PEDRO REYES & TERENCE GOWER
NEW MONUMENTS FOR NEW NEIGHBOURHOODS
E-Mail Dialogue Transcript
Terence August 6, 2005 “Projects and Collaborations”
To begin with, I think we both agree that the project has to evolve from the site. We’ve been talking about designing for two different sites: an urban setting and a beach setting. Perhaps, in reference to these two kinds of site, the project has two phases, representing the dividing path I’m obsessed with in Mexican Modernism: Social architecture (schools, hospitals, public housing, etc.) vs. “Society” architecture (Luxury hotels, villas, etc.) One phase would thus be a kind of Ciudad Neza community centre/Watts Towers (Social) and the second phase would be a beach pavilion (“Society”). This would be a great way to incestuously mix up the vocabulary of these two applications. Functionalism as a simultaneous signifier for both fashion and utility. Too complex?
I also like the idea of a pavilion as a kind of academic essay. For example, my Pabellón de proyección (1) is a full-scale structure which can be inhabited by the body, but it can also be “read” as a thesis on Mies van der Rohe’s (2) influence on the Mexican Modernists, and then their “tropicalizing” of the Miesian vocabulary through the addition of the brise soleil and the colored wall (3-4).
Pedro August 11, 2005 “Ping Pong Starts”
We could start to design pavilions in advance, even before selecting a site.
This is in order to have some material to show to our potential allies during your next visit to Mexico City. Your point about the difference between the social and “society” is very interesting. I think it will be very interesting to translate that “class struggle” into our thoughts about sites and even into our working collaboration. Knowing myself, I know it will be hard for me to play four-handed piano. I think each should have his own instrument and we play a duet. For instance, each does a pavilion and then we work together on the program, planning, strategy, concept, site, etc…
Of course I’d like us to do two pavilions here and two at the beach, but it’s a bit ambitious. This would probably imply (due to the unique social-society situations) two different patrons. Perhaps a city government and a collector?
We won’t make any progress in finding this person without images. We need to appear as if the thing is ready to get built and all we need is a patron.
Let’s play SimCity and SimBeach. Lets say the city site is a colonia popular
and the beach site is playa virgen… tell me if you like this starting point.
Next, in the colonia popular let’s imagine a square two times the size of a basketball court. What will we do there, function or non-function? What would we like to be the detonator of the design process? I think a beach site is easier: we want a place for us and our friends to go, I presume.
Two bungalow pavilions. That will also need a program.
Terence August 13, 2005 “First Pavilion Idea”
I’m thinking about the site (the city site in a popular neighbourhood) and imagining a pavilion designed specifically for this social context. How about Rodechenko’s Socialist Workers Reading Room (5) as a model? It was strictly an interior space, built as a display, but it offers some ideas on how to plan a pavilion interior to propagandistic effect! A great outdoor model is the Herbert Bayer information kiosk (6): a light structure existing somewhere between billboard and building. Other good examples are Sert’s Spanish Republic Pavilion (7) and Le Corbusier’s Temps Moderne Pavilion (8).
You can see Sert’s influence on my Bicycle Pavilion (9), a good departure point for me. For our project I’m imagining something formally quite similar to this pavilion. Very simple and rectangular but with something exciting happening on the facade (the propaganda!)
Conceptually I think it’s important to consider a genealogy of temporary structures. For me, this genealogy starts with the great Modernist pavilions mentioned above and logically winds up in the temporary market structures—the puestos—of Mexico City (10). The link between the pavilion and the puesto is perhaps the trade-show booth, easily disassembled and reassembled, made up of standardized parts. It’s interesting to trace a line from Kiessler (11) and Bayer to the contemporary trade-show display (12), and from there to the break-down metal structure and plastic sheeting of the puesto.
