Existenzminimum (Minimum Existence, 2002) consists of a scale reproduction of the monument to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht which Mies van der Rohe designed in 1926 for Eduard Fuchs, the collector and notable member of the German Communist Party. The monument was built in the Friedrichsfelde cemetery in Berlin and was destroyed in 1935 by the Nazi government.
Domènec turns the monument to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht – leaders of the failed Spartacist revolution (perhaps the most serious attempt to establish a fairer society in Germany) and senior figures in Germany’s communist left who were assassinated by parapolice forces in 1919 – into a mobile home, a humble cabin, a small and fragile refuge which loses its original grandiloquence as it is recycled into a minimal home and literally assimilated into a set of DIY tools which connect, via the title, with the central concept of the second International Congresses of Modern Architecture (CIAM) in 1929. That is to say that it connects with the proposal put forward by the most outstanding architects of the Modern Movement to establish the scientific bases on which to guarantee a minimum level of dignified and universal existence. Today, when so many millions of people live in infrahuman conditions in the shanty towns that surround the mega-cities of triumphant capitalism, this intention seems like a cruel historical irony.
The replica grants new life to the destroyed monument and traces a link, at a human scale, between the utopian potential of the emancipatory ideologies of modernity and their hypothetical critical readaptations.
Installation in the Parc de la Devesa de Girona, October 2002, then at the Fundació Espais d’Art Contemporani de Girona, November 2002.
In 2009 the project was shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona MACBA, as part of the exhibition Modernologies.