Domenèc (born 1962 in Mataró, Spain; lives and works in Mataró).
A recreation of the monument to Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht built by Mies in 1926 and destroyed by the Nazis in 1935 as a humble hut. The title refers to the key concept of the second CIAM conference in 1929 about securing decent minimal level of existence for all, despite the current prevalence of shantytowns.
“In essence, the Existenzminimum project is also a part of this operation that aims to show the current marginality of modernity’s ethical and social principles. Nonetheless—and despite the lack of efficacious instruments to overcome the paralysis of resistance caused by the neo-conservative, aggressive nature of late capitalism—skepticism plays a limited role in Domènec’s work. For instance, when he deals with the fusion of the minimum dwelling—a concept debated at the CIAM architectural congress in Frankfurt in 1929 that sought to establish universal guidelines that would provide the entire world with a decent dwelling—and the alteration of the dimensions and the re-adaptation of a commemorative piece designed by the architect Mies van der Rohe in homage to Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht, leaders of the German Communist Left assassinated in 1919 by forces supported by the police.
“The monument loses all its original grandiloquence when it is turned into a minimum dwelling and literally rendered, at the hand of the artist, a bricolage kit. Thus, the monument becomes the basis for highly playful, micro-utopian daily experiences in real time, as was Domènec’s installation in the Parc de la Devesa in Girona. Much smaller in size, the replica he has built gives new life to the monument destroyed in 1933 by fascist barbarism; on a human scale, it traces a connection between the utopian power of modernity’s liberating ideologies and its hypothetical critical re-adaptations. The small, almost bunker-shaped nomadic dwelling suggests that it is possible to undertake practices that resist and crack the reigning consensus.”
—Jordi Font Aguiló, “Existenzminimum, 2002,” in Modernologies: Contemporary Artists Researching Modernity and Modernism (Barcelona: Museu d’art contemporaini de Barcelona, 2009), 68.