Kotor is an ancient fortified city located in a secluded bay on Montenegro's Adriatic coast. It has been Venetian, Austrian and—most recently—part of the former Yugoslavia. Today, as part of an independent nation, it's narrow streets, small squares, and warm stone buildings define the character of a UNESCO World Heritage Site which, each summer, becomes one vast cruise terminal as tourists arrive in their droves to bask in it's dry heat and spectacular natural environment. At this time, however, it also plays host to KotorAPSS (Architectural Prison Summer School) – an eight day-long gathering dedicated to infusing contemporary cultural life into the city by means of temporary architectural installations.
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In This Semi-Derelict Montenegrin Prison, 7 Temporary Structures Untangle the Spatial Possibilities of Nautical Rope
Ahead of this weekend's symposium “THE DEBATE”—which will take place in Kotor, Montenegro and will present the results of the Project Solana Ulcinj for the national and international audience of the KotorAPSS (Kotor Architectural Prison Summer School)—we present an interview with Bart Lootsma, co-curator of the Montenegro Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Montenegro Pavilion at 2016 Venice Biennale to Investigate One of Europe's Largest Post-Industrial Landscapes
The act of remembering looms large in national cultures. Shared national memories act as a foundation for national identity, a unifying collective interpretation of history that can define what it means to belong in a certain place. Monuments loom even larger - define a national memory in concrete and stone, and you can help define your vision of the nation. That's why Nevena Katalina, a graphic design masters student at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia, has taken the famous abstract war memorials in the former Yugoslavia and translated them into posters, attempting to reconcile the imposing concrete forms with the impact they've had on culture and memory in countries around the former Yugoslavia.
This year at the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Montenegro Pavilion will present four neglected, late-modernist buildings that were originally constructed as a testament to a radiant new society. An effort to spark discourse about urban regeneration in Montenegro and the future of the former Yugoslavia’s architecture, the exhibition seeks to illuminate the uncanny beauty of each structure as they are regarded to be Treasures in Disguise.
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