It begins with one word. Choose your own - Katarzyna Krakowiak - Fundació Mies van der Rohe

It begins with one word. Choose your own – Katarzyna Krakowiak

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, starting on July 23, 2020.

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.


Katarzyna Krakowiak creates sculptures, sounds, sound compositions and situations, all of them in order to find languages to describe architecture. In 2012 she received a special mention for her solo exhibition “Making the Walls Quake as if They Were Dilated with the Secret Knowledge of Great Power” at the Polish Pavilion at the 13th International Exhibition of Architecture – la Biennale di Venezia. In 2013 she participated in Performa Biennial with Storfront Art and Architecture. Krakowiak runs the sound spaces studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw..

Project by Katarzyna Krakowiak, curated by Marcin Szczelina (Architecture Snob) and Ivan Blasi (Mies van der Rohe Foundation). Organised in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, a state founded cultural institution dedicated to promote Polish culture worldwide. Supported by Instituto Polaco de Cultura en Madrid.

Read the interview with the artist and the curators here




23-7-2020 <23-8-2020, opening 22-7-2020, 20h


Mies van de Rohe Pavilion


Read the interview with the artist and the curators here

The piece can be heard from 10h to 19h on the hour and has an approximate duration of 20 min