CURATORIAL CONCEPT: While the rest of the world was at war, Mexico battled its own war, the Mexican Revolution (1910-1921). The revolution implied the country’s reinvention and marked the beginning of its aspirations to become a modern democratic nation, open to the rest of the world. Referring to this period Octavio Paz wrote: “The search for modernity drove us to discover our ancientness, the hidden face of a nation. Unexpected history lesson: between tradition and modernity there is a bridge.” This process, in which tradition and modernity alternate one another, combining and counterpoising, yielded a rich production and a complex discourse, which characterize Mexican architecture of the last century.
CURATORIAL PROPOSAL: The pavilion “Absorbing Modernity: Mexico in the last 100 years” intends to deploy two types of discourses. One traditional, the other contemporary; the first one determined by eight themed panels that recover topics central to the process of modernity in Mexico. The other, a luminous ellipse in which more than one hundred works, interviews and historical events related to architecture are projected.
EIGHT PANELS: These work as doors through which we access, read and analyze emblematic paradigmatic works that illustrate the process of Mexican modernization under the headings: the search for a path, social concerns, dialogues with the masters, building the city on a grand scale, materials techniques, integrating the arts, international modernity and building community. LUMINOUS ELIPSE: The luminous ellipse is a projection room in which architectural works, interviews, audiovisual media of socio-historical events that participated in Mexican modernity are presented through audiovisuals on a large scale. It is an active image that constantly shifts, showing in this way the passing of time and events; it constitutes a landscape that merges the icons of architectural modernity with social anecdotes and historical events, revealing the complexity of the figures, scenarios and components that constitute Mexico.
Federal Government of Mexico / INBA / Conaculta
Julio Gaeta / Luby Springall
The team was integrated by Alberto Kalach, Juan Palomar, Augusto Quijano, Agustín Landa, Gustavo Avilés, Javier Sánchez and Carolyn Aguilar as the principal group of consultants; Catherine Ettinger as historian, Salvador Quiróz as museographer, Roberto Zancan and Simone Colla (both in Italy) and Jesica Amescua as Co-Curator. Production Team: Jesica Amescua, Tiago Pinto de Carvalho, Liliana Ramírez, Jorge Torres, Oscar Juárez, Daniela Dávila, Raúl Soria, Eugenia Díaz, Mario Pliego, Carlos Verón.