Marcela HanáčkováChercheuse invitée

15 septembre - 30 novembre 2021

Currently works as a research fellow at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. Here, in the frames of the research project Architecture and Politics, she specialises on a complexity of implementation of socialist realism via Soviet friendships organizations (with the assistance of Soviet VOKS) in both inter-war and post-war times. Prior to that she has worked as a researcher and a teaching assistant at several European institutions and universities. Her research was awarded by numerous grants and scholarships. She graduated from gta/ETH Zurich with a dissertation CIAM and the Cold War. Helena Syrkus between Modernism and Socialist Realism, 2019. Her recent research focuses on early post-war European architecture. It compares Soviet Cold War politics of disseminating socialist realism with its reception by Eastern and Western European left-wing architects. As such, it questions the dichotomy between modernism and socialist realism as two opposing concepts of architectural discourse and practise.


Publications (selected)

  • Marcela Hanáčková, “Building a New Warsaw – Building a Social Warsaw. The First Reconstruction Plans and their International Review”, in: Re-humanizing Architecture. New Forms of Community 1950-1970, ed. Ákos Moravánszky and Judith Hopfengärtner (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2016), 203-217.
  • Marcela Hanáčková, “Team 10 and Czechoslovakia. Secondary Networks”, in: Team 10 East: Revisionist Architecture in Real Existing Modernism, ed. Stanek, Łukasz (Warsaw: Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2014), 73-99.
  • Marcela Hanáčková, “Karel Teige and Urban Planning. Socialist and Functionalist Concepts on the Background of CIAM Congresses” [in Czech: “Karel Teige a urb anismus. Město socialistické a město funcionalistické na pozadí kongresů CIAM”], in: Pro R. Š. aka Grand Master, ed. Terezie Nekvindová and Karolína Jirkalová (Prague: Ausdruck Books, 2013), 18-25.

  • Marcela Hanáčková, “Liberec Lower Town Centre by SIAL. Three Ways of Designing the Town Centre” [in Czech: ”Dolní centrum Liberce v podání ateliéru SIAL. Tři přístupy při projektování center měst”], Architektúra a urbanismus, no. 3-4 (2011): 104-123.

  • Marcela Hanáčková, “Czech Group of CIAM after the Second World War” [in Czech: ”Česká skupina CIAM po druhé světové válce”], Umění (no. 2, 2008), 134-148.

Conferences (selected)

  • Marcela Hanáčková,“How the common man brought CIAM to crises. On new monumentality, new objectivity and socialist realism at Bergamo congress”,  Rethinking Europe. Artistic Production and Discourses of Art in the late 1940s and 1950s, Kunsthistorisches Insitut, University of Tuebingen, Germany, 2018.

  • Marcela Hanáčková, “On a Search for True Socialist Architecture. Helena Syrkus between Modernism and Socialist Realism in post-war CIAM”,  Makers of Modernity. Modernist Architects and Socio-Political Transformation in Central and Eastern Europe, 1920s-1950s, Irish College, KU Leuven, Belgium, 2017.

  • Marcela Hanáčková, “Coming back to CIAM.Central European Groups in Dubrovnik”, Living CIAM X, Centre for Advanced Academic Studies,Dubrovnik, Croatia, 2016.

  • Marcela Hanáčková, “Networking into the International Union of Architects (UIA) -Poland vs. Yugoslavia”, Transnational Networking Practices of Central and Southeast European Avant-garde,  Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University ofZagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, 2014, together with Tamara Bjažić Klarin.

  • Marcela Hanáčková, “Three examples of »humanistic« architecture in Czechoslovakia”, East West Central 01: Re-humanizing Architecture. New Forms of Community 1950-1970, gta Institute, Chair of Ákos Moravánszky, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, 2014.

  • Marcela Hanáčková,“Team 10 and Czechoslovakia. Secondary Networks”, Team 10 East Workshop,  Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, 2013.


Socialist realism as political and architectural practice

The year 1948 is considered to be an outbreak of the Cold War. It is also the year when Moscow intensified pressure on national communist parties and local Soviet friendship organizations both in the East and the West to indoctrinate socialist realism among the local artists. By these organizations socialist realism was presented as an opposite to Western capitalist modernism.

Even though the local communist artists seemed to usually accepted socialist realism and its arguments against modernism, it did not prevent them, or some of them, from maintaining certain modernist concepts, ideas and forms. This was especially true about the interwar avant-garde. Thus, curiously, there can be traced continuity between modernism and socialist realism.

There are two principal objectives of this research. First, to differentiate between political and artistic concepts of socialist realism and modernism. And second, to argue that modernism and socialist realism were not necessarily two opposing ideologies as it is still largely presented in literature.

The research is planned to be executed in two Western and two Eastern countries and it is focused on post-war architecture. In France, it intends to study the efforts of the local communist party and Soviet friendship organization to indoctrinate socialist realism and to examine its reception by two left-wing architects with modernist background: André Lurçat and Anatole Kopp.