Architecture - Art A series of lectures and discussions, May - June and autumn 2014

Architecture can hardly be defined as a purely artistic or a purely technical practice. The point of departure of our architecture ≠ art programme is the question of whether architecture is or is not art. By posing this question, we enter the very core of the problem of architectural creation - that is, we question the very definition of architecture. How should we think of architecture today? How (if at all) does architecture enter the field of art, and how (if at all) does art enter the field of architecture?

We are announcing: Marjetica Potrč & Rado Riha, autumn 2014

Rado Riha is senior research fellow at the Institute of Philosophy at the Scientific Research Centre, Slovene Academy of Sciences and Arts, and a professor at the Postgraduate School SRS SASA and the University of Nova Gorica. He has published four books and many articles on contemporary philosophy, on the impact of the encounter between philosophy and Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis and on Kant?s philosophy, ethics and epistemology. One of his research interests is centred on the theory of architecture.

Marjetica Potrč is an artist and architect who has been a professor at the University of Fine Arts/HFBK in Hamburg, Germany, since 2011. Students of her course Design for the Living World develop participatory design projects. Potrč's artworks have been exhibited extensively throughout Europe and the Americas, including at the Venice Biennial (1993, 2003, 2009) and the S?o Paulo Biennial (1996, 2006), and are shown regularly at the Galerie Nordenhake in Berlin. Her many community-based on-site projects include Dry Toilet (Caracas, 2003) and The Cook, the Farmer, His Wife and Their Neighbour (Stedelijk Goes West, Amsterdam, 2009). She has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics Fellowship at The New School in New York (2007).


Izidor Barši - Nejc Lebar, Tuesday, 17 June 2014, at 7 pm, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana

Izidor Barši: Strategies for Answering the Question What Is Architecture?
The lecture's analysis proceeds from a basic finding reached via different paths by the sciences and philosophies of the 20th century - that language is not merely a reflection of reality, that the relation between words and things is not a stable one, that there is always a certain dislocation at work there. One of the possible consequences of this ascertainment is that we can analyse the relations between the elements of discourse without extra-verbal references. The second one is that discourse gains spatial dimensions and can therefore be mapped. And the third consequence is that the field of enunciation can be analysed in military terms, with individual utterances taking different strategies. On the basis of this, I will present an analysis of the various answers to the question "What is architecture?", a question that was featured in the two seasons of Arhitektura govori, a radio broadcast I co-produce with Mateja Kurir at Radio Student.

Izidor Barši studies philosophy and sociology of culture at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana and is currently in his final year of study. He contributes to various periodicals. Since 2010 he has been a regular co-operator with the culture and the humanities desk at Radio Študent - where in 2012, he conceived the Arhitektura govori programme together with Mateja Kurir. He has contributed to Tribuna since 2012 and, in the autumn of 2013, became its editor. He also became a member of the editorial board of Šum - A Journal for Art, Criticism and Theory the same year. In addition, he has helped organise and lead a few theoretical reading seminars.

Nejc Lebar: The Distribution of Space
That architecture is not art is a statement already claimed by Adolf Loos. But today, a hundred years later - in a time, when we school more architects and artists, when we build more museums and cultural centres than ever before -, isn't there a general tendency to unify and neutralise this conflicting difference? Architectural and artistic practices can not operate in a neutral space because such a space simply does not exist; they are always already inscribed within a network of forces and powers. The thesis is that the insistence on this difference is today's necessary condition, one that retains a constitutive antagonism that makes up the core of the political.

Nejc Lebar graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana in 2013 with his master's thesis Koncept in kontekst v delu Jeana Nouvela (Concept and Context in the Work of Jean Nouvel). In 2007, he cooperated in the preparation of a monograph about the architect Edvard Ravnikar and in the organisation of an exhibition on Ravnikar's work at the Jakopič Gallery in Ljubljana. He often takes part in architectural competitions and works as a translator in the field of architectural theory. He is a member of the editorial board of Praznine.

Apolonija Šušteršič - Tomo Stanič, Tuesday, 20 May 2014, at 7 pm, Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana

Apolonija Šušteršič: Re-thinking Architecture
Should we not re-think architecture, its role in contemporary society and its place in our everyday lives? Why not think about architecture as a process and not only as a finished product? Couldn't we then re-form the process such that it would produce a space for constructive change? I would suggest that we articulate the existing theories and methodologies for critical interpretations and articulations of architecture in relation to current sociopolitical challenges and concerns. In that case, we will need to examine the social aspects of living environments manifested in art as well as in architectural contexts - that is, a cross-disciplinary approach to creating works, one that leads to a socially engaged practice and brings together art, architecture and other spatial disciplines.

Apolonija Šušteršič is an architect and artist. She graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana (1992) and in 1996 finished her postgraduate studies in art at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. From 2003 till 2008, she worked as a professor and the head of the Monumental Department at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. In 2013, she completed her PhD studies at Lund University, Malmö Art Academy in Sweden. She has exhibited extensively, including at Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Berlin Biennale 3; Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana; the Generali Foundation, Vienna; the Tirana Biennale 3; Muhka, Antwerp; and the 12th Biennial of Architecture, Venice. She develops artistic, architectural and participatory projects for and within public space, including: Home Design Service (Casco Projects, Utrecht, 2001); Garden Service (with Meike Schalk, Edinburgh International Festival, 2007); SUNSETCINEMA (with Bik van der Pol, Luxembourg, 2007); and Community Pavilion Hustadt (Bochum, 2011).

