Split, October 24-27, 2022

Between October 24-27, 2022, the final part of the FLOWING CONNECTIONS (FLOC) project will be held in the city of Split and its surroundings. It is the last stop of a three-year international collaborative project that dealt with issues of creative reuse of modernist and post-industrial spaces in post-socialist Europe. After the OSTRALE Biennale O21 in Dresden and exhibitions in Budapest and Kaunas, we are organizing a series of public events in Split:

◦ MONDAY, 24.10. at 18:00> RAZRED/ HOME OF THE YOUTH> presentation of the FLOC project: OSTRALE Biennale O21 in Dresden and its iterations in Budapest and Kaunas with the theme "curating in pandemic / isolation". We will also present a program of artistic residencies in Budapest and announce an exchange with Art Quarter Budapest in 2023.

◦ WEDNESDAY, 26.10. at 7 p.m.> LECTURE AND CONVERSATION AT THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, SPLIT > Marija Dremaite (Vilnius): MODERNISM FOR THE FUTURE (see more below for details)

◦ THURSDAY, 27.10. at 11 a.m. - organized trip to Krvavica, visit to the former Children's health resort built in 1964, designed by the architect Rikard Marasović. From today we accept applications for the tour exclusively by email > slobodne.veze@gmail.com 

Slobodne veze / Loose Associations and their associates have been dealing with the issues of the critical reevaluation and preservation of the modernist architectural heritage of the second half of the 20th century through the activities of the MOTEL TROGIR project. The project consists of many activities and has developed a specific methodology which can be described as a combination of civic activism and scientific, publishing and educational work, including curating and producing contemporary art projects.

At the beginning of 2020, Slobodne veze were invited to (co)curate the international contemporary art biennial in Dresden OSTRALE Biennale O21: BREATHTURN. The large international exhibition took place in one of the neglected modernist buildings in the center of Dresden – the former workers' canteen of the ROBOTRON factory, an important landmark from the GDR period. The exhibition brought together over 130 artists from all over the world, and the biennale then had iterations in the Budapest Art Quarter (aqb) and in Kaunas (Kaunas 2022 European Capital of Culture). Modernist architecture and reflections about its future (and creative reuse) is the red line that connects Dresden, Budapest, Kaunas and Split.

The meeting of the partners of the FLOWING CONNECTIONS project in Split is conceived as a sort of recapitulation of three years of cooperation, but also as a public platform for discussing common topics. In addition to the above-mentioned events, which are open to the public, an artistic residency of the KOLXOZ Collective (Prague, Chisinau, Tiraspol) is organized, as well as a series of internal meetings, tours and networking with actors of the local cultural scene. Kaunas 2022, this year's European Capital of Culture, is one of the project partners that, with its focus on the interwar modernism of the city, through the program line MODERNISM FOR THE FUTURE, opens up a number of interesting topics. With a number of experts, an interdisciplinary project has been developed to nominate modernist districts of Kaunas for UNESCO's list of world cultural heritage. The lecture of Professor Marija Dremaita from the University of Vilnius will present the "phenomenon of the city of Kaunas" and its influence on the modernism of the middle and second half of the 20th century in Lithuania, touching on the "controversial" Soviet modernist legacy. The lecture is at the same time a link to the penultimate stop of the FLOC project and a contribution to bringing together geographically distant areas with similar preoccupations regarding the protection of modernist architectural and other cultural heritage.


Architecture of Optimism: The Kaunas Phenomenon (1919–1939) and its Aftermath through the 20th century


The new national states that emerged on the European map in 1918, after the collapse of the great European empires, became enthusiastic participants in the race to modernize. Kaunas, the provisional capital of the Republic of Lithuania in 1919-1939, presents a unique transformation of a provincial town into a modernist European city. After World War II and during the years of Soviet occupation Kaunas was developed as a center of heavy industry, but its inter-war architecture and interior design survived as an enduring testament to the legacy of an independent Lithuanian state and inspired the post-war Modernism of the 1960s and 1970s. Today, the legacy of Kaunas' Modernism has been rediscovered. The talk is focused on the continuity and change of Lithuanian Modernism and its dissonant heritage issues.

Marija Drėmaitė is a Professor at Vilnius University, Faculty of History. Her research is focused on 20th century architecture, industrial culture and cultural heritage. She curates exhibitions and publishes books on architectural history. She authored "Baltic Modernism: Architecture and Housing in Soviet Lithuania" (Berlin: DOM Publishers, 2017), "ARNO's FUNKtionalism: The Life and Works of Architect Arno Funkas (1898–1957)", Kaunas, 2022), and edited "Architecture of Optimism: The Kaunas Phenomenon, 1918–1940" (Vilnius: Lapas, 2018) with co-authors, and "Lithuanian Architects Assess the Soviet Era: The 1992 Oral History Tapes" (Vilnius: Lapas, 2020) with John V. Maciuika.

Slobodne veze / Loose Associations with their associates

FLOWING CONNECTIONS (FLOC) is a three-year international collaborative project supported by the European Union through the Creative Europe program. The project is co-financed by the Kultura nova Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the City of Split.

PARTNER INSTITUTIONS OF THE FLOC PROJECT: Art Quarter Budapest (Budapest, Hungary), Kaunas 2022 ECOC Office (Kaunas, Lithuania), OSTRALE – Center for Contemporary Arts (Dresden, Germany), Slobodne veze / Loose Associations (Split-Zagreb, Croatia).