The exhibition “Skirting the Center: Svetlana Kana Radevic in the Periphery of Postwar Architecture” sparked a lot of interest among the professional and general public. Below are just a few excerpts.
Financial Times on our exhibition at this year’s Biennale
The renowned Financial Times reported on the collateral event we are hosting at this year’s edition of Venice Biennale of Architecture, writing:
“As ever, there are surprises to discover scattered across the city. One of the collateral shows, an exhibition on Svetlana Kana Radevic, is among the most successful. A Yugoslav architect who studied in the US with Louis Kahn and then returned home to build radical, Brutalist structures and fill them with her striking furniture designs, the exhibition reveals how Radevic created her persona, consciously using her gender to plough a very individual path.”
An interview with one of our curators for the Tribune
The curator of the exhibition Dijana Vucinic talked to Owen Hatherley from the Tribune about “Skirting the Center” and presenting Kana and her work to the world.
“Yugoslavian post-war modernisation was certainly a great chance for architects. The entire country had been in a constant rebuilding process, and on a level that the majority of countries that succeeded Yugoslavia have never achieved again. As a practicing architect, I am very interested to see how architects and their work surpasses the transition process at various levels (…)
Being very aware, in every part of her career, of the environment she worked in, Kana was always able not only to adapt to, but also to understand and interpret the circumstances that define architecture and public space. The way she chose the tools and defined the ambiance in her work placed her on a much higher, international level, even though she was building and creating locally. She chose to base her practice in Montenegro as she had greater creative freedom here to build outside the constraints of an architectural culture driven by the real estate market.”
NYT magazine recommending Kana exhibition
Well-known and prestigious New York Times T magazine recommended the exhibition to its readers writing:
“The show, held at the Palazzo Palumbo Fossati, comprises a collection of recently discovered drawings, writings and photographs from the architect’s life and professional projects. Blueprints and images of her inaugural and prizewinning building, the Hotel Podgorica — a Brutalist structure that sits along the Moraca River — christen the entryway. From there, the works unfold like a diary, documenting an oeuvre that has, until now, gone largely underrecognized.”
Kana in Domus Magazine
Svetlana Kana Radevic was also featured in Domus Magazine, Italian architecture and design magazine, and the article was wonderfully written by Lorenzo Ottone.
“Above all, though, Kana has been a woman able to challenge both gender and geographical boundaries in a world that relied on (physical and ideological) borders. Kana was a female exception in an industry dominated by men, but also an elusive architect able to win awards and to conceive projects iconic for the history of Yugoslavia. However, she left a scarce biography and many questions behind her.”
The New York Review on Kana
“Skirting the Center: Svetlana Kana Radević on the Periphery of Postwar Architecture” was featured in renowned NY Review of Books, and the article was written by Sophie Pinkham.
“A central theme of “Skirting the Center” is Radević’s strategic use of her femininity. A whole room is dedicated to her almost obsessive attention to her appearance and self-presentation, drawing on the thousands of pictures of herself that she collected over the years. She cultivated her own image as if she were a movie star. Indeed, in photos from the 1960s she looks like she has stepped out of a Fellini film, with her smooth black hair curled up at the bottom, her cat-eye makeup, and her Roman nose. In one early set of photos, she wears a sleek black dress and high heels with pom-poms on the tips; in another, she’s in traditional Montenegrin garb: an ivory coat with gold embroidery over a lavender satin skirt. Even her ID card photos are gorgeous, the contours of her face caressed by shadow. In later years she sported a gigantic pair of tinted glasses. She’s not friendly, but she’s glamorous. This version of her is enshrined on a 2021 Montenegrin stamp. At every stage of life, she knew how to make herself an icon. In Montenegro she’s known by a single name: Kana.”
Many other national, regional and international media wrote about Kana’s career and life thus giving her the attention she deserves, and internationalising her oeuvre way beyond the borders of Montenegro where she created for the most part of her life.