What will be on the facade of this pavilion? How about some kind of message about the degradation and destruction of our collective environment in Mexico City. Instead of showing images of a damaged and destroyed Valley of Mexico, I’d maybe do the opposite: 19th Century photographs of the valley as it was. I’m imagining a checkerboard facade made up of mural-sized photographs and coloured panels, which would be simple sheets of coloured plastic stretched onto frames. (13) It’s very boxy, I know… I was hoping by being extremely boxy, I would inspire you to do something equally un-boxy and “organic”. Anyway, think of this as a starting point, and feel free to intervene in this idea/structure in any way…
Pedro August 17, 2005
A pattern which has emerged so far (and can always change) is one where you are more “Cartesian” and I am more “organic”. You sent some images by Bayer and Rodchenko. The reticular space-frames that can be found in the work of Arturo Pani and Reynaldo Pérez Rayón. Modernism. As an opposite approach, I am thinking of some buildings that were the embodiment of anti-modern ideologies: Buildings as anti-modern manifestos.
Some that I have in mind are:
– El Anahuacali, (14) which is almost like an episode of virtual history: what would have happened if America was never discovered?
– El Eco: (15) Form follows emotion.
– The buildings of Felix Candela: (16) His concept of Automatic Beauty and his writing In Defense of Formalism.
– Jose Clemente Orozco’s tezontle tomb. (17)
– Carlos Gonzales Lobo’s principles of Auto-Construction (18)
– Eladio Dieste’s reinforced ceramic structures. (19)
Some international references that I connect with are to be found in German expressionist and utopian architectures. Rudolf Steiner’s Goetheanum (20), for instance. Or Taro Okamoto’s Tower of the Sun in Osaka. (21)
Attached to this e-mail there are some images of a project I just made.
I am interested in a tripod tendency I have noticed in Mexico: Molcajetes, (22) Acapulco chairs, (23) Tricycles, (24) Pre-Columbian pottery (25) and Mexican butchers’ blocks (26) are all tripod constructions. In this current project, I have imagined a tripod with a spiral staircase climbing one of its legs. It has a chamber and then a second spiral leading to a roof terrace. (27 – 29)
As a formal experiment I am looking for a quality found in Arp sculptures:
Each millimeter you move around it, its silhouette changes, and so does
the form you recognize. But recognizing is going too far. Since these analogies are very vague, they are not known, just suspected, strange but not stranger, like faces in a dream, spectral.
I made this habitable sculpture without a specific site in mind, it is just one of many possible approaches. I believe this project has far-reaching potential.
To suggest an example of a similar project: Last week I went to see El Eco. It was really amazing. Both El Eco and Las Torres de Satelite (30) were built fifty years ago and they continue to be sources of inspiration. Now it’s just impossible to think of the city without them.
I believe this is encouraging because often you work in preparing a show for
almost a year and it only lasts a couple of months. To have a work built in the city, it not only lasts for generations, it might also become a pilgrimage destination! And by reaching an audience that never goes to the museums it generates its own life, landscape, iconography and mythology.
I think that the idea of looking for a site in a colonia popular has to do with the gap you described between social architecture and architecture of “la sociedad”. Architectural production in recent decades has clearly been concentrated in the latter category. This tension could become part of the energies in the pavilions.
On the other side, in art—and perhaps in film too—there has been
an almost pornographic exploitation of “La Favela”. I find myself fascinated by the aesthetics of it, but instead of just making photos and leaving it, I think it would be a quantum, almost an epic leap to build there. To improve the quality of life of a neighborhood (even if only as an aesthetic experience)
gives the project an “ethos” which takes art to a entirely different level.
Formally speaking, you and I are on different trips. But we dig each others trips so that’s very interesting. Through our dialogue some dichotomies can be stressed. For instance: social vs. society, modern vs. anti-modern, grid vs. free-form, rational vs. organic, emotion vs. function, and universality vs. regional.
I look forward to your thoughts (out of this exchange we’ll have fragments for quite an interesting text, don’t you think?)
Terence August 23, 3005 “The Ruin”
I like your comments about our opposing sensibilities. I think we should try for a real collision/integration of these two approaches. The structures could penetrate, or “contaminate” (Patricia Martín’s terminology) each other in some way — I think this is where the real poetry occurs.
