The exhibition has been organised in a chronology of historical events and the “life cycle” of monuments. When comparing the different histories of monuments we see a certain recurrence of successive stages: the conditions necessary for the monument to be created, the adaptation of the idea to the social and political reality, the shape which the monument acquires in the artist’s studio and on the erection site, the unveiling of the monument, its use during official celebrations and subversive public events and, finally, the monument’s decay – both material and symbolic, which takes place parallel to the fading or fall of the political system which had founded it. The narrative was built on the basis of archival plans, documents and maquettes thanks to which is was possible to recreate the histories of the 22 monuments erected or planned in Central and Eastern Europe after the end of World War I and until contemporary times. The examples presented have been selected for reason of their artistic quality or an extraordinarily interesting history.
In the gallery titled Conditions we show how monuments have been erected, to whom they were dedicated, and how their form was conceived. Their locations were also important – a prominent elevation in the landscape, an intersection of transportation routes, or a central site in a city are usually marked by monuments. It is in such locations that monument palimpsests are created.