The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 14 July 2018

Architecture

Image: Courtesy Of MoMA

Built to last

A new exhibition in New York is showcasing the former Yugoslavia’s sudden urban development in the 20th century.

One of the many unhappy byproducts of conflict is that the artistic and cultural achievements of affected countries are often overlooked (if not destroyed). The former Yugoslavia is one such example: its architectural achievements in the 20th century have been overshadowed by the stories of war in the western consciousness. To address this, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is staging an exhibition: Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948 – 1980. Opening tomorrow, it covers a period in the nation’s history that saw intense municipal construction, and when architects such as Andrija Mutnjakovic and Juraj Neidhardt introduced forms that combined western and Soviet influences. The result was a built environment that was distinctly Yugoslavian. More than 400 drawings, models and photographs will be displayed in the show, which lays bare the successes – and failures – of the country’s period of rapid urban renewal.

Sport

Image: Getty Images

Tough pitch

As Qatari officials pitch up in Moscow, thoughts will soon turn to Fifa’s next geopolitically dubious tournament.

Gorky Park in central Moscow is a quintessential slice of Russia. But as the World Cup draws to a close, the leafy space is hosting something rather foreign: a temporary Majlis, or mini tent city, installed by the Qatari organisers of the 2022 competition. Following the success of the past month, Fifa’s foray into the Middle East has a hard act to follow. For the first time the World Cup will be held in November and December to avoid the heat of Qatar’s summer, with the change angering powerful European club leagues. It will also be the last 32-nation World Cup, with Fifa increasing the number of teams to 48 from 2026 onwards. As controversy lingers over the propriety of Qatar’s bid and questionable labour practices on tournament infrastructure projects – not to mention ongoing geopolitical tensions with Saudi Arabia – 2022 cannot come soon enough for Fifa.

Art

Rising up

Global artists are uniting in a former European Capital of Culture to demonstrate their discontent over the state of Europe.

There’s an elegiac tone to this year’s edition of the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, which opens in the northern English city today. This year the festival is more politically charged than in previous iterations, carrying the title “Beautiful World, Where are you?”. The line is taken from a 1788 poem by Friedrich Schiller, chosen because it was written at a time when Europe was in turmoil. However, the organisers are casting the theme as an opportunity to explore notions of identity as much as lament the problems currently facing Europe. A key intention of this year’s show was to include artists from diverse backgrounds: 40 artists – who hail from 22 countries – were chosen based on their ability to represent a broad geographical and cultural spectrum.

Retail

Image: Alamy

Park life

More and more people in the US want a walk on the wild side and are happy to spend money to find it.

It seems Americans are enjoying the great outdoors like never before – and are heading to the country’s national parks, mountains and forests to reconnect with nature. According to a report earlier this year by the National Park Service, 2016 and 2017 were both record-setting years for recreational visits to national parks; the agency reckons that there has been a total of 1.5 billion visits over the past five years. But when it comes to striding through hiking trails, sleeping under the stars and subsisting on meals prepared on a camping stove, it’s vital to have the correct apparel. Sales of backpacks, outerwear and camping-related equipment are all on the up, according to global research company The NPD Group. Outerwear, the largest segment of the “outdoor” category, is looking particularly promising, with sales growing by 3 per cent during the year to the end of April, rising to $3bn (€2.6bn). Brands in this space will be hoping the steady upward march hasn’t reached a peak just yet.

From Monocle 24

Casal Santa Maria

The Menu

Monocle’s Ivan Carvalho reports from a little-known wine region in Portugal that deserves more attention.

From Monocle Films

New-generation animators

Mike Mills explains how he spun recollections from his childhood into his new film, ‘20th Century Women’, starring Annette Bening. Plus: ‘Thumbsucker’ author Walter Kirn and we write a letter of appreciation to Ferris Bueller’s sidelined sister.

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