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"Politics and Architecture" | Dietrich Neumann

12:0018:00 h
Venue: Pavelló Mies van der Rohe
Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 7
08038 Barcelona
Price: Free event

The talk by Dietrich Neumann, professor, architect and historian, offers us a reflection on the complex political context of the genesis and execution of the Pavilion that Ludwig Mies van Rohe and Lilly Reich designed in 1929 and its representative role, and questions whether the Pavilion was the simple representation of the young democracy of the Weimar Republic that is often assumed.

There are very few photos of the 1929 Pavilion, all in black and white, which bear witness to different moments during its few months of existence. Among them we can discover a few differences: the red curtain was not there on the day of the inauguration, nor was the word “Germany” which appeared later by the steps and on the travertine wall opening onto the garden, and the large flags used on the Pavilion’s flagpoles were not always the same.

The flag of Germany, which the country still uses today, had been introduced in 1919 with the founding of the Weimar Republic. However, many conservatives, including members of the German Volkspartei (DVP), still preferred the flag of the previous regime, with its black, white and red stripes, which for them symbolised the strength, achievements and stability of the Kaiserreich that had come to an end in 1918. Dietrich Neumann’s research reveals that both flags (which looked immense) were raised in the German Pavilion.

The intervention now invites us to see again in the Pavilion some of these elements that were once there or others that allude to them and that want to point out the weight of the symbols and the precariousness of their historical reinterpretations: the flags, the letters proclaiming the name of the country that were not there on the day the Pavilion was inaugurated, some photos from 1929 that were coloured in afterwards, and the table that Mies van der Rohe and Reich designed for the Book of Honour.

Join us on Saturday 11 November for the opening of the intervention with Dietrich Neumann who will present the results of his research and discuss the controversy involved and the close links between architecture and politics.

“Politics and; Architecture” | Dietrich Neumann