Symposium dedicated to hidden, abandoned and forgotten monuments of 20th century.

CAMP Prague, Vyšehradská 51, Praha 2



Politics, society, media and culture change faster than bricks and concrete. History leaves behind either heritage or rubble. Stagnant architecture; both remaining states are not in the realm of the living or dead. But houses and monuments have life beyond the intentions of their builders: decay, underuse, omission, ruin porn and gentrification emerge in place of glorification and remembrance. When a space is displaced out of its initial determinants, something completely new may emerge from these states. We want to direct the attention to the vast residue of abandoned and altered structures that exhibit vigorous afterlife.

This is the extensive archive of Nonuments – ‘Nonuments’ is a title created to describe the project representing the value and condition of these historical structures. Extending from abandoned monuments to decaying infrastructure, from speculative destruction of heritage to architectural residue of abandoned futures. The Nonuments provide a connection to the past and tell us about the powers that built them.

A Hotel, a power plant, a railway, a congress center, a control and dispatch hi-tech center and a former anti-aircraft tower stand neglected, or are in the process of being destroyed. With theoretical, conceptual and art-practice based contributions from around the world, Nonument symposium will address Europe’s Nonuments. From Cyprus to Prague and from Vienna to Balkan Mountains, Nonuments ceaselessly pose the question of how to engage and integrate them.

A two-day art and theory symposium will be held in Prague during the devastating destruction of the Transgas building. All matters regarding operation Nonuments and the delicate procedures will be evaluated at the symposium. The intension of the discussion is to create a language for the process, of how to resolve residue of these symbolic structures.

13 June, Thursday

8:30      Registration
9:00      Yvette Vašourková – Introduction
9:30      Nika Grabar (SI), theoretician: Nonument Now!
10:00    Martin Bricelj Baraga, Neja Tomšič – Nonument Group (SI), artists: Nonument 01: McKeldin Fountain, Baltimore

First session: Conflict and Suppression
10:20    Jürgen Weishäupl (AT), artist: Flak Towers, Vienna
10:50    Pavel Karous (CZ), artist
11:00    Ljubica Slavković (SRB), theoretician: In Search of Public Interest in Belgrade: Legalizing the Wild City
11:30    Martin Zet (CZ), artist: Missing and Invisible Sculptures of Miloš Zet
11:40    Discussion

11:50    Coffee break

Second session: Infrastructure and Ideology
12:00    Danica Sretenović (SI), architect: Oblivion (de)Constructed: The Pioneer Railroad Ljubljana
12:30    Vladimír Turner (CZ), artist: Ephemeral Monuments
12:40    Martin Bricelj Baraga, Neja Tomšič – Nonument Group (SI), artists: From Nowhere to Noplace – Pioneer Railway
13:10    Nicolas Grospierre (PL/FR), artist: Subjective Atlas of Modern Architecture
13.40    Zuzana Janečková (SK), Markéta Žáčková (CZ), theoreticians: Brno: Sculptures in the Streets
13:50    Discussion

14:00    Lunch

15:00   Special Lecture: Elke Krasny (AT), theoretician: Curating Memory and Curating Mourning

Third session: Memory and Post-Socialist Condition
16:00    Aneliya Ivanova (BG), theoretician: Buzludzha – the Apotheosis of the Socialist Art in Bulgaria
16:30    Benjamín Brádňanský, Vít Halada (SK), architects: Iconic Ruins
16:50    Ole Frahm – Ligna Group (DE), artist: Reenactment, Working-Through, Alienation. the Radioballet as Performative Remembrance
17:20    Petr Dub (CZ), artist: Public Boarders
17:30    Veronika Vicherková (CZ), theoretician: Respect! Keep or Squeez?

