The Semafor President (Gottwaldov Architectural Walking Trail)

Project sketches for the Third Space Open Call
Authors: Petr Dub & Svatopluk Sládeček

„Art in public space does not represent solitary objects selected according to exclusively aesthetic judgement. It shall serve as an apparatus for perceiving the broad field of historically-political context of the given place and its current social quality. “ (Semafor President)

We are interested in the degree to which our current society is sensitive to its own past and where has its ability to debate political capacity of public space shifted.
We do not politicize public space, we denominate places on the map which we as a society have tendentiously pushed out of our consciousness and our conscience.

We examine capacities of current discourse on „Figurative/memorial sculpture “. We utilize current artistic forms and history of physical architecture in order to form new juxtaposition.

We connect canonical art form (memorial sculpture) with architectural walk (movement through town).

Out of inanimate sculptural artefact, through our own re-interpretation, we fashion practical visual gesture and a memento capable of its own new life, and new function.

We are not interested in only one selected location of the city of Zlín.

We understand the city as an urban network and architectural memory of crucial historically-political turn, with equal right to a contextual description.

Revolutions almost completely remove political symbols of the former power. We return them back to the place where they can not only evoke references, but also trigger new social impulses.

We are focused locally, but, at the same time, we draw attention to the nationalistic issues going far beyond the border of today’s Zlín.

6. technical specification – the FORM of the educational walking TRAIL
The project is modelled on educational and popularizing walking trails.

We intend to build a network of 10 – 12 informational panels in the urban area, connected to the history of communist-era Zlín.

It will take form of small (40 x 40 cm max.) engraved informational panels placed on level with the footpath that will bear historical names of the institutions, information on the current use of the buildings, and a reminder of the original function, historical events, and architectural specifics.

The graphics of the fonts and the visual motifs used for the walking trail will cite and re-interpret the original sculptural form of the memorial. Panels will be inscribed in Czech, German, and English languages.