Lifting the Curtain
Central European Architectural Networks
June 7th 2014 till November 23th 2014

Lifting the Curtain

The project was realised as a collateral event of La Biennale di Venezia - 14. International Architectural Exhibition with the collaboration of organisations from five countries. This was the first occassion for Hungary to be represented outside its national pavilion at the Biennale.

The contribution of Central Europe to the formation and dissemination of modernity is largely unknown or seen as a marginal episode in post-war historiographies of global modern architecture, due in part to its long term isolation from Western discourse. This situation also reinforced the currently dominant national narratives of modernism in post-socialist countries.

This project explores key transitions that formed modernity in Central Europe from a different perspective. Its intention is to highlight cross border and cross disciplinary transfers, which reveal a different understanding of the networks of modern architecture.

In a lateral move between national and object narratives, the exhibition focuses not on the elements but the mechanisms of production. Focusing on the post war period but reaching back to the end of the Monarchy and on to today, it presents case studies in six themes that explore the individuals, institutions, events, technologies and other actors who established exchanges between and far beyond the countries of the region. These provide the platform, which helps reconnect the architecture of Central Europe with the global discourses of modernism.

The exhibition received significant international press coverage. Following the Venice Biennale, it will be shown in 2015-2016 in Vienna, Belgrade, Zagreb, Budapest, Prague, Brussels, Warsaw and other cities in Europe.

The exhibition is also the start of a long term collaboration and publications that will make accessible the key texts and primary source documents of the region's architecture history, as well as new research findings. The series will continue to highlight network connections, knowledge production and exchange as its key perspective.

Project credits:

Venue: Centro Culturale Don Orione Artigianelli (Sala Tiziano) Dorsoduro 919, Venezia

Exhibition duration: June 7 – November 23, 2014
Exhibition opening: June 6, 2014, 3 pm
Organiser: Polish Modern Art Foundation, Warsaw

TRACE– Central European Architectural Research Think-tank;
CCEA – Centre for Central European Architecture, Prague;
KEK – Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, Budapest;
ÖGFA – Austrian Association for Architecture, Vienna;
Platforma 9,81 – Institute for Research in Architecture, Zagreb/Split

Curators: Sarmen Beglarian (Polish Mondern Art Fundation), Piotr Bujas (TRACE), Igor Kovačević (CCEA), Iris Meder (ÖGFA), Maroje Mrduljaš (Platforma 9,81), Samu Szemerey (KÉK)

Research contribution: Contributors: Sarmen Beglarian, Dafne Berc, Markéta Březovská, Piotr Bujas, Adam Gebrian, Jelena Grbić, Karin Grohmannová, Alicja Gzowska, Daniella Huszár, Maja Ivanič, Jelica Jovanović, Aleksandra Kędziorek, Monika Konrad, Igor Kovacevic, Małgorzata Kuciewicz, Vladimir Kulić, Iris Meder, Maroje Mrduljaš, Szilvia Nagy, Zofia Płoska, Milan Rakita, Grzegorz Rytel, Gabriele Ruff, Dubravka Sekulić, Peter Szalay, Samu Szemerey, Ines Tolić, Yvette Vašourková, Miranda Veljačić, Markéta Žáčková.

Exhibition Design: Simone De Iacobis, Monika Konrad, Małgorzata Kuciewicz Graphic design: Jakub Jezierski Editor: Martin Tharp

Production: Polish Modern Art Foundation Project coordination: Zofia Borysiewicz, Gulia Gueci, Michael Koller, Katarzyna Sobczak, Christoph Thun

Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Instytut Adama Mickiewicza), Warsaw,
Foundation Kultura nova
Museum of Fine Arts (Szépművészeti Múzeum), Budapest,
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia,
Officina delle Zattere, Venice,
Pilsner Urquell, opening partner.

Project website:

Samu Szemerey

Samu Szemerey

Samu Szemerey is an architect and urbanist specializing on technology, creative industries and the built environment. As a consultant and strategist he works with cities, institutions and private clients. He has directed several workshops, research projects and curated exhibitions and public programs. He has taught, published and lectured internationally. He is a founding member and Director of Content at KÉK Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre and lead expert at Lechner Nonprofit Ltd where he works on developing urban services and coordinating smart city programs in Hungary.


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