I’ve been studying Ludwig Hilberseimer the last few days, Mies’ right-hand-urbanist. A superb essay by Pommer in the book “In the Shadow Mies” on the contradictions in Hilbersiemer’s work — his hypothesis is that the only consistency in H’s work is the formal/abstract characteristics of his city plans. This really gets at the core of the anti-social aspects of some Modernist city planning –formalism imposed on such an enormous scale (a “Display City”?). I’ve been fascinated by H’s drawings for some time, mostly for their dystopic quality and how that played out in places like Mexico City’s Tlaltelolco (31). Here are a few examples of the Hochhausstadt: (32)
You see, I’m trying to get at the roots of my “cartesian” tendencies, as you describe them, and I’m finding once again this almost childish dream of a well-ordered future — My own childhood dream meshing perfectly with the Modernist one. I love how it remains a dream on paper, unrealized for the most part, except in experiments like Tlaltelolco, which could probably only be built in a place like Mexico. First of all due to the governmental structure in the 1950’s, and secondly because of the devouring, omnivorous nature of Mexican culture, which quickly made the project its own even though the forms and concepts came largely from outside the country from people like Mr. H.
This brings me back to our project. I’m going to be very Modernist and try to anticipate what kind of life a structure might have in the environment we are imagining as a site. Inexpensive materials, lack of maintenance, hostile local youths… IT MUST LOOK GOOD AS A RUIN. In fact, this should probably be what all Mexico City architecture students are taught. Considering that a huge government project like the CNA (Centro Nacional de las Artes) has already deteriorated so much, we should probably be anticipating a pretty rapid deterioration. I like the idea of imagining the structure covered with graffiti with the panels torn out (If it has panels), and I think it has to be designed with this in mind. Your experiences with the Torre de los Vientos (33) is a good case — a structure like Fonseca’s looked like shit with graffiti on it. Ours should be different and should anticipate this kind of intervention, probably through keeping things formally very reduced (a blank canvas for those damn vandals!)
I agree with your comment about the trend toward fancy apartment buildings and houses in current architecture in Mexico — they’re certainly the ones getting the attention outside of Mexico. I had a good chat with Mauricio Rocha, who I think is bringing good design solutions to more “social” projects. I think he is doing very good work. Have you given more thought to the function of your tripod? Is it a pleasure pavilion/mirador? Or is it a brainwashing propaganda machine like my structure? Let’s talk a bit more about function — the function this UFO would have in the community it lands in.
Once again, I love love love your giant molcajete/tripod structure. I feel the future “beach” phase of the project will eventually blossom quite beautifully and naturally out of what we are working on now.
Pedro September 1, 2005 “Of locus and topos”
I was happy to read your last e-mail. You are very right regarding the fact that the structure has to become a good ruin, either by aging well, or by thinking of it as anti-aging—in cosmetic terminology—in the first place. Or even better, genetically engineered to have a
longer lifetime… (an old idea found in John Ruskin’s Seven Lamps of Architecture) (34)
I am flying back from Aspen. There is a place called the Aspen Institute designed by Herbert Bayer in the 1950´s (There are photos in the Ida Gonzales Prampolini book (35), look for it). The Center for Humanistic Studies is a series of modest, low hexagonal buildings built inexpensively out of concrete blocks. In the context of Aspen it is the only decent architecture
I found. You know Aspen is ultra-bourgeois… compared with the Institute, the typical alpine-style luxury villa looks obscene! Yet this place is Bayer at his best, post-Bauhaus. His skills as painter, architect, thinker and landscaper are at full force, and without contradictions.
It is amazing to see how the gardens are a seamless translation of Bayer’s amoeba drawings into landscape. I am talking of smooth mounds with thin water paths. This place has one of the most precious and scarce attributes art can offer: Peace. Peace is constructed mainly through the absence of other attributes, without an attempt to display dexterity or complexity. Peace is inexpensive. Yet the peace of this garden is so sexy I had an erection, an erection and a satori at the same time!
Fucking in heaven! The famous grass mound (36) of 1955 is like the syntax of sakuteiki (the rock-garden manual from the XVII century) gone tantric. All “Erotopos” are there: The mound is a breast or an ass, the rock is masculine yet not figurative, and there is the hole for all the holes the body has, that trinity embraced by a U for uterus.
