The Structure of Modernity: Edvard Ravnikar and His Quests
30. 11. 2023—19. 5. 2024
Main exhibition, Ravnikar Year 2023
Edvard Ravnikar (1907–1993) defined the space of modern Slovenian society and state, transformed our understanding of the role of the architect, and opened architecture to creative doubt and incomplete design experiments. The significance of Ravnikar’s legacy and the question of the preservation of architectural heritage of the 20th century calls for its actualisation in the spirit of the 21st century. Ravnikar’s spaces have significantly shaped the process of independent Slovenia, as well as its social and political upheavals; and they raise questions of accessible public space, energy, programme, and the seismic retrofitting of buildings. These challenges call for responsible interventions combining the preservation of heritage with the adaptation of such to a social and environmental present that is fundamentally different from Ravnikar’s time.
These are the questions that the exhibition at MAO addresses. Based on detailed research of donations related to Ravnikar’s legacy from Ravnikar’s heirs and the Faculty of Architecture, the exhibition will present the complex development of some of Ravnikar’s key works rather than an overview of his entire oeuvre. It was Ravnikar who redirected the development of Slovenian modernism towards a distinct and regionally inspired language, which was, however, constantly in touch with the global architectural scene.
The exhibition will present four veins of Ravnikar’s work in detail: his monuments from the 1950s (especially the monuments at Rab, Draga, and Goreljek, which created an entirely new modernist sense of poetics in connection with the landscape); the public buildings in Kranj (especially the Kranj Municipal Building, which, along with Plečnik’s NUK, is perhaps the most important overall architectural work of art of 20th century Slovenia); Square of the Revolution – today’s Square of the Republic – with its representative complex of state institutions (with which Ravnikar created the form, scale, and space of Slovenian statehood); and his urban planning projects (especially his visionary plans for Skopje and Venice, which are in today’s time of social and environmental turmoil perhaps even more meaningful than when they were created). The MAO exhibition will include a presentation of Ravnikar’s sketches in the reception hall at Cankarjev dom, Ravnikar’s holistically conceived ambient-rich creation in the very heart of the city. The sketches will present Ravnikar’s fantasy-rich inner world to the general public, a world that differs considerably from the seemingly rational process of creating extensive modernist complexes.
The exhibition will present Ravnikar’s remarkable oeuvre with authentic source material: original plans and sketches, original and newly commissioned models, rich photography and film materials, accounts and testimonies from Ravnikar’s colleagues, and material from Ravnikar’s teaching and research. The exhibition will be accompanied by a bilingual monograph on Ravnikar, with contributions by local and international experts.
Curator: Miloš Kosec
Co-curator: Susanna Campeotto
Exhibition Design: a2o2 arhitekti – Klara Bohinc, Andraž Keršič, Žiga Ravnikar, Eva Senekovič, Uršula Novak, Aljoša Potočnik (vizualizacije postavitve/3D renderings)
Graphic Design: items
Project Manager: Nikola Pongrac
New Photographs: Peter Žargi
Expert Associates: Maruša Dražil, Nika Novak
New Scale Models: Susanna Campeotto, Nuša Jurkovič, Samo Kralj, Silvo Ležič
Video and animations: items
Preparation of Audio Material: Boštjan Perovšek, SAETA – Zavod za kulturne in promocijske aktivnosti
Translations and Proofreading: Jeff Bickert, Marjana Onišak, Katja Paladin, Andreja Šalamon Verbič
Accompanying Programme: Natalija Lapajne, Maja Šuštaršič
Public Relations: Smilja Štravs
Marketing: a2o2 arhitekti, Nataša Celec, Maja Šuštaršič, Maja Vardjan
Technical Realisation: Matjaž Rozina, Tadej Golob; Zala, Matej, Tine, Tara, Eva, Patricija, Peter, Aleš; Tomaž in/and Rok Špendov, Maks Fister, Boštjan Varl; Jože, Davorin in Gašper Polončič; Okvir, d. o. o.; Artiko, d. o. o.; RPS, d. o. o.; Primomontt, d. o. o.
Majda Kregar in/and Edo Ravnikar ml/Jr.; Ana Mavko; Julijan Bevc; Suna Bizjak; Anton Bohinc, Bo Retro; Eva Eržen, Afront; Miha Dešman, Fakulteta za arhitekturo/Faculty of Architecture, UL; Branko Filipič, RPS; Ana Gale; Gorenjski muzej/Gorenjska Museum, Kranj; Edin Kovačevič; Janez Koželj; Tomaž Krušec; Silvo Ležič; Dane Majkić; Matej Mašera, Birografika Bori; Mateja Mlakar; Matjaž Rakovec, Mestna občina Kranj/City of Kranj; Rok Omahen, RTV Slovenija; Območna razvojna agencija Krasa in Brkinov/Regional Development Agency of Karst and Brkini; Neža Petelin; Franc Pezdirc; Jože Polončič, Janez Suhadolc; Primož Šiftar; Rok Špendov; Tomaž Špendov; Aleš Vodopivec; Nataša Ülen; Franc Weingerl
We have reused the tables from the Stanko Kristl, Architect. Humanity and Space exhibition (designed by Dekleva Gregorič Architects) and The World Inside: Designing Modern Interiors, 1930-Today (designed by Raketa). The exhibition also uses video and animation created for the project Invisible Houses, led by Afront, an institute for spatial innovation, in collaboration with Tina Potočnik.
MAO program is supported by
Lighting Sponsor in the Great Tower: ARCADIA, d.o.o., Ljubljana, together with partner: ESSE-CI srl, Vigonza – Padova, Italy