The Mound of Vendôme at the Canadian Centre for Architecture

By Staff at Canadian Architect
Canadian Architect, June 22, 2014

On view at the CCA from June 19 to September 14,  2014 and curated by architectural historian David Gissen, The Mound of Vendôme revisits one key episode of French history when the Commune de Paris in 1871 voted to demolish the Vendôme Column, abolishing all allusions to the Napoleonic era. To protect the surrounding architecture during demolition, a radical landscape was erected on Place Vendôme. Informed by the methods of project and installation at the CCA traces the provocative history of the column and mound, while arguing for its historicization and reconstruction.

The mound is a seemingly simple yet provocative artifact: an ephemeral earthwork that became a central part of a radical attempt to transform urban iconography during the two-month rule of the Paris Commune in 1871. In his research and contemporary architectural proposal, David Gissen recalls this lost structure and offers new ways of thinking about memorial landscapes and monumental forms. As mirrors of the past, architectural monuments are reminders of collective memories and socio-political powers. Yet monuments are also subject to changes in values, representations and social tensions overtime. Read more…

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