There are two sculptures that Bayer incorporated into this garden. One is the skeleton of a dome by Buckminster Fuller and the other—imagine my joy—is the Osa Mayor by Matthias Goeritz ! (37-40)
Terence September 22, 2005 “parasites and mutants”
I loved receiving your pictures of the Bayer complex. Very nice to see the conversation come round to Bayer again, and that we’ve both found something in Bayer’s long career to inspire us.
I’m still caught up in this idea of a pavilion based on puesto construction. I’m thinking a lot about the meaning of “organic” in architecture and urbanism. First of all, I think all growth in Mexico is somehow organic, unplanned — the human organism’s path of least resistance. This goes for many aspects of Mexican culture. As I mentioned before, I think this is why the culture has always had a capacity for surrounding and digesting whatever has been thrown at it: Television, Hollywood, Coca Cola… Modernism… And this is why sites like the endlessly expanding street markets fascinate and horrify me: These are sites where global culture gets “digested” by an evern larger cultural organism. I see “puesto architecture” as symbolic of a kind of organic urbanism.
Now if I were to create a structure with the square steel tubing and plastic sheeting of the puesto, it would probably be an exercise in creating “order” (knowing me) from this apparently quite chaotic idiom (I say chaotic because of its current association with the street market, though—as I pointed out in my “genealogy”—I believe it has its roots in the Modernist pavilion and trade show display.) So we end up with a well-ordered “Modernist” structure. Happily, this starts its own organic life cycle when the pavilion starts its inevitable decay through lack of maintenance and vandalism.
Not sure if you agree with these observations on the “organic” but I hope it can add to the meaning of your structure. Or you may have already discarded the term “organic” for something more precise and less abused. I see your tripod tower more representing an idea of the organic, in that it has been carefully designed to reference natural forms. But I like that it demands the viewer consider its ancestors: have the molcajete and the tripod butcher-block evolved through a natural process to satisfy some mechanical need? And this cultural path leads us to the materials, or supposed materials of your structure and their roots in Mexico… elemental materials like earth/adobe, etc. lead naturally into concrete which leads of course to Candela and his forms evolving out of the natural limits of cement. More organic growth. There’s a nice connection between our directions evolving out of this idea of the organic, whatever the hell one’s understanding of that is!
Now what about a kind of collision between the two structures. Here are some sketches — they could be really integrated as in the “mutant” sketch, or there could be a simple join, suction-cup style (41). Perhaps access to both structures is through your amazing snake stairway. I’m starting to think of a long, low structure to compliment the verticality of your tripod. (42)
A low pavilion could reach one of the frontiers of the site, like those long low houses in Polanco or Pedregal which are built at the property edge with the street. Could this be the facade of the combination structure, with the tripod shape rising up above it? The whole ensemble viewable from the rear or “garden” elevation? What do you think? Looking forward to hearing from you.
OCTOBER 19, 2005: MEETING #2 AT PEDRO’S STUDIO
NOVEMBER 11, 2005: LAIMA IS BORN
Terence December 8, 2005 “Practicalities, larvae, etc.”
I had a meeting with Christian Rattemeyer today, who asked about new projects. I mentioned our collaboration and he seemed very interested. He proposed Artists Space if we want to eventually do some kind of gallery presentation of the collaboration. It’s nice to know there’s interest in the project, even in its nubile state.
I’ve been making some more notes and drawings over the past months. Here is an image of an open pavilion I found in an Architecture d’aujourd’hui on Alvar Aalto, in front of one of his concert halls (not sure if the structure is by Aalto, or not). (43) Here are a few shared interested I noticed during our conversation in your studio in October.
1. Mystery. You’ve expressed interest in generating a structure which could be read as a mysterious monument left over from an extinct civilization.
I’m interested in structures which seem to show signs of some mysterious former function.
2. Aesthetic Parisitism
We both work heavily with references to architects and artists of the past. I could even say using these works as kind of aesthetic building blocks.
We’re both very interested in this problem, though coming from different directions. We should go back and clarify (graph?) our discussion on form and function, the function of form, the form of function, etc. I liked how we, in our discussion, were able to reverse the meanings of these two words — how the hell did we arrive at that point?