17:50   Discussion

18:05    Coffee Break

18:20   Special Lecture: Deimantas Narkevičius (LT), artist: Too Long on the Plinth

19:20    Final discussion

20:30    Afterparty – Bar/ák

14 June, Friday

9:00      Introduction
9:00      Workshops

  • When Will You Start to Respect Me? – Veronika Vicherková (CZ), theoretician
  • I Am a Dependent Object! – Zuzana Janečková (SK), Maja Štefančíková (SK), artist, Markéta Žáčková (CZ), theoreticians

10:30   Special Lecture: Miloš Kosec (SI), theoretician: Nonumental Infrastructure

11:30     Workshops – Outcomes and Discussion

11:45     Lunch

Fourth session: Reversion
12:30    Ladislav Zikmund-Lender (CZ), theoretician: Topography of Demolitions: Case Transgas
13:00    Peter Szalay (SK), theoretician: The Mirror of Unwanted Patrimony: Narcissism or Cynical Egoism?
13:30    Hans van Houwelingen (NL), artist: Undone
13:50    Achilleas Kentonis (CY), artist: Legend Generating Machines
14:10    Discussion

14:20    Coffee break

Fourth session: Impossibility of a Future
14:30    Vladimir Dulović (SRB), theoretician: What You See is What You Get: Present Day and Future of Belgrade’s West Gate Tower
15:00    Viktória Mravčáková (SK), architect: How to Bring Quality Art into the City?


15:10    Elizabeth Sikiaridi (GB) and Frans Vogelaar (NL) – Hybrid Space Lab, architects: Deep Spaces: Re-signifying Valle de los Caídos
15:40    Elise Hunchuck (CA), theoretician: Chornobyl after Chornobyl
16:10    Discussion

16:20   Special Lecture: Branislav Dimitrijević (SRB), theoretician: “Egypt” Rather Than “October”: Incongruences in Interpreting Yugoslav National-Liberation Monuments, Then and Now

17:30    End of the symposium

Workshop I Am a Dependent Object!

Zuzana Janečková, Maja Štefančíková, Markéta žáčková

The workshop will present the dramatic fate of the monumental sculpture, created in the mid-1980s by the sculptor Sylva Lacinová from Brno (1923–2019) for the facade of the brutalist building of the Joint Research Institutes in Brno, which was designed by architect Jan Dvořák. During the reconstruction of the building for the needs of the Faculty of Informatics of Masaryk University in 2012, the work was secretly removed and subsequently escaped destruction. Out of the original context, tied to architecture, like many other artistic realizations from the socialist era, it became part of the “unwanted heritage”. The story of this twice lost object also became the starting point of the seventh international art biennale of the Brno Art Open, which is under the titleI Am a Dependent Objectin the public space of the city from 5 June to 11 August 2019. In the workshop, we will look for an answer to the question of how to deal with these “unnecessary relics” in the future. Our goal is to find a “good end to the story” – not just for the sculpture of the Moorian tradition of Sylva Lacin.

Workshop When Will You Start to Respect Me?

Veronika Vicherková

Modernist buildings in the historic environment are sharply impressive, arousing strong emotions. Often, they are generous objects of renowned architects, representing an essential legacy of the historical moment, the active layer of our recent history, and thus the breeding ground from which our presence (and the future) grows. It is those buildings – the witnesses of the recent past – that are victims of the commercial pressures and visions of short-term profit. Demolitions are often justified from pseudo-ethical and ecological positions: it is more earth-friendly to demolish “the unecological communist building” and to erect a new, larger, more efficient, without ideological stigma.
In the workshop, we will discuss together if the buildings from the second half of the 20th  century still do have any sense for the present; what do they bring to the cities and their inhabitants? What can be strategies to maintain them? And how to deal with these buildings (examples of bad reconstructions, alterations, extensions even in the case of protected heritage).

NONUMENT! symposium is part of MAPS – Mapping & Archiving Public Spaces, a project devoted to a deeper understanding of architecture, public spaces and monuments of the 20th century. It deals with spaces that have gone through a process of transformation within which they have acquired a new meaning. MAPS builds a digital landscape with in-depth research on Nonuments, including 3D scans and oral histories, collected within the community. MAPS develops an interdisciplinary methodology for preserving Nonuments and builds open-source tools for community engagement in the inclusive online database and map.
MAPS – Mapping & Archiving public spaces is a cooperation project co-financed by Creative Europe.