In many countries in Europe, fascism and modernism were and are often still presented as opposing forces. This is true especially in the field of architecture, whose 20th century nationalist and National Socialist proponents preferred a traditionalist style. Historically however, there are many hybrids of modernism and fascism, particularly in Italy, where modernist architecture received massive state sponsorship and played an important role in embodying and communicating fascist ideals. Rossella Biscotti and Kevin van Braak highlight this hybridity in their contribution to the 2018 edition of steirischer herbst in Graz (AT), the newest installation of their ongoing research into the ambivalences of fascist-inspired architecture. Their project recalls the formal and architectural language of the Colonie Marine, seaside holiday resorts built in great numbers on Italy’s coasts in the 1920–30s to provide underprivileged children and youth from poor regions access to vacations, during which they were subject to ideological indoctrination. This included the experience of the architecture itself: futurist steamliner curves and cleaned-up neoclassical proportions supplied a corporeal experience of fascism’s views of vitality, technology, and community living. In their installation in Graz, Biscotti and Van Braak freely recombine the straight lines, towers, and spirals of various Colonie Marine resorts in fictitious models. Their installation occupies the same site as the one where Hans Haacke famously reconstructed a neoclassical Nazi obelisk in 1988, and it addresses fascism from its modernizing, no less terrifying side.
source: introduction text steirische herbst – 2018 (Volksfronten)
Temporary installation from 20-9-2018 till 14-10-2018