1978 , IRL
AdBK Wien

Phelim McConigly

In his diploma work, Phelim McConigly explores aspects of the Modernist heritage with negative historical connotations and the ways in which these landmarks could be rehabilitated and preserved, or otherwise “handed down“ to successive generations. How does one find new, legitimate frames of reference for buildings and monuments which before 1989 had a certain role, carried specific meanings, and have since fallen into disrepair, neglected because of a psychologically notivated distance from them? McConigly tackles the issue of re-assessment and finding potential solutions to this dilemma by focusing on a specific site – the former Museum of Medicine of the Georgi Stranski in Pleven University Hospital, Bulgaria (1965 – 1989). His research was conducted in the form of an oral history with the building’s architect, Atanas Petrov. McConigly has in fact named after Petrov a foundation that he established as a platform for developing curatorial projects based around this subject. The future idea is discussed in terms of the rehabilitation of the Museum of Medicine as an institution which is itself parasitical on its hosting health facilities, and inquiring into the role of the artist in processes of this kind. He attempts to find answers to this question and possible ways of developing the space in the sense of “decolonizing the idea“ proposed by Eduard Viveiros de Castro, namely, away from the hegemony of scientific rationalism, which can itself be regarded as the product of colonization. The result of this multi-layered project working with the archeology of Modernism is a hermetic but compelling and provocative installation accompanied by a publication detailing the ideas behind the piece.