1. bookVolume 26 (2021): Issue 4 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2729-7640
First Published
15 Nov 1996
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Overview of past and present discourse on VAL

Published Online: 17 Dec 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 26 (2021) - Issue 4 (December 2021)
Page range: 27 - 35
Received: 10 Oct 2021
Accepted: 11 Nov 2021
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2729-7640
First Published
15 Nov 1996
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The paper is an introduction to my thesis entitled “Author’s Conceptions in the European Architecture of the 20th Century”. Specifically, the objective of my study is monographic research into VAL, a Slovak artistic-architectural group, which was active from the 1970s to the 1990s. The group consists of the artist Alex Mlynárčik, and architects Viera Mecková and Ľudovít Kupkovič, who gradually began to develop their visions together. During the years 1968 (1970) – 1994 they produced eight projects illustrating possibilities for our environment of tomorrow.

The 1960s were accompanied by a discussion critically thematizing the main ideas of modernism. Visionary, utopian or dystopian trends, which presented various scenarios for the near future, were an integral part of this discussion. Their subject was the relationship between man and the environment, man and the society, architecture and landscape, or man and the cosmos. These visionaries have generated a whole series of architectural concepts, which even today are an inspiration for thinking about architecture and the environment. VAL was a valuable part of this global movement, and thus an important phenomenon from the point of view of local architectural discourse.

This paper deals with the current state of research on the topic. It is a summary of formative moments and theories for the group’s work, a summary of the critical reflection and public presentations of their work throughout their active period up to the present day.

Keywords

[1] The exhibition “VAL—Cesty a aspekty zajtrajška” (1996) took place in Umelecká Beseda in Bratislava, Slovakia (today’s Gallery Umelka). Later, in 1997, the exhibition moved to the gallery Klasik, Žilina, both in Slovakia. It was also their first exhibition, where all eight projects were presented (Heliopolis: Olympic City, Akusticon: Homage to M. Filip, Homage to Hope and Courage: Memorial to E.A. Cernan, Istroport: Port on the Danube, Antarctica: To Those Daring to Seek, Scarabea: Space City, People’s Assembly of Argillia: Homage to Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, E-temen-an-ki: Sheraton Hotel Babylon). Search in Google Scholar

[2] Kupkovič, Ľ., Mecková, V., Mlynárčik, A. (1995) “VAL - Cesty a aspekty zajtrajška” (exhibition catalogue), Žilina, Slovakia. Search in Google Scholar

[3] Restany, P. (1995) “Inde - Alex Mlynárčik”, Slovenská národná galéria, Bratislava, Slovakia. Search in Google Scholar

[4] Theory of prospective architecture is defined by Michel Ragon in the publication: Ragon, M. (1963) “Où vivrons-nous demain?”, Édition Robert Laffont, Paris, France. A Czech translation was subsequently published in Czechoslovakia: Ragon, M. (1967) “Kde budeme žít zítra?”, Mladá fronta, Prague, Czechoslovakia. Later, in 1965, the manifesto of the G.I.A.P. group (Groupe International d’architecture prospective) was published, initiated by Michel Ragon. In the late 1970s, he published an “encyclopedia” of prospective architecture in which one of the projects of VAL also appeared: Ragon, M. (1978) “Histoire mondiale de l’architecture et de l´urbanisme moderne, Prospective et futurologie”, Casterman, Paris, France. Search in Google Scholar

[5] Ragon, M. (1971-1972) “Alex Mlynárčik”, Chroniques de l’art vivant XXVI(41), p. 20. Search in Google Scholar

[6] Exhibition “Voies et Aspectes du Lendemain, VAL 1967-1976” (1977) took place in Galerie Lara Vincy in Paris, France. Search in Google Scholar

[7] Excerpt from the foreword by Alexander Valentovič for the exhibition catalogue “Voies et Aspectes du Lendemain, VAL 1967-1976”, later published in the journal Projekt: Valentovič, A. (1992) “VAL 1968 až 1989”, Projekt XXXIV(1), pp. 8-19, and also in the catalogue of the exhibition “VAL - Cesty a aspekty zajtrajška” (1996) in the Umelecká beseda in Bratislava, Slovakia. Search in Google Scholar

[8] Excerpt from the afterword by Antonín Stuchl for the catalogue for the exhibition “Voies et Aspectes du Lendemain, VAL 1967-1976”, later published in the cataloque of the exhibition “VAL - Cesty a aspekty zajtrajška” (1996) in the Umelecká beseda in Bratislava, Slovakia. Search in Google Scholar

[9] Ragon, M. (1978) “Histoire mondiale de l’architecture et de l´urbanisme moderne, Prospective et futurologie”, Casterman, Paris, France. Search in Google Scholar

[10] Valentovič, A. (1992) “Radosť z napätia”, Projekt XXXIV(1), p. 2. Search in Google Scholar

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[18] Šmejkal, F. (1975) “Kosmické vejce”, Umění/Arts XXIII, pp. 226-258; an excerpt from this article was included in the catalogue “VAL - Cesty a aspekty zajtrajška” (1996). Search in Google Scholar

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[22] In addition to the exhibitions that are mentioned in the text, also: “World Biennial of Architecture INTERARCH ´89” (1989) in Sofia, Bulgari; “Středoevropské forum IV - Slovensko IV” (2011) and “Od Tiziana po Warhola” (2012) in the Olomouc Museum of Art, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Search in Google Scholar

[23] The exhibition “Akce slovo pohyb prostor” (1999) took place in Prague City Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic. Search in Google Scholar

[24] Ragon, M. (1967) “Kde budeme žít zítra”, Mladá fronta, Prague, Czechoslovakia. Search in Google Scholar

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[27] theorists Petr Wittlich, Dalibor Veselý, artists Milan Knížák, Václav Cigler, Karel Malich, Hugo Demartini, Stanislav Kolíbal Search in Google Scholar

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[33] The exhibition “Slovenské vizuálne umenie 1970-1985” (2002/2003) took place in the Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia. It was curated by Aurel Hrabušický. Search in Google Scholar

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[35] The exhibition “Slovenský obraz (antiobraz), 20. storočie v slovenskom výtvarnom umení”, (2008) was organized by Slovak National Gallery and took place in the Prague Castle Riding School, Prague, Czech Republic. It was curated by Katarína Bajcurová, Aurel Hrabušický, Katarína Müllerová. Search in Google Scholar

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[39] Cytlak, K. (2017) “L’architecture prospective en Tchécoslovaquie. Convergences et divergences entre l’approche du groupe slovaque VAL (1968-1994) et la théorie architecturale de Michel Ragon”, RIHA Journal 0179, 25 September 2017. [online] Available at: http://www.riha-journal.org/articles/2017/0179-cytlak [Accessed: 16 May 2020] Search in Google Scholar

[40] Hypertrophy of the cities, progressive urbanization of the countryside, city transport problems, use of new energies, new relationship with nature, air conditioning, spatial arrangement, expansion of people. Search in Google Scholar

[41] megastructures, space cities, underwater buildings, inflatable structures, house-sculpture, spatial cities, cities under the sea, mobile houses, flexible architecture etc. Search in Google Scholar

[42] simple geometric figures, ovoid figures, spirals and shells, domes and spheres and so on Search in Google Scholar

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