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A City’ Joints and Muscles: About the Links Between Architecture and Art

 

 

The 23rd series of talks invites us to take a look at the body of a city as a living organism, whose muscles and joints often become stiff, while the blood vessels and the lymphatic system become clogged. The city has no time for preventive measures, stretching exercises and key lifestyle changes, so in order to quickly rejuvenate itself or get rid of its problems faster, it turns to reckless means, choosing to go under the knife instead of consulting a therapist. Perhaps if it submitted itself to the prescribed course of therapy, it could get rid of some of the psychosomatic disorders caused by past trauma and anxiety about the future that are holding the city back from creating a new life quality.

During the series of talks held in collaboration with the curators at the National Gallery of Art, art practices in the city’s public spaces could become a means of therapy, a massage for the body and the mind. Art and architecture share a long history. Particularly in the recent years, there have been a lot of square and park renewal projects, as well as projects for new monuments. The series of lectures invites us to bring our attention to the global trend where public spaces are turning from objects of political representation through sculpture into marks of communal self-expression that do not conform to any single media. In this series of talks, based on different experiences and artistic practices, the collisions of architecture and art practices are considered as a way to reveal the overlap between city expansion and the memory of the city, setting in motion the stiff life functions of the organism.

Curators of the talk series: Danutė Gambickaitė, Eglė Juocevičiūtė, Niamh McDonnell.
Illustrations by Justė Venclovaitė.

Project is presented by: Lithuanian Council for Culture, Danish Cultural Institute, Polish Institute in Vilnius.
Partner: National Gallery of Art.

The talks are held at the National Art Gallery (NDG), Konstitucijos av. 22, Vilnius. The talks will be held in English and Lithuanian. Entrance is free of charge.


Hello World?

Next year Lithuania will be represented at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale for the first time. This event draws an ambitious goal - a construction of a new national pavilion. The project’s concept is based on the fact that the primary biennale space is nearly built to its limits. The edge of the Giardini, the majority of parkland in Venice, is the only area where new construction may still be possible. This specific territory in Venice is the proposed location for the Swamp Pavilion. The project as action is simultaneously belligerently radical and peacefully diplomatic. On the one hand, it is a provocation regarding the expansion of national territory within the international context of the Biennale. On the other hand, the boundaries and boundedness of the place inhibit incursion onto the land area, locating the pavilion where pre-existing elements of air and water are available. In this Janus-like project, two identities become intertwined: that of a human as a representative of a particular nation with a human as a part of and cohabiting with “nature,” and therefore representing an inhabitant of planet earth.

 

First construction piece of the Swamp Pavilion will be the lecture series Hello World? which takes its name from the basic script that is written as the first foray into programming language. Taking inspiration from Stafford Beer’s cybernetic dream, the program of the lecture series scripts the construction process of the Swamp Pavilion to expand existing and create new perspectives on forms of representation and pedagogy. Hello World? is the twenty-first event in the series organised by the Architecture Fund that stands for building a new vocabulary across emergent discourses, calling for criticality and ethics in the time of crisis and post-truth. Starting in fall 2017, seven invited speakers will engage the audience at the National Gallery of Art in Lithuania by presenting their research to push boundaries of discipline, interrogate discursive forms of architectural practice, and produce new spaces for alternative imaginaries.

 

Curators of the Swamp Pavilion: Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas.

Curator of the talk series: Andrius Ropolas.

Illustrations by Laimonas Zakas.

 

Project is presented by: Lithuanian Council for Culture and Ministry of Culture of The Republic of Lithuania..
Partner: National Gallery of Art.

 

The talks are held at the National Art Gallery (NDG), Konstitucijos av. 22, Vilnius, 8.00 p.m. The talks will be held in English and Lithuanian. Entrance is free of charge.

ARCHITECTURE OF EDUCATION: COMMUNITIES AND INNOVATIONS

 

 

 

In 2015, the Architecture Fund and the Architecture Faculty, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, organised the first round of lectures on educational architecture dedicated to the problems of creating educational spaces. During this course, five speakers from the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium presented their experiences, achievements and challenges related to the architecture of educational spaces. (http://www.archfondas.lt/en/discussion/archive/2015)

 

This event has encouraged examination of the experiences of the old Wwestern democracies and extensive debates among architecture, education and public administration specialists responsible for the development and transformation of educational environment, as well as interested representatives of local communities. A lot of attention was paid to the coherence between architecture and learning paradigms, and their transformations.