Tomo Stanič: Postcards
The lecture will present a short survey/review of some of the intersections of visual arts and architecture. It is precisely as intersections that topics such as form, image, genius loci/site-specific, economy, architectural/performative dispositif say most about the relation between architecture and the arts. The essential question that runs as a common thread through all the comparisons/differentiations is thus not "Is architecture art?" or "What is the relation of architecture to the world of art?", but the presupposition underlying all these questions: "What mechanisms are at work in both so that a relation/difference can be established in the first place?"

Tomo Stanič graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana in 2010. He is currently studying sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design and is a PhD student of philosophy at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. In 2011, Studia humanitatis published his monograph entitled Arhitekturni gledalec (Architectural Spectator). He has been an editor of Praznine (a journal for architecture and art) since 2010.

Petra Čeferin - Miloš Kosec, Tuesday, 27 May 2014, at 7 pm, Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana

Petra Čeferin: Architecture = Architecture. The Construction of Architectural Bonds
The starting point of the lecture is the definition of architecture, which might actually seem to tell us nothing at all: architecture = architecture. However, my thesis is that this is the most precise definition of architecture. This definition tells us that the constitutive element of architecture is something that can't be determined by any predicate: a void of meaning, a nothingness. But a paradoxical nothingness: a nothingness that isn't null, as it is constitutive, indeed crucial for architecture. Architecture is successfully realized when it comes closest to this paradoxical nothingness - as Mies would have it, when it is "beinahe Nichts". As a result, one could argue that architecture is one of those practices which constantly has to be re-defined (anew), and which only appears in the world in the form of such re-definitions, expressed as concrete material objects such as buildings, drawings, texts. From this point of view architecture isn't actually different from art. The difference between art and architecture, however, is that each of these practices defines itself in its own, specific and intrinsic way. In the lecture I will try to show how the practice of architecture is doing just that.

Petra Čeferin, Ph.D., is an architect and professor at the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana where she teaches architectural theory and criticism of contemporary architecture. She is the author of books Constructing a Legend and Transforming Reality with Architecture: Finnish Case, and co-editor of Architectural Epicentres (with C. Požar, Ljubljana, 2008) and Project Architecture (with J. Bickert and C. Požar, Ljubljana, 2010). She is also the author of several critical articles and essays on modern and contemporary architectural production, and an editor of the book series Theoretical Practice of Architecture. 

Miloš Kosec: The Uses of Added Value. The Dilemmas of Art and Architecture in Light of the Division of Labour
The dilemmas regarding the relation between architecture and art have not always been on the agenda; the need to clarify this relation arose with the industrial revolution and the changed production and consumption patterns. Two paths developed: one sought to base architecture on the rationalism and functionalism of machine production, the other swore by the autonomy of architectural creation in the spirit of the "art for art's sake" motto. The postmodern age seems to have led to a conciliation and coexistence of both views. This was enabled by a changed understanding of the concepts of added value and creativity - in the spirit of the apotheosis of the free market, which allows for a pluralism of even the most opposing ideas. With its separability from its architectural base, the artistic invention as a surplus, as "something more", becomes an independent marketable good, while "creative" architects become cheap producers of this added value. Is contemporary art then necessarily condemned to the role of a development department of capitalism?

Miloš Kosec graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana in 2013 with his master's thesis Ruševina kot arhitekturni objekt (The Ruin as an Architectural Object), for which he received the Plečnik Student Award and the Prešeren Student Award of the Faculty of Architecture. His eponymous book was published by the Praznine publishing house the same year. In 2007, he cooperated in the preparation of a monograph about the architect Edvard Ravnikar and in the organisation of an exhibition on Ravnikar's work at the Jakopič Gallery in Ljubljana. He creates architectural, landscape and set designs. He cooperates with Praznine and Arhitektov bilten, writing about architectural theory and history.

Museum of Architecture and Design, Fužine Castle, Pot na Fužine 2, Ljubljana
Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Maistrova 3, Ljubljana

Moderators: Maja Vardjan (Museum of Architecture and Design) and Urška Jurman (Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory)
Programme managers: Vid Zabel and Urška Jurman (Igor Zabel Association)

The Architecture ≠ Art programme is being prepared by the Igor Zabel Association for Culture and Theory in collaboration with the Museum of Architecture and Design and the Museum of Modern Art + Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova. The programme is supported by the ERSTE Foundation.

Sign up for the MG e-newsletter

Museum of Modern Art

Windischerjeva ulica 2
SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
MG+:+386 (0)1 2416 800,
+386 (0)1 2416 834
+MSUM: (0)1 2416 825
Fax: +386 (0)1 2514 120

History of the MG
Opening of the renovated MG


  • podporniki
(c) Moderna galerija, Ljubljana