Also, the “functional form”. I like our opposite beliefs in rounded vs. squared forms as templates for mass production.
4. The list goes on…
Here are some practical notes:
Real estate sponsor for initial site. Is this a slum lord? The city? Perhaps UNAM? Or just some random rich person who can buy a plot of land. Do we do this on public land? A few years ago I went to an event a friend of mine was filming in a salon de eventos built in the form an amazing fake castle in the middle of Colonia Obrera Oriental. It really stuck out in the neighbourhood — might be worth looking at. I think it was just called El castillo or some such.
Material sponsor. The project could work as a promotion for a few building materials suppliers. I’m guessing we’ll need an almost limitless supply of just a few materials.
I’m interested in limiting the materials, maybe even to one or two materials each. The logical choice at this point for me would be square-bar steel, welded (plus maybe some sheet plastic for fun).
I love your Sinusoidal Park studies (44) and am wondering if this kind of block-like material would be interesting for you to work with (it’s cheap!) Or something smoother and more opposite to the angular steel bar, such as cast concrete?? Concrete’s nice, as it harks back to the huge cement-company sponsorships of the past. Steel bar resonates for me, because of the faux-modular quality of it. It can come off looking technological and mass-produced in sites like the IPN (Instituto Politecnico Nacional 45) but these structures are in reality quite hand-crafted. It’s a signifier of technological modernity. This is my obsession. For instance, the way a certain red is, to me, a signifier of Modernism.
First construction should occur outdoor on inexpensive land, in what you describe as a barrio popular. We need to determine if this is a permanent or temporary pavilion. Do we revel in the decay of the structure, or do we obsess over it’s upkeep and maintenance. This will be determined by the venue, as well.
A documentation show should occur in New York and Mexico City, and of course some European venue. We could work with our respective galleries to figure something out.
I’m still surrounded by too many distractions to go to that late-night, deep, somewhat crazed level where I can start making charts and connections and go back to some of our discussions. That will come soon. I’m sure you’re even more distracted with the infant lurking at home.
Pedro December 14, 2005 “Practition”
I think your notes really captured the spirit of our last chat, and the three areas of common interest may help us to write down some of the paradoxes
of form and function. We have to tape ourselves next time, we were in a kind of philosophical palindrome. I will look for that quote from Huysmans where he mentions that round rooms lead to divorce (46), since the furniture fits awkwardly in round walls and leads the couple to endless arguing!
I have some ideas on the practical notes:
I believe that the first authority we should contact is something called Direction of Monuments, which administers all public artworks and parks (they take care, for instance of the Torres de Satelite, etc.) I believe that you have to go through them to do something. They have a weak filter, which explains the amount of bad sculpture in the city. The interest of going though them is that we could ask for an existing park or plaza. Somehow this direction of monuments depends on the head of Conaculta and it might be that we have to wait until after the elections to know who is the new boss. Which means that by next summer we should have a bunch of drawings
and models to offer our services to the city. We should think big, since in the last 25 years there have been no big public commissions (with the exception of the shameful Sebastian). (47??)
You are right about the material sponsor. Cemex could be it, perhaps. Actually if we have a material sponsor that might speed up the process with the authorities. I think there is a good balance if you use metal and I use concrete. A year ago I told Jose Noe Suro that I had some ideas for lattices and finally we will make a small production of ceramic blocks. It might be that some of these lattices could be made later in concrete and used in the pavilion.
There are two important advantages to lattices: One is that they really discourage graffiti and the second is that they give some privacy and mystery while at the same time keeping the spaces visible for public purposes. These are some images of the light and shadow studies I am making. (48) At this moment I am making renderings of straight walls. I will make some exercises bending the walls like the Sinusoidal Park…
As for the pavilion in Mexico, I believe that due to our choice of materials and the energy required for such an ambitious project we should be opting for a permanent structure. Certainly, there could be a portable piece for alternative venues. However, being very different approaches, they justify independent treatments. What do you think?
The documentation and all the processes certainly will make a great show. This is something that I believe has big potential for design and we should start to think about this starting now. This can also be a mix of our two styles of display, for instance your photo-murals and my vitrines?
