The City and the City
Opening 10.09.2019 . 7 pm

VLAD NANCA is the KVOST scholarship holder 2019.

The stipend includes an artist-in-residence program as well as a solo exhibition in KVOST’s premises during this year’s Berlin Art Week.

The question, how ideology and architecture interrelate, lies at the centre of Romanian artist Vlad Nancă’s work: „To what extent did the prevailing political climate in east and west shape the every-day objects of modernism? “

Nancă uses architectural structures, reliefs, ornaments and mosaics to establish connections: between present, past and imagined future as well as between the former GDR and his home country. For example, the world-famous “Weltzeituhr” really exists twice – once on Alexanderplatz in Berlin and as a replica in the small town of Falticeni in north-eastern Romania.

The exhibition’s title The City and the City cites a novel by british sci-fi writer China Miéville that was inspired by Berlin’s unique situation of hosting two separate cities on one space, whose presence can still be traced in its city scape 30 years after the reunification.

The recipient of the KVOST stipend 2019 will use his 6 weeks long work stay in Berlin for an intensive preoccupation with preserved examples of socialist architecture around Alexanderplatz and Leipziger Straße. The streetscape of Berlin-Mitte shows in an exemplary way, how political narratives have been repeatedly overwritten since the end of WW2. Numerous buildings manifesting the socialist utopia of the former GDR have been torn down since the fall of the Berlin wall, erasing them from public memory.

But Nancă’s interest is not only the formalist approach of studies architects and designers: he is looking for what he likes to call “the folk art of socialist post-modernity”: DIY-elements, that have been added to buildings for decoration.

For is solo exhibition in KVOST’s premises Nancă will cooperate with the photographer and architect Martin Maleschka, one of the heads of the “Ostmoderne” movement, that advocates a new appreciation for the formally ostracized architecture of the GDR. Maleschka is making his extensive photography archive, which documents details of disappeared buildings, available to Nancă for research purposes.