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Bulwark of Resistance: Striker's House, 1985

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  • Description
    Gábor Bachman, Miklós Haraszti, György Konrád, László Rajk
    Bulwark of Resistance: Striker's House, 1985
    Ink on tracing paper

    59.50 x 89 cm
    Contact for Price

    Bulwark of Resistance: Striker's House by Gábor Bachman, Miklós Haraszti, György Konrád, László Rajk
    Gábor Bachman, Miklós Haraszti, György Konrád, László Rajk
    Bulwark of Resistance: Striker's House, 1985
    Ink on tracing paper

    59.50 x 89 cm
    Contact for Price


    In the 1970’s and 1980’s artists and architects across Eastern Bloc engaged with the legacies of Suprematism and Constructivism took up the tradition of “paper architecture” – visionary and unrealized architectural concepts, often submitted as entries to international competitions. Striker’s House, an architectural concept created by Rajk alongside Gábor Bachman, Miklós Haraszti, and György Konrád, was submitted to the annual Residential Design Competition sponsored by the Japanese architectural journal Shinkenchiku [New Architecture]. The 1985 competition, judged by architect Tadao Ando and organized around the theme Bulwark of Resistance, called for entries to “[s]pecify the conditions against which you feel a need to resist and design a house that will be a center of resistance in the midst of those conditions.” (1)

    Striker’s House commemorates the shipyard strikes in Poland that culminated in the 1980 Gdánsk Agreement between the Polish People’s Republic and the Solidarity trade union.
    These axonometric drawings depict an industrial building on rails, adorned with an abstract stickle and, in a nod to Constructivist aesthetics, black and red wedges. The slogan “Labour and Act” emerges from the top of the structure, a reference to two journals, A Tett (the Action [1915]) and Munka (Labour, [1927-1938]), published by the Hungarian avant-garde writer, artist, and theoretician Lajos Kassák.

    The strike, Rajk noted, “is the extreme extreme of peaceful resistance. It is not only peaceful, but you put yourself and your family in danger. It is like standing in front of the guns naked. The resistance is your own self-sacrifice. This is what we want to demonstrate with a house which first loses its exterior and finally stands naked.” (2) The concept was considered politically incendiary enough that the work was only able to reach Japan with the support of a contact in the American Embassy in Budapest.

    (1)Shinkenchiku 5 (1986), 9.
    (2) László Rajk, quoted in David Crowley, “Staging for the End of History: Avant-garde Visions at the Beginning and the End of Communism in Eastern Europe.” In Socialist Internationalism in the Cold War: Exploring the Second World, ed. Patryk Babiracki and Austin Jersild (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), 122-123.
  • More Information
    Documentation: Documented elsewhere (similar item)
    Period: 1980-1999
    Condition: Good.
    Styles / Movements: Modernism
    Incollect Reference #: 695457
  • Dimensions
    W. 89 in; H. 59.5 in;
    W. 226.06 cm; H. 151.13 cm;
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