Terence December 25, 2005 “Some thoughts on function”
Yesterday I mentioned our project to an architect friend. He asked me what the function of the structure is, to which I had a lot of trouble finding an answer.
Now I’m thinking the function of the pavilion (or one of the functions) should be: The interrogation of function in architecture. This is, of course what drew me to the pavilion as a typology in the first place, and I feel like the project is already getting at the problem of function/non-function in ways I had never thought of before:
Most clearly in hovering in (and scouring) the grey area between art and architecture. I think you and I are particularly well suited to this kind of investigation, me coming from the direction of art (with architecture pretensions) and you from the direction of architecture (with a parallel interest/practice always in art).
One could say that the first 10 years of my practice was devoted to finding the function of art. Social investigation? Aesthetic pleasure? Entertainment? Changing the world? Changing the art-world? All of the above (and more)?
Now part of my interest in architecture is to continue that investigation, but experimenting with a medium (architecture) which has a functional prerogative. I’m simplifying enormously, and distracted by Christmas carols on the radio, but I’d like to develop this further to describe how I arrived at this project with you: i.e. how one reductive experiment follows another to arrive at the point we’re at in this project.
Terence December 25, 2005 “First Sketches”
I’m sending you some sketches (not to scale) and pavilion ideas. You can see I’m obsessed with the large open cube — more like a 3D drawing of a cube, inside of which, things happen. It’s a lovely 3D frame for all sorts of activities — it’s a strategy found in some recent architecture, but is also reminiscent of a Francis Bacon painting.
My first thought is a massive, city-block-sized open frame. (49) Here, the cube is reduced to a city lot, and curtains are added. You see how it fits in with the surrounding houses. Here you can see my red/white plane obsession (50) Or the curtains could have images printed on them. In this case a kind of tromp l’oeil building façade (51) Here is the cube with an observation tower integrated into one corner (52) Then, the same structure for a site with a hilly grade (53)
I’m looking at different applications of my coloured tarpaulin — and here I’m thinking of the structure I sent you an image of, in front of the Aalto theatre. Here are a few study drawings for colours, using vertical panels — the panels would fill the top of the cube and cast coloured shadows. (54) Here is a sketch with the tarpaulin applied horizontally. A bit Gillick-esque, I know, but he can go fuck himself (55) Here is the tower idea combined with the coloured “maze”, which flows onto the deck of the upper level of the tower, forming a bit of a maze. I think this could be done with much smaller panels, made really complex (56).
Pedro December 28, 2005 “Re: Some thoughts on function”
Your Interrogation of Function in Architecture makes me think of A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander (57). I think that questions such as “what is the role of art?” are impossible to answer. Mainly because art is so wide open that all definitions are complimentary and—happily—contradictory.
In architecture, general definitions become counterfactual, that’s why so much hope is found in case studies. I find A Pattern Language so interesting because it analyzes particular features from the user’s perspective. It is rare to find this kind of syntactic index. However, Alexander’s approach is very nostalgic, and is caught in pre-modern architectural features.
I think we could do our own update, a “Modern Pattern Language” of features we’d like to use. For instance: the canopy, the cantilever staircase, the endless vantage point, the light-box ceiling, the wall relief, the room for phone-calls, the bridge across the pool (I just saw Peter Sellers’ The Party again, and it has plenty of those lovely features). We could even include something like the mercury fountain in the Sert’s pavilion. It would be a kind of wish list.
I think the hidden function of the pavilion could be a wish list.
Pedro January 17, 2006 “Fabulous!”
I’ve continued the research on sinusoidal lattice walls… very organic.
I think they would be in great company with your massive-red-walls. Even better, let’s brainstorm this together!
Terence January 24, 2006 “Re: Fabulous!”
I’m attaching a preliminary project description for you to look at — it’s very vague still, but might eventually be useful for promoting the project. The title I’ve put in is temporary. See what you think… (58)
Pedro Reyes and Terence Gower
The collaboration Forma Feliz brings together the Mexican artist Pedro Reyes and the Canadian Terence Gower in a project which interrogates ideas of function and display in architecture. Both Reyes and Gower have already produced independent bodies of work which each attack the problem of art/function/architecture from different directions. They are coming together on this project to establish a constructive dialogue which will result in a full-scale structure and documentary elements.
