Architectures Beyond the Plinth
An exploration of the blurred line between a monument’s explicitly political form and the implicit political meaning of seemingly insignificant architectural objects and public spaces
1st edition, 2018
Text English and Estonian
176 pages, 55 color and 50 b/w illustrations
15 x 24 cm
Monuments represent power: explicitly and simply, but not universally. In Estonia, the classical notion of a monument is a strange appearance. Its presence is marginal, its tradition nonexistent and its form tormented by an apparent cultural displacement. The statue on a square never claimed the central position so common in Western Europe. This semantic void directs attention to other, less exceptional pieces of architecture. Sometimes a stairway marks a politically charged location, or a pavement becomes symbolic. Instead of explicit meanings inscribed in marble and bronze, an implicit charge is revealed that might be weaker yet more relevant, for it cannot be openly questioned what is only implicit.
Weak Monument, published in conjunction with the Estonian pavillion at the 2018 International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, explores the blurred line between a monument’s explicitly political form and the architecture of everyday. It juxtaposes classical monuments with seemingly insignificant architectural objects and public space in a collection of images and drawings, archival as well as newly commissioned ones, alongside essays and brief texts.
With contributions by Laura Linsi, Roland Reemaa, and Tadeáš Ríha; Tom Avermaete; Eik Hermann; Klaus Platzgummer; Margrethe Troensgaard; and an interview with Toomas Paaver.