 

In continuation of the analysis made on the issues related to the changes of educational architecture, a new round of the Architecture [Discussion] Fund, the 22nd series of talks, is planned to discuss the role of the city, state, school, university communities and the private participation in the development and administration of schools, their networks and university campuses more extensively.

 

Curators: Liutauras Nekrošius, Edita Riaubienė, Dolf Broekhuizen

Poster illustrator: Aurimas Gaižauskas

The 22nd series of talks of Architecture Fund are supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Tarkett, Embassy of the Kingdom Netherlands

 

The talks are held at 8.00 p.m. at the National Art Gallery (NDG), Konstitucijos av. 22, Vilnius. Entrance is free of charge. The events are recorded and the videos are placed online at www.archfondas.lt.

The conversations are arranged in collaboration with VGTU Faculty of Architecture.

POST-ARCHITECTURE

The second half of the 20th century was marked by extraordinary socio-political, socio-economic and socio-cultural turning points: the end of the Cold War, consolidation of capitalism and globalization, extreme development of information technology, to mention a few. The period was also significant as the ending of certain powers, different phenomena and paradigms, which at first seemed immovable, such as Socialism, Colonialism and Modernity. All this simply could not pass over the architecture and its expression concepts on broader cultural field. Recently architecture is often analyzed in the contexts of post-socialism, post-colonialism and post-modernism. This series of talks is intended to figure out, how the transformations of the second half of the 20th century have influenced the development and state of architecture, with a special focus on the Eastern European region. This 20th series of talks will present architects, resarchers, academics who will share their insights on the phenomenon of POST – architecture of the late 20th century.

Curators of the series: Tomas Grunskis and Martynas Mankus.

Poster illustration: Andrew Kovacs, Plan for a City, 2011.

The 20th series of talks of Architecture Fund are supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Polish Institute in Vilnius, Aco Nordic, Alucobond, Cembrit, Schindler, Tarkett, Velux.

The talks within this series are planned in April – May 2017 at the National Art Gallery, Konstitucijos av. 22, Vilnius.

Entrance is free of charge. The talks will be held in English and Lithuanian. The events are recorded and the videos are placed online at www.archfondas.lt.

MONEY

After waking up from the dreariness of the Soviet era and the dream of the 1990ies (according to the essay "The End of History?" by Francis Fukuyama, 1989), experiencing uncertainty after the recent (current) world economy crisis, we start perceiving an architect’s role in the contemporary world a little bit differently. The field of architecture has been increasingly affected by strong financial, ideological, political and cultural factors. With the diminishing authority of architects, representation of the public interest is being replaced by the "doing business" rankings, and all this determines architects’ working conditions, payment rates and copyright protection, as well as quality of their architectural production. Thus working under the global economy conditions and willing to make influence on urban development, an architect can no longer (and maybe has never been able to) ignore the logic of financial systems. 

 

A pessimist would say that an architect from a public intellectual has been turned into an agent highly dependable on its clients, no longer able to be critical to environment and itself. Such “an invertebrate” has been delegated with the power to shape the environment – predictable, safe, but dull. On the other hand, can an architect, not driven by money or taking part in power games, also be successful at the same time? We are willing to believe that a contemporary architect is capable of integrating money into the discipline of architecture, rather than just giving shape to the fluid capital. 

 

The 19th cycle of talks on architecture calls for an inconvenient discussion on the subject of money, during which experts in the fields of architecture, journalism, politics and social sector will look for a relationship between architecture, architect and money. We will try to answer the questions: what does money make to an architect, and what does an architect make with the money?

 

Curators: Vytautas Biekša, Kazys Varnelis, Matas Šiupšinskas.

Poster illustration by Ieva Mekšrūnaitė.

The 19th series of talks of Architecture Fund are sponsored by Lithuanian Council for Culture, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Netherlands Embassy in Vilnius, Viljandi windows doors, Protectus.

 

The talks are held at the National Art Gallery (NDG), Konstitucijos av. 22, Vilnius, 8.00 p.m. The talks will be held in English and Lithuanian.

Entrance is free of charge. The events are recorded and the videos are placed online at www.archfondas.lt.