It begins with one word. Choose your own

Fundació Mies van der Rohe, Barcelona, 22.07-23.08.2020

curated by Marcin Szczelina and Ivan Blasi

video documentation


The artist Katarzyna Krakowiak and curator Marcin Szczelina present “It All Begins With One Word. Choose your own”, a new structure, both architectural and linguistic, on view at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion.

Emerging out of the recent lockdown, this innovative experiment at the Pavilion adopts the form of a sound composition that will become a voice of our life lived together, a question about the current state and future survival of our community, its openness, freedom and creativity. A call for hope.

Resulting from contributions from hundreds of people from all over the world, this constantly expanding sound piece comprises words in a wide array of languages sent in during the recent weeks. Words that the participants want to make last. Words that they want to take responsibility for and contribute with to the life we all live together.

The artist’s initiative transforms the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion into a site of enquiry into a new language of architecture and architecture of language. Krakowiak composes an architecture that speaks – not only with words, but also with the spaces between them that open up a territory of critical enquiry on architecture, language, our current and future community; a site of diversity and difference. Presented at the Pavilion, the polyphonic composition will become a collection of words – submitted by participants, translated and used in search of a new common language.

The project’s first iteration takes place in Barcelona and online. The composition will later travel to the Royal Academy of Arts in London and other cities, building spaces of translations, both between the languages of the project participants and between architectural and linguistic structures. Spaces where the horizon constantly extends in as yet unknown directions.


Project organised in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Supported by Instituto Polaco de Cultura en Madrid