In Eastern Europe the assimilation of modernism proved a rather divergent process, correlated with tumultuous and contradictory socio-political events. The urban space suffered successive destructuring, caused by massive industrial insertions with direct impact at urban and demographic level.
Thus the Romanian Pavilion's exhibition for the 2014 Venice Biennale, Site Under Construction will bring industrial architecture as generator of modernity into discussion. It suggests creating an initiatory journey from inter-war and socialist industrialization to post-industrial urban voids. Glory and void, past and present are mirrored and laid out to be contemplated, to raise awareness and be re-approached. Once industrial sites were closed down, the remaining locations became modern urban ruins, devoid of content, bare of utility, leaving behind an outer landscape, shattering and desolate.
The entire space of the pavilion reflects the mega-space of the contemporary city, seen as an imperceptible black box without definite outlines. The city web consists of three urban isles, animated by video projections showing cinematographic sequences of the industrial past. These isles, reminding of Tarkovskian zones, reveal an atypical universe. Inside the isles you enter a different type of space, the void of post-industrial present, represented by a light tower, an industrial analogy, aiming at the figure of the cooling towers, stretching towards eternity. Towers are places of reverie, personal experience, pure, lacking conditioning or outer stimuli. The proposed exhibition space is flexible, with a double inner signification, a conflicting and sensuous mix brought about by the opposing proportion between darkness and light, sound and silence.
Curator: Mihai Sima
Team: Mihai Sima, Andreea Iancu, Raluca Sabau, Stejara Timis, Anca Trestian
Text via the curators of the Romanian Pavilion.