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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

14-14 Pavilion of the Republic in Serbia by La Biennale di Venezia

 
July 1st, 2014 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: La Biennale di Venezia

Vjenceslav Richter’s 1961 project exposé for the building of the Museum of the Revolution starts thus:

“The purpose and idea of this museum is to safeguard the truth about us. From this follows its extraordinary importance, which has found its confirmation in the assigned location.

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

  • Architects: La Biennale di Venezia
  • Project: 14-14 Pavilion of the Republic
  • Location: Serbia
  • Photography: Relja Ivanić
  • Organization: Museum of Applied Art Belgrade
  • In cooperation with: Union of Architects of Serbia
  • Under the auspices of: Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Serbia

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Thus it is impossible to approach solving this problem with an arsenal of conventional notions about museums, no matter how valid the solutions that follow from them may be.

The embodiment of the Museum of the Revolution has to express a pervasive and great idea.
Our idea and the idea of us.

It is as much ours, as it is new and authentic.

New ideas arise from fundamental truths and build upon them.”

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

These six short paragraphs read like a poem, and immediately quicken the heart if one knows the fate of the Museum and its building. For someone born and raised in Yugoslavia it makes a bit too much sense that such a project never achieved anything near its full expression. Much like in Bruno Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles, intensity dissipates, possibilities fade, “the crazy grey poppies of excitement scatter into ashes”.

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

And yet a hidden life persists among these ashes. The remaining underground level of the Museum becomes a kind of camera obscura, in a perverse way fulfilling Richter’s task of “safeguarding the truth about us”. Echoes of the newly developing city reverberate through the vast dark corridors. Those who live inside eat, sleep, work, play, fight, and sometimes love. The sun fades just as it has appeared. Every evening an old lady lights a fire, as if she were its sole keeper.

On the opposite end, on the third screen, a three-dimensional diagram of the Museum is built on its original location – a ghostlike translation of the 1961 project as fluid, mutable and impermanent as the time we live.

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy ©  Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © Relja Ivanić

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

Image Courtesy © La Biennale di Venezia

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Categories: Installation, Museum

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