Lukáš Machalický
in the park
25.05. — 14.06.2018
Opening: 25. 05. 2018, 19h
Finissage: 15. 06. 2018, 19h

He always had a very ambiguous feeling about architecture shows. All those
models and floor plans spread around spaces made him uncertain and actually
even doubt the ability of architects to transform all their wonderful ideas
into a comprehensible, yet challenging set-up. As if architects would have
some kind of inner hatred towards the representation of their work besides
the actual realisation of the projects in question. No sensitivity towards
the character of a given space, no imagination to evolve things further
than a couple of simplifying formats and media. A rendering, a 3D model, a
little paper house and all around those immensely annoying panels shouting
out loud: “I don’t give a shit about graphic design”. For him, walking
through the architectural biennial was the biggest imaginable bore and
there were never enough beer stands in the vicinity to put his mind to rest.
The only thing he loved and enjoyed every time was the vivid experience of
the actual masterplan of the Giardini, layered like pages from a textbook
of modern political history. The pavilions resonating with 19th century
national sentiments, reflecting already obsolete political contexts and
relations of a group of respected nation states back then shining with the
pride of modern independence and currently rather manifesting the total
failure of numerous utopias. Like a miniature model of the European project
and it’s changing moods.
Maybe even more important than the actual structures, he thought, were all
the paths, staircases, canals and bridges over them, connecting everything,
forming a Raumplan of relationships.
The general idea of a park, historically a pleasurable hideout for the
aristocracy, later on opening its gates to the public, made him think of
bio-power and social control of any kind of a society. Just imagine the
Central Park, a chaotic tangle of representational references, formed in
the strongest possible contrast to a precise grid structure of the city
surrounding it. “You are obliged to work 24/7, yet for little moments of
rest we decided to generously grant you the privilege to step through the
rabbit’s hole and relax, amongst a decently wild vegetation, possibly also
to observe caged animals and eat an ice-cream, no drinks or cigarettes
The park is our urban illusionary representation of the idea of tamed
nature, a safe haven precisely designed for the mindset of a modern human
being. Such an approach goes hand in hand with the model of entertainment
parks, as if we are talking Disneyland, miniature Europe or some random
rollercoaster playground. They are all evoking possible dangers, mimicking
real means to activate our emotions; fear, joy, pleasure, yet keeping their
visitors on the safe side. The Wicked Witch is just a wax figurine and her
spells - smoke and mirrors.
How far is all this from ideas of the world as a mere projection - a form
of Matrix?
Architectural exhibitions, models and floorpans are entertainment parks for
a specific audience. An audience tuned to a unique form of perception. He
knew that, and he felt entitled to be in sync. Nevertheless, he remained
convinced that he was being lied to and those architects just wanted to
trick him into believing that there is just one and only option.
Architecture performs far beyond materials and shapes, he was certain of
that, and not alone in such thinking, so he started to imagine an ideal
model, expressed as a landscape, keeping the idea of a park in mind. A park
as a fundamental manifestation of human desire to escape from their
prevalent conditions. Not in a real scale, staying representational, yet
already palpable. Almost like a diorama you can enter. His intention was to
stay quite metaphorical, present real elements in vicarious form reaching
out for help to banal objects and tools. To take into account natural
elements as fire, water, air and earth and keeping in mind Semper’s Four
Elements of Architecture: hearth, roof, enclosure and mound. Merging them
into one variously interpretable melange.
But he was a person of quick passing thoughts, so he never realised such a
Jen Kratochvil

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