A weak monument at the Venice Biennale 2018

The Estonian Pavilion presents “Weak Monument”, an exhibition that analyses architecture’s political values, by juxtaposing two antithetical notions.

"Weak Monument", Venice Architecture Biennale, 2018

Can a monument be weak? At the Venice Architecture Biennale (26 May – 25 November 2018), the Estonian Pavilion presents the “Weak Monuments” exhibition, a reflection on the political value of architecture, by bringing together two antithetical concepts. The show will be held inside the former church of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice, between the Biennale venues of Giardini and Arsenale.

Today, in Estonia there is a refusal to the traditional notion of monument. These are associated to authoritarian powers and therefore they are neglected, removed from the collective memory, destroyed. Weakness, on the other hand, is often associated with ephemeral, temporary, collective and supporting architectures. “Weak monuments” consists of a site-specific installation inside a former church: a suburban paving faces the precious marble floor; a rough concrete wall contrasts with the Baroque architecture. The wall features a narrow passage, beyond which a selection of “weak monuments” will be exposed. Images are taken from known European archives and from small Estonian museums.

“Where does the monument stop and the pavement begin? Sometimes maintenance or neglect may overstep the boundary. Sometimes the difference is diminished by a protest, sometimes by a demolition. Sometimes it is the history, the location or the material that blurs the exceptional and the everyday. In those moments that we present, something new occurs, not precisely aligned to how the monument is traditionally understood”, says curator Tadeáš Říha.

Exhibition title:
Weak Monument
Opening dates:
26 May – 25 November 2018
Curated by:
Laura Linsi, Roland Reemaa, Tadeáš Říha
Raul Järg (Estonian Centre of Architecture)
Eve Arpo, Maria Kristiin Peterson (Estonian Centre of Architecture)
Tom Avermaete, Pavel Bouše, Charlotte Grace, Eik Hermann, Sandra Mälk, Toomas Paaver, Klaus Platzgummer, Margrethe Troensegaard
Main Partners:
Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Ministero della Cultura Estone, Estonia 100 – programma per il centenario dell’Estonia
former church of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice
Fondamenta San Gioacchino (East edge of via Garibaldi)

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