VICTIMS: A WORK BY JOHN HEJDUK
Hejduk’s combinatory methods of applying fiction to architecture and architecture to fiction are just amazing during the reading.
Wonderland manual is a cultural version of the NATO Cold War strategy of ‘flexible response’. Pursuing the military analogy, the manual is a continuation by other means of what Wonderland has been doing for the past years: accelerating the exchange of information among young architects in Europe.
The Wonderland manual differs from other architecture books in that it is not about architecture but about architects, not about the work that architects produce but about how they produce it. It is first and foremost a guide containing facts and figures, tips and experiences and as such can be seen as a handbook for European architects at the start of their careers.
Wonderland manual reveals a remarkable commitment to sharing knowledge and experience without any self-interest. While such altruism may not be typical of the entire generation of young architects, it does characterize a considerable portion of it, and most certainly those who have worked in front of and behind the scenes on this book. This young generation is the first to reach adulthood in a Europe without the Iron Curtain. It is also the generation which, despite all the political, economic and cultural complexities of this new Europe, was the first to develop a European mind-set and, in many cases, to lead a border-hopping European lifestyle. It is also the first generation for whom Europe is not an abstraction, not merely a symbol of regulations and bureaucracy, but a self-evident fact, and an equally self-evident field of activity.
“Confidence; as a teenager? Because I knew what I loved. I loved to read; I loved to listen to music; and I love cats. Those three things. So, even though I was an only kid, I could be happy because I knew what I loved. Those three things haven’t changed from my childhood. I know what I love, still, now. That’s a confidence. If you don’t know what you love, you are lost.”