Terence Gower is interested in the pavilion as a building typology located at the crossroads of function and non-function. His projects, often communicated through a traditional functionalist vocabulary, run the gamut of architectural representation, from full-scale pavilions to photo-murals to large-scale video projections.
Pedro Reyes’ hunt for the “functional form” has led him to furniture design, wearable objects, full-scale structures, zoomorphic architecture, as well as experiments with video and performance. He is interested in exploring organic and serial forms, and the possibility that these may surpass traditional functionalism in their utility.
The artists will collaborate on the design of a pavilion which will be an interface between their practices. The pavilion will be given a function relevant to the community in which it is built, similar to the storage function of Gower’s 2002 Bicycle Pavilion or the therapeutic role of Reyes’ 2004 New Group Therapies. But it will primarily be a built manifestation of the artists’ debate over concepts of function in art and architecture.
The project will be manifest in three forms:
1. The Pavilion. A full-scale pavilion will be constructed on an urban site in Mexico City. The structure will be built according to the artists’ strict technical and material guidelines.
2. The Exhibition. Documents, drawings and models will be brought together in an exhibition to be designed by the artists. The museography will bring together display strategies common to each of the artists’ work, such as the photo-mural and the illuminated vitrine.
3. The Book. A publication will be produced made up of transcripts of the artists’ dialogues in the development of the project, organizational charts, and documentation of drawings and preparatory maquettes.
It’s interesting about the lattice walls — I assume you’ve been looking at getting “organic” curved forms from the celocia? Could be really stunning, the celocia mixed with forms such as the ones you generated for the Parque Sinusoidal. I have sketches from a few years ago for a piece I never built, with a working title “Tropical Modernism” (yikes!) which was a long sensual, curving celocia which would cut through a gallery space — kind of like a longer, sexier, free-standing version of what I had built in the Projection Pavilion. If you pursue the lattice wall, we should consider having a full-scale demonstration of this in any gallery presentation.
MEETING #3: JANUARY 30, 2006
FEBRUARY: TEST DESIGN OF CELOSIA, New York
Terence March 5, 2006 “NY!”
Re: the pavilion project, I’m looking forward to spending some hours on this when I come to Mexico from the 18th — I can also start work finding sponsors, etc. I think we should perhaps start smaller on the maquettes (something transportable) and work up to the “furniture-sized” models we had discussed last time.
MEETING #4: MARCH 24, 2006
Terence May 27, 2006 “Granada!”
Artists Space would still like to present something about the project in November. I think it might be interesting to show the project in some form at that point – perhaps a series of drawings and e-mails. What do you think?
Other thoughts… I’m wondering if a Geo development might really be an interesting site for us — it’s totally dystopic, but that can be kind of attractive… These developments also REALLY need some kind of symbol/monument to relieve the monotony.
Pedro June 5, 2006 “Monuments for New Neighborhoods”
Concerning Casas Geo, I just wrote a piece for a Dutch magazine called Mark to illustrate some aerial photographs of Mexico City, among them there were Casas Geo developments. Have a look at the attached photos, we might be tapping into something there. (59)
Remember MONUMENTS FOR NEW NEIGHBORHOODS?
Don’t you think that might be it?
Terence June 9, 2006 “Re: Monuments for New Neighborhoods”
Artists Space curator is Christian Rattemeyer — he would like us to participate with something in November, which I think we could do (I can draught some presentation ideas over the summer).
Monuments for New Neighbourhoods is a great working title. (Or… New Monuments for New Neighbourhoods???) Your Casas Geo photos are nightmarish and beautiful at the same time.
Pedro June 18, 2006 “Re: Monuments for New Neighborhoods”
That’s right, that’s it…
NEW MONUMENTS FOR NEW NEIGHBORHOODS
That’s what our project is about, and a great title too. It also sets a flexible platform for each to start working on models and collages, this is BIG fun!
When could we meet? when are you stopping next in Mexico City?