The exhibition Žijeme (We Live or Living) presented by VI PER Gallery shows a long-term project by Slovakian-born Canadian-American artist Katarina Burin that examines the history of modern architecture.The central figure of her most recent project is architect Petra Andrejova-Molnár, whom Burin poses as an overlooked personality, engaged in the development of avant-garde architecture in Central Europe and, above all, in the interwar Czechoslovakia. This exhibition, in which Burin revisits the vibrant architecture and art environment of Brno, both reestablishing and destabilizing its contributions to the larger international modernist scene, re-creates and displays the real and fictional contents of a small design store Žijeme which she opened together with Hana Kučerová-Záveská in Brno between 1928–1931. Žijeme sold decorative objects by local Czech designers, as well as a small selection of furniture, but also provided a social and artistic platform for Brno and the larger Eastern European community between the two world wars. Both architects hosted readings, lectures, and political discussions at which both local and international architects met to discuss current developments.
Katarina Burin’s work is often based on detailed archival research and her own interpretation of the material she examines. She creates drawings, architectural models, furniture, collages, and installations that combine and question themes such as modernism, authenticity, historical documentation, and in particular, female designers or architects and their often complicated position within this male dominant profession. A new context and body of work is developed for this exhibition.