too real, and might I add - extremely painful, some of them (at least, example no.1). Things you show here, most of them, are imprints of ideological regime, uniform throughout the former state, alien traces of 50 years of deliberate assimilation. Nostalgia is not the thing you should be aiming for.
The only positive and available spin on the matter could be, that "people managed to squeeze in couple of good buildings DESPITE the social changes which were forcibly brought upon them", but we can not see it from this description.

Secondly, criteria of architecture as an art form.

Short summary: this is more complicated yet there is not enough evidence about that particular period as being very artsy and valuable.

The exhibition will offer the genuine discovery of a country through buildings and city planning
projects presenting the Lithuanian architecture as specific and authentic phenomena.

Wait, what? Do you mean 1944-1990? This particular period is most probably the worst choice to illustrate such claim for uniqueness, except, maybe, prehistorical mud huts. State-planned economy, typical buildings throughout all Soviet Union (Sporto rūmai, really? You are aware that this building, for example, is, in fact, not unique in any way, being typical project made in one of Soviet Unions institutes for all the countries?), pre-made urban planning, all of the above implemented without any sensitivity towards the place or context.

Just take the look to all those so called „sleeping districts", which effectively killed all small businesses and other things, crucial to functioning urban tissue. All the social and physical changes from this period are driven by occupation, suppresion, assimilation, typicality - again, these are not the features you would want to set as defining for Lithuanian architecture. Take a look how this insensitive homogenized urban planning killed, for example, all interaction of river and the city - six-lane highways are cutting off recreational ties among pedestrian paths, parks, and the likes (Kaunas, Mindaugo prospektas, anyone?) How in the world do you imagine this kind of urban planning can be compared as unique and positive to, let‘s say, Paris?


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