#42 & #43: Cracking the Walls of Capitalist Architecture

Every month Marginalia invites an artist, curator or project to provide a series of images that will serve as the background of Terremoto, in relation to their practice and current interests. At the end of each month, the identity of our guest is revealed and the whole series of images is unveiled. Here is the selection of November and August of 2018.

As part of the modern/colonial project in Latin America, socio-territorial forms and processes were imposed and enabled the implementation of neoliberal development in cities. The polarization between large cities and the countryside, rapid urbanization, massive self-construction of low-income-housing, informal trade, the imperialistic intervention which caused dictatorships and fascisms, growing violence due to drug trafficking, among other contextual characteristics of the continent, are the result of exercises of power existing between capitalist architecture.

It is in this context that the inhabitants of these cities, with developmentalism-based Western aspirations, recognize ourselves as anxious and distant from each other. The exercises of power articulated by capitalist architecture maintain a hyper-accelerated rhythm as a hegemony of existence. Given this situation, every pause can be taken as an act of resistance and as a possible way to crack the walls of capitalist architecture.

The collection of images presented here as part of the Marginalia #42, during November 2018, correspond to Latin American projects which rethink architecture from the urgency of the communal: from the unhurriedly encounter between people which enable other ways of inhabiting.

Estudio A77 (Argentina), Grupo Talca (Chile), Al Borde Arquitectos (Ecuador), APRDELESP (México), COMUNAL (Mexico),  Ariel Jacubovich | Oficina de Arquitectura – CAPA (Argentina), Plan:b Arquitectos (Colombia) and Al Borde Arquitectos (Ecuador), based on the collaborative work activated from the acknowledgment of its members’ heterogeneity, they offer potential models of rethinking architecture as an exercise of resistance from the creation, activation and revitalization of spaces that destabilize the neoliberal logics rooted in the city as we know it.

It is no news that the spaces in which we live hide power mechanisms. Or, is it that they are rather exposed straight to our faces? It’s interesting enough to think, just as it happens in the space of what we would call “real”, so many times our eyes fail to catch those scenarios that come along with the narratives that have been revealed through the screen. A not so exhaustive review of the sketched architecture in the animation field points out many aspects of those spaces which we (do not) inhabit.

In the selection of images composing the Marginalia #43, corresponding to December 2018, a selection of the imaginary sites is collected and represented in different cartoons broadcasted in various generations’ TVs, going from the ’60s through the ’90s. Starting from the developing context posed by the neoliberal models in the architecture, how could these images be thought through?

It is about multiple fictitious spaces which, on the one hand, look forward to portraiting those common and familiar places where we displace ourselves on a daily basis. But on the other hand, we find in these images the deployment of impossible scenarios which seem to effectively condense all that architectural functionality from the past century.  To look at these spacial projections—so anonymous in geographic terms—, speaks to us about the different ways a space may be conceived, about different dwelling kinds that we have come up with until now, so as the different ways to raise a building; but also, starting from this imaginary architecture we can ask ourselves whether it is possible to use and deploy the space in other ways. Revealed almost as ruins, aren’t these impossible worlds, maybe, the reflection of an urge to find other logics of inhabiting?

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