dialogue #18 ‘intentions through time’

Timeless condition

A lot of futures for Barcelona were designed[1] since its city walls had been knocked down in the 1850s, but none would be fully executed. To operate in the old city centre was a complex task; it took time, enough time to change the way of looking and understanding the city as a sociopolitical reality, too much time… Imagine that the time between an idea and its realisation no longer exists. No more red tape. Urbanists finally become real sculptors. Assuming this timeless condition, every designed plan would have been made reality. And then a question appears: is within urban transformation more important the parameter time that gives shape rather than the act of planning itself?

 

14.01.2018 Barcelona

 

 

1 Cerdà’s Plan in 1859, Baixeras’s Plan in 1879, Darder’s Plan in 1918, Vilaseca’s Plan in 1930, GATPAC’s Plan in 1932.

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Let it be known

– history repeating

 

I once dreamt of skyscrapers. There was no city for them to dwel upon. There was no soil to support their height. Like in one of the sequences from Philippe de Broca’s movie L’Homme de Rio, where Jean Paul Belmondo runs through Brazilia being built, the feeling of being anywhere and everywhere prevails. And so it began…

 

The actuality of this new capital is something rather different. In reference to Holleins statement ‘alles ist Architektur’*, if we are to mess with architecture, architecture is surely to mess with everything in return. Today, loud statements are made; (New) Belgrade is being systemically devastated by private and corporate, market driven logic, with an influence of postmodernism still active on a very superficial level. And what is a result of this? French philosopher Henry Lefebvre states that every society, more precisely, every mode of production creates its own specific space. This line of thought leads us inevitably to question ourselves what kind of space does our society create? Public space promised by modernistic concept of a high-rise city floating in parks is replaced by malls and commercial space. The social space of a city is replaced by social space of networks. Lefebvre says  ’Pour changer la vie, il faut d’abord changer l’espace’** It seems that now and here, it is the other way around.

 

’One day when proud new BELGRADE is to be standing here, built knowingly, with plan and love, with will and hands of laborers, youth and people, let this plate show and remind: On april 11th 1948. after national liberation struggle is won, the preparations for the start of new labor battles in the fight for happiness and prosperity of the people are completed. On that day working people and youth of all nations of Yugoslavia joined forces to erect new BELGRADE, to extend the beloved capital of the state of equal nations. To make the city bigger and better on this side of Sava river, the city where communist party of Yugoslavia headed by comrade Tito started the uprising towards building yet another eternal symbol of the victorious liberation struggle of our people, lead towards socialism by marshal TITO, in the country built by people themselves.’

 

Quote from the memorial plate that commemorates the beginning of construction of New Belgrade. The plate stands in the lobby of 9th Belgrade High School in New Belgrade.

 

 

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