Think Nonument! Together

SAVE Think Nonument! Together

Last Submission Date: 15, may 2020

Type: Open Competition

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About Competition

(Text as available on organizer’s website)

For the last two years, the Nonument Group has researched and intervened into the changed circumstances of twentieth-century architecture and monuments. We defined nonuments as twentieth-century architecture, monuments, public spaces and infrastructural projects that have lost or undergone a shift in symbolic meaning as a consequence of political and social changes. We unveiled a wealth of stories from the past, physical remains and intangible traces, as well as many absurdities of the present, unseen ideological forces and newly formed fascinations.

The neologism Nonument denotes negation; but there are as many ways to negate an existing structure as there are possible affirmations of it. Sometimes both can be present at the same time, for example in a case of a botched renovation project or a misguided fetishization of a ruin. But a fact remains that our cultural bias is leaning toward the affirmative action: predominantly we research what is built, what is articulated and what is planned. However, we lack the resources and concepts to reveal the same vividness in the negation: of what was abandoned, discarded, destroyed or recontextualised.

First two years of The Nonument project were an attempt to breach this bias. We have opened a field of inquiry that doesn’t only observe and depict decaying architecture (there is an abundance of such websites and projects around) but also critically engages with the past and the present of these objects and the stories that lurk behind. In a way, a nonument is always more about the now than it is about the past. We want to address commodification, fetishization and destruction of memory, public spaces and buildings, as much as we want to engage with their histories. But now, it is time to reflect and regroup. And, above all, to ask others what they think. We want to offer an opportunity to publish reflections and interventions on nonuments and spatial negations that might have escaped our radar or that can enrich and change our initial concepts and queries. Such questions might include but are not limited to:

  • When have the buildings of the past became consummerable and when have they become unwanted?
  • How to react on fetishization of ruins and decay?
  • Is it possible to meaningfully intervene into nonuments at all?
  • How to deal with the plurality and even conflicts of different memories?
  • How does the relation between materiality, politics and economics manifest in nonuments?
  • How does the nonument you know intimately change the perception of nonuments as a whole?

 We welcome a wide range of contributions:

  1. In-depth research papers (2.500-5.000 words) that will be considered for our annual Nonument symposium
  2. Opinion articles (500-1.000 words) which will be published online, with a honorarium of 80-150 eur
  3. Recommendations for publishing new nonuments and case studies

Send us your proposals by 15th May on Please send us full papers or articles for 1. and 2. and representative material for 3. so we can get back to you with our feedback as soon as possible.

We are looking forward to think Nonument! with you.


About the organizer

Nonument is an ongoing research and artistic project initiated by MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art from Ljubljana Slovenia, dedicated to archiving, mapping and studying the architectural heritage, monuments and public spaces of the 20th century. The Nonument Group, an international art collective, operates within the ambit of this platform. By staging artistic interventions, the collective calls attention to the importance of public spaces and the issues caused by nonsustainable management of architectural heritage. The Nonument website is part of the MAPS co-operation project. Six organisations have contributed to this database: CCEA (Prague), WH Media / Beamy Space (Vienna), Tačka Komunikacije (Belgrade), House of Humor and Satire (Gabrovo), ARTos Foundation (Nicosia) and MoTA – Museum of Transitory Art (Ljubljana). The project is co-financed by Creative Europe.


Photo: Marcel Gautherot: Brasília, 1959


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