Opinion  Books 

Interesting Times

Le Corbusier, Paris, 1937

Eduardo Prieto 

USSR and Germany Pavilions

“May you live in interesting times”: the curse that has fallen upon us resembles the one that befell Europeans in the 1930s. The 1937 Paris International Exposition was the last major cosmopolitan event held in Europe before the apocalypse, and despite its mood of technocratic optimism and social progress, the contradictions of those years were clear. Contradictions between national and regional, elites and ordinary folk, countryside and city, and also the contradictions of prewar European countries, expressed by the pavilion of a Spain at war with itself, where Guernica hung, even more in the face-off between the Stakhanovite workers that Iofan had turned into an icon of the USSR pavilion and the eagle that Speer had crowned the Third Reich’s pavilion with...

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