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2008, Fri, Aug 29 — 2008, Sun, Oct 26

In the desert of modernity - the exhibition

Cité Verticale im Carrières Centrales, ATBAT-Afrique, Casablanca, 1953 | Courtesy of Avery Library Special Collections, Columbia University, New York

Cité Verticale im Carrières Centrales, ATBAT-Afrique, Casablanca, 1953 | Courtesy of Avery Library Special Collections, Columbia University, New York

The exhibition reveals the ambivalences in the relationship between colonial tyranny and the utopias of modernity, showing the degree to which civilising and modernist utopias are grounded in colonialism, the ruptures within colonialism and resistance to it. It also vividly displays the events, projects, activities and visions which, at the time of decolonisation between North Africa and Europe, once played – and continue to play – such an important role. The exhibition traces the histories of inhabitants, architects, colonialists and scientists involved in the debate over modernity and modernisation.

The architectural models, illustrations and plans by Georges Candilis, Michel Écochard, Alison and Peter Smithson, and Le Corbusier capture the visions and concepts of modernist utopias. Rarely seen film footage of contemporary events and developments, as well as contemporaneous works of art by Kader Attia and Hassan Darsi mirror historical developments. Posters and pamphlets, as well as photographs by Monique Hervo, Loïk Prat on Robert Doisneau and Willy Ronis, bear witness to aesthetic approaches to the post-colonial situation and its political struggles.

Visitors are guided through chapters such as the Atelier Afrique – introduced by the poster Der Kolonialsoldat: Erbauer des Imperiums (the colonial soldier: architect of the empire) – and Transnational Colonialism. In Architekten auf der Reise (architects on their travels), orientalising accounts by Le Corbusier provide a marked contrast to CHAIBIA’s paintings; Operation Million shows the planners of reasonably priced mass-housing projects and the inhabitants of Moroccan Bidonvilles and French Banlieues in action. Furthermore, interviews, photographic works, videos and new models will be specially produced in co-operation with the media collective Labor k3000, students of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, and the faculty of architecture at the Delft University of Technology.

Thematic guided tours

Sundays 3 p.m., € 3 plus admission

Curators, architects, artists and scientist present insights, from a specific point of view, into the contradictory transnational relationships of post-war modernity

Guided tours to the exhibition

By arrangement

For school classes € 40 incl. admission, for groups € 50 plus admission (Guided tours in other languages by request)

Guided tours on the history, present and future of the Congress Hall by request

Information and registration for the guided tours: Next Interkulturelle Projekteinfo@next-kultur.org I Tel.: 030 – 39 78 71 80


Lázaro Abreu, Luis Álvarez, Arsac A., Ascoral des Jeunes, Association les Engraineurs, Atelier Archives Audiovisuelles BDIC , Kader Attia, Élie Azagury, Jacques Belin, Claude Beraud, Vladimir Bodiansky, Georges Candilis, Giancarlo de Carlo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Chaïbia, Hassan Darsi, Robert Doisneau, Michel Écochard, Pierre-André Emery, Patrick Forest, Jesús Forjans, Gérard-Aimé, Georges Godefroy, Faïza Guéne, Marcel Gut, Jean Hentsch, Monique Hervo, Bernhard Hoesli, François Issaverdens, Romain Jeannot, Alexis Josic, Élie Kagan , Bernard Kennedy, Labor k3000, J. Lambert, Yasmeen Lari, Le Corbusier, Guy Le Querrec, Jean de Maisonseul, Mario Marret, Pierre Mas, Louis Miquel, Janine Niepce, L. Ouhayoun, Henri Piot, Jean Pottier , Fernand Pouillon, Loïk Prat , Bernard Richard, Willy Ronis, Alfrédo Rostgaard, Bernard Rudofsky, Moshe Safdie, Roland Simounet, Wit Sklias, Alison und Peter Smithson, André Studer, L. Tamborini, Marcelle Vallet, Aldo Van Eyck, Jean Vidal, J. Wattez und Shadrach Woods.

A project by

Marion von Osten, Serhat Karakayali and Tom Avermaete in collaboration with Mogniss Abdallah, An Architektur, Wafae Belarbi, Madeleine Bernstorff, Casamémoire Casablanca, Elsa de Seynes, Jesko Fezer, Kanak Attak, Brigitta Kuster, La Scource du Lion Casablanca, Labor k3000, Andreas Müller, Remember Resistance, Peter Spillmann, Anna Voswinkel, Daniel Weiss and students at the Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, the faculty of architecture at the Delft University of Technology, the École Supérieure d’Architecture de Casablanca.