Enchanting Views — Europalia Romania
© Nicu Ilfoveanu
Romanian Black Sea Tourism Planning and Architecture of the 1960s and ’70s — This exhibition explores the histories of built environment in socialist Romania by revisiting the role and significance of 1960s and '70s tourist architectural developments on the Black Sea Coast as agencies for knowledge transfers and alternative encounters between political strategies, professional discourses and the everyday social life in Eastern and Western Europe.
Examining the Romanian coastline planning strategies as part of the historiographies of leisure architecture in socialist spaces, the exhibition sees architecture as a sensitive seismometer that records the dynamics between the developer (the state), the architect and the consumer (the tourist). Projecting a new vision of socialist modernity, the realities of Black Sea architecture bring to our attention a wide range of narratives about architectural vocabulary and the shifts in architectural thinking and production taking place in the East.
Enchanting Views proposes a new reading of the visual and symbolic identity of the Romanian Black Sea coastline, placing architecture at the centre of a time-specific visual culture, and helps to understand the local tourism policies and the experiences of modernity. The structure of the exhibition is primarily interested in the process of visualising architecture, and raises questions about the practices of representation and contextualization of the architectural object, about the implications it had in both shaping individual and collective memory, in mirroring the core values of socialist societies and in creating new possibilities for correlating professional attitudes, practices and intellectual preoccupations.
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