Nov 18, 2007
HOW I WONDER WHAT YOU ARE
August - September 2007
Cine Tauro / Lima, Peru
As with many other spaces of leisure, Lima's old-fashioned movie theaters used to be located in the historic center. Unfortunately, very few of these establishments have survived the city’s transformation. Facing the deep economic crisis of the 1980’s most of such cinemas closed down and were left abandoned. After many years, some have resurfaced as porn theaters, while others serve as gathering points for religious and spiritual organizations of dubious background.
For this project, I have taken old-fashioned movie theaters as elements of the city that have both witnessed and suffered its transformation and development. Unlike today’s cineplexes, virtually indistinguishable from one another because of their corporate and franchised look, old-fashioned movie theaters had each their own character, expressed in their architecture, decoration, and even the choices of movies they offered. The Cine Tauro was chosen for this intervention since it was one of one of the most emblematic.
The intervention consisted on temporarily removing part of the cinema’s original sign (only the word “Cine,” meaning cinema) from its façade and installing it in an exhibition space. The sign was hung on a white wall, along with a small slide viewer that contained a photograph of the cinema’s façade after the intervention had taken place. The sign was hung as it was found on site, without any sort of restorations or maintenance, with the intention of illustrating the state in which the cinema can be found today. At the end of the project, 6 weeks later, the sign will be returned to its original location, as if nothing had ever occurred.
Jul 7, 2007
MIRACLES HAPPEN BETWEEN 9:00 AND 21:00
June – July 2007
Weimarplatz / Neues Museum, Weimar
Artists, institutions, and their public all belong to a system of interrelated functions, and no one element makes sense without the other. Artists constantly seek validation from institutions to gain credibility and build a reputation to support their work by pursuing art degrees at prestigious universities, seeking support from acclaimed foundations, showing their work at renowned museums and galleries, attending international art fairs and high-profile art events.
A validating machine (Entwerter) of the kind used to validate bus or metro tickets will sit temporarily on a street lamp. Next to it, on the facade of the Neues Museum, will be a sentence whose meaning can only be deciphered when the machine is used.
The validating machine will only work between 9.00 and 21.00, establishing its own rules and following a strict schedule like many institutions.
In the end, the question remains open: what is the miracle being revealed?
Mar 16, 2007
Pilotprojekt Gropiusstadt, Berlin
Over several decades, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the restructuring of social housing policies, the population of Gropiusstadt has varied greatly, both in numbers and diversity. Nowadays, Gropiusstadt accommodates an extensive immigrant community for whom Walter Gropius is probably just a random foreign name despite the fact that it can be found all over the neighborhood, from the fast food restaurant next to the Lipschitzallee subway station to the massive shopping center on the other end of the residential complex.
The proposal intends to question the overwhelming presence of Gropius in the neighborhood’s history and identity, even when his direct participation in the design of buildings was minimal and his relationship to the community who would later live there uncertain. At the time planning for Groupiusstadt began, Gropius had already relocated to the United States and passed away before the residential complex was built to completion.
Sitting atop one of the largest buildings in the area is an illuminated sign that reads GROPIUSHAUS. An oversized light switch would be installed in the street below it, each of its ends controlling the words GROPIUS and HAUS, allowing the public to switch on or off either of those words at discretion. By encouraging the public to interact with the sign, the project offers the possibility of conceiving, if only for a short while, a Stadt (city) or a Haus (house) of their own.
Feb 17, 2007
Thinking about the significance commuting has in our daily lives, I calculated that if a given person in a city like Jena spends an hour per day on public transportation, after the course of one year, this would amount to 15 days of travel time.
During 15 days, the lights on the inside of a streetcar on Line 1 (Zwäten – Winzerla) were made pink. This route was selected for this intervention because it best illustrated the relationship between commute and work, traveling from a residential neighborhood and through the city center, to the industrial area of Jena. On the other hand, pink lighting offered stark contrast to the bland, office-like atmosphere of white fluorescent lights, brown seat covers, and tan fixtures on standard streetcars in hope that the experience of commuters would be transformed.
I had never before thought that a color alone could embody the feeling of vacation until I stood on Jena’s Paradise Bridge. Although I have never been to Miami, the bridge made me think of pink flamingos and an extravagant weekend in Miami. And it was just because the bridge was pink, all of it.
Feb 11, 2007
Centro Cultural del Matadero / Huesca, Spain
150,000 1-cent coins (equivalent to 1,500 Euros) were placed on the floor of an exhibition space, covering 35m2 -by law the smalles area for an apartment in the city of Huesca. Along the walls read a quote from a story by Julio Cortázar, "The Good Investments" ("Las Buenas Inversiones"). The piece was a personal reflection on the meaning of property in relation to laws and regulations, social housing, real estate speculation, and gentrification, among others.
After approaching several real estate agencies and placing classified announcements on regional newspapers, I still had not managed to buy my own 1m2. So I took over 1m2 of a pedestrian walkway in the city center and covered it with 1-cent coins. It was my way of calculating how much it would cost (28,09 Euros). The action was also meant as a public offering in which I would be symbolically buying that piece of land from whoever took a coin.
Feb 10, 2007
SOUGHT 1m2 in some corner of the world
NEEDED 1m2 for collection
LOST 1m2 like any other
The project developed out of personal feelings of displacement and my urge to feel I belong somewhere by finding a place that belonged to me. I attempted to buy 1m2 of land in Huesca by approaching real estate companies and placing ads in regional newspapers. I received several telephone calls but none of the offers materialized.
August - October 2006
Everyday between August 15th and October 15th, a Plaza in the historic center of Huesca was given a new name. Located at the intersection of two streets, a lively gathering place for neighbors of an impoverished community, the Plaza was never given an official name.
A red mailbox was set up so that anyone who wanted to name the Plaza could submit his or her requests. Every morning, a different name was chosen, and a new sign put up.
Freedom Square, Gate of Heaven, Rebecco’s Corner, Street Where We All Gather, and Plaza of Never-ending Stories were among the 268 names that were collected.