Villa Tugendhat, designed by a German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, represents not only an iconographic historical monument but also a silent symbol of the transformation of political and economic systems in the Kingdom of Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic and of the today´s Czech Republic. The house displays private stories of its first Jewish inhabitants and following changes of ownership and cultural policies. The photomontage titled Reciprocal Sea refers mainly to the search for a status of cultural ownership, pertinence to a specific geographical place or to an internal complex of a nation without any access to the see but also to a kind of building as such. The formal shape of the villa can be easily mistaken for the typology of today´s luxurious (post) functional buildings constructed on the coasts of most oceans. Neither a popular passion of summer visits of Adriatic resorts nor contemporary optimization of tax burden in insular paradises changes anything on the fact that the villa is actually 236 high meters far from the see level. The vision of a beach nearby the villa is represented by the flood extending on 90 % of the lowland where Brno is located. In that case the sea owned by Czechs still remains in the level of an unfulfilled artistic dream and national utopia.
(Original photography by David Židlický)