The rule over your affairs once lost will return to you
Architecture and Czech Politics after 1989
17. 12. 2021 – 19. 2. 2022
UMPRUM Technology Center, Mikulandská 134/5, Praha 1
The year 1989 brought with it a huge wave of change. In the following years, a democratic republic was re-established, with the disintegration of Czechoslovakia, the accession to the European Union, the decentralization of public administration, and the onset of economic liberalism. How did all these changes permeate the post-November architecture? An answer is offered by the exhibition The rule over your affairs once lost will return to you, which can be seen on the premises of the new UMPRUM Technology Center on Mikulandská Street.
The relationship between politics and architecture after 1989 changed significantly compared to previous epochs. In particular, the absence of new political buildings is evident; in the 1990s, moreover, interest in the care of other public buildings shared space or, for example, society-wide housing issues disappeared. The free scope of authority was more or less deliberately passed on to the private sector.
„But the three decades of post-revolutionary development were not just a period of power balancing and the intertwining of public and private interest. The public sector is self-diversifying. The public officially becomes an independent political force. Architecture thus no longer represents only the policy of the state, but also other players with different goals and priorities. Politics at the moment is more of a space for negotiating“, as Cyril Říha the curator of the exhibition explains a significant factor of change.
The exhibition is architecturally designed in the shape of a five-pointed star, which in a nutshell briefly symbolizes the geopolitical context of the Czech Republic after 1989. It shows five entities defending the public interest - the state, local government, the EU, the bodies of the architectural profession, and civic initiatives. Their individual relationships are demonstrated by case studies and documented by texts, data, projections, and physical exhibits.
The exhibition, which is characteristically taking place in the just-completed Technology Center building, is the fourth and final event of the research project Architecture and Czech Politics in the 19th-21st Century of the Department of Theory and History of Art of UMPRUM.
Exhibition curator: Cyril Říha
Panel authors: Elena Fialková, Jan Galeta, Anna Hejmová, Vendula Hnídková, Karolína Jirkalová, Lenka Kerdová, Petr Klíma, Vojtěch Märc, Cyril Říha
Architectural solution: Filip Kosek, Jan Říčný (RCNKSK architects)
Graphic design: Tereza Hejmová, Kristýna Žáčková, Viktor Takáč
Production: Dita Pfefferová
Cooperation: Matěj Peterka, Lujza Lehocká
The exhibition is the fourth, main output of the research project Architecture and Czech Politics in the 19th-21st century of the Department of Theory and History of Art at UMPRUM. The project was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic within the Program of Applied Research and Development of National and Cultural Identity NAKI II (DG18P02OVV041).