Thinking forward through the past? Architecture Biennale Pavilion Days

Mäusebunker & Hygieneinstitut

What forward-looking forces can be drawn from the past? Ludwig Heimbach, architect and curator of the exhibition Mäusebunker & Hygieneinstitut: Experimental Setup Ber-lin, Architetture di G+M Hänska I Fehling+Gogel which can be seen in the Gino Valle Gallery of the IUAV in Venice until 24 September, poses the question of how to use an existing architecture to pass on the fire and not to worship the ashes.

He talks about this topic – on the occasion of the “Pavilion Days” of the Architecture Bi-ennale – with Kozo Kadowaki and Attila Róbert Csóka, the curators of the Japanese and Hungarian contributions to this year’s Biennale, and with the architect Ryoko Iwase, who is exhibiting in the Japanese Pavilion. With Nuria Schoenberg Nono, musicologist and president of the Fondazione Archivio Luigi Nono in Venice, the intersection of music and architecture in the post-war period will be examined.

The discussion will be moderated by Francesca Ferguson, who is conducting the “Modellverfahren Mäusebunker” for the Landesdenkmalamt Berlin. The exhibition Mäusebunker & Hygieneinstitut: Experimental Setup Berlin, which is now on show in Venice after Berlin, is already about broadening the horizon from purely architectural to other topics when examining the two iconic Berlin buildings.

Originals and plan material from the estates of the architectural firms Hänska and Fehling + Gogel, as well as recent works by artists (Julian Rosefeldt, Lothar Hempel, Farao, Kay Fingerle, Tracey Snelling, Andreas Fogarasi, Alexis Dworsky) on the buildings, are brought to-gether via chalk drawings and comments by the curator to create a social and political debate.

Even though the Mäusebunker in Berlin and the Takamizawa House in the Japanese pa-vilion, which was dismantled and rebuilt, differ significantly in their structure and reusa-bility, there seems to be a strong relationship in the impact of the past on the future.
„Every building is nothing more or less than an accumulation of elements that have un-dergone repeated meetings and partings. Architecture by definition lives within just such a time-space continuum.

A work of architecture is not something one person can lay claim to as their own“ explains Kozo Kadowaki, curator of the Japanese pavilion, and from this a thematic connection to the social and political debate about the Mäusebunker becomes clear.In the Hungarian contribution, curator Attila Róbert Csoka addresses the handling of the modern heritage of the socialist era as a form of reappraisal under the title: Othernity – Reconditioning our Modern Heritage.

He describes it as „ a new, collaboration-based method, which helps us rethink our practice of heritage protection and, at the same time, it is such an architectural behaviour that can create a more responsible attitude towards profession and society.” The Archivio Luigi Nono in Venice is not only the Venetian voice of the conversation but also an institution that carries on a “past” position – led by Nuria Schoenberg Nono, musi-cologist, and president of the Fondazione Archivio Luigi Nono.

In Luigi Nono’s work, there are always references to the past that have an effect on the future. In his famous Darmstadt lecture “History and Present in the Music of Today”, Nono described this rela-tionship from the post-war tabula-rasa situation, a situation in which the buildings in the exhibition were also created. The threatened city of Venice is a meaningful place for thinking forward through the past. It is not for nothing that the avant-gardes (and those who consider themselves to be avant-gardes) meet in this “architectural monument” for interdisciplinary discourse. Source and photos Courtesy of BDA.

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