The proposal for the Victims of Communism Memorial is situated on a Letna hill in Prague. The task was to create a functioning connection between the center of the city – Old Town Square and Letna.
The concept derives from the effort to express the theme through symbols – the means of shaping the space, which would be clearly understood without the need of sculptural concretization of events or personalities. The form is based on the opposites: dark / light; valley / mountain; cramped / free; outside / inside; intimate / shared; permanent / transient.
Deriving from the opposites, an underground oblique cone that extends toward Letna, is created. Simplicity of form is an effort to find the most concise materialization of the symbols.
Each step of the path symbolizes 1,000 human destinies.
The proposal is based on a symbolic journey through the memories.
The memorial consists of two rows of flexible stems, which are placed along the path and symbolize human destinies. The stems ripple in the wind, creating the impression of waves along the way. The height of each stem is based on the life length of the victim. Stems form a symbolic gateway – the memories are vivid and lasting. The number of the “gates” is based on the number of executed victims of the communist regime. One millimeter of the stem is one day of the victim’s life. The point at which the stem is cut off is the moment of the execution. The stems are planted chronologically by the day of the execution.
Ideal landscape maintains equilibrium of numerous parameters, processes and actors. A mankind has been intervening in these parameters from the beginning of the colonization of the planet. But is it possible to understand the processes in such a complex system and to foresee its impact? The proposal is an experiment, a game which rules are difficult to decode. A common experience of causality ceases to function in this game. It is an analogy to human endeavor. The purpose here is to challenge the unambiguous statements and instructions.
The system of inputs from thousands of the potentiometers values allows to control the internal environment of a greenhouse, it enables subtle changes in temperature, humidity and soil, air flow intensity and color temperature of lights, sounds, and so on.
As in a real landscape, not every intervention deviates the system from its equilibrium, on the other hand, the minimum critical parameter change may lead to the collapse and death. The key here is that the visitors do not know the impact of their actions. Nonetheless they act. Either out of curiosity, to gain control or just because of the need to be an active part of the system.
The project is a proposal for the Czech pavilion exhibition at EXPO2015.