Of the weariness (I) | Pedro Hernández

Violence White is the name of an exhibition realized in the frame of the artistic project 1 Month / 1 Artist, a small space located in the Historical Center of city of Mexico. Realized by the Japanese artist Seiko Yamamoto this work departs from the modern architecture as leitmotiv.

His it initiated it is simple, Yamamoto takes the predominantly white color that it was characterizing to this architecture – that had in his origin purely utilitarian criteria linked to the hygiene and the health – to establish a critique towards the sensitive impersonal and small thing that turns out to be this type of spaces. The Japanese artist resorts to his own biography to question the still in force values:

“In [Senri Nueva City] – the city where there grew the artist constructed of zero in 1970 of agreement modern values – I can feel not even the smell that a human being generates”.

Sanatorio Paimio (1928-1933) de Alvar Aalto.
Paimio Sanatorium (1928-1933) by Alvar Aalto

Alejandro Hernández Gálvez was exposing in Arquine how there was questioning this architectural enclosed model in his own epoch. Aldous Huxley –creator of the book A happy World– was accusing to Le Corbusier –spiritual father of the Modern Movement– of realizing an architecture out of any human value, which aspect was more own of “a dentist’s consultation” that of a housing.

Spent the years, it is not any secret that the hospitable character of the modern architecture was one of his maxims. The belief and need after a beginning of 20th century riddled with diseases and bad living conditions fruit of the industrialization and the war that one needed a new architecture that was solving the males who were afflicting the human being was an almost a doctrine.

“The glass walls, as the Rayos-X, are instruments of control. In the same way that the beams – x expose the interior of the body to the public look, the modern house exposes his interior. What before was deprived surrenders now to the public scrutiny”.

Beatriz Colomina

But the 20th century not only saw new social housings were born – where there existed a project of condition that was taking care of the social body – but wine accompanied of new forms in the factory, the school or the hospital. All these spaces associated with disciplinary models, where the conduct and the body are observed and fixed by the constant look of an omnipresent observer. The modern architecture – with his walls of crystal – evolved up to turning into a medical device, near to a machine of X-rays, which was exhibiting in its entirety to the subject that he her was living.

Corredor del Sanatorio Paimio (1928-1933) de Alvar Aalto
Corridor of the Paimio Sanatorium (1928-1933) by Alvar Aalto

“The things crystals do not have ‘aura’. The crystal is the enemy of the mystery, and it it is also of the property”.

Walter Benjamin

“The transparency undoes all the limits and thresholds”.

Byung Chul Han1

His inheritance can be in what the philosopher Korean-German Byung Chul Han names Society of the transparency: a company that shows itself and exhibits – already it is across the architecture or the social networks as Facebook – in which living already is not possible.

They have it alludes to Heidegger and aims that already we cannot “be in peace”, what derives in a company full of disturbances as “the depletion, the weariness or the depression”. Not distant at all feelings to those about which the lady Farnsworth was complaining on the house of rest that it had realized Mies van der Rohe. His complaint was pointing at the stress of being in constant exhibition, of living in “a X-ray photography” where it was possible neither to hide nor conceal. But the philosopher aims, in addition, at another aspect: the modern architecture and his model disciplinary – established by Foucault in the psychiatric ones or the jails – has been replaced with a new architecture, that of “gymnasia, towers of offices, banks, planes, big malls and genetic laboratories” that take us to a company of the performance, where the body (auto) exploits and (auto) consumes2.

It turns out so paradoxical that that architecture which object was the improvement of the physical body was ending for altering the psychic body. There will be necessary to ask then how to obtain a new city and a new architecture that is capable of, at least, altering the life for badly as little as possible.

Biblioteca Municipal de Viipuri (1927-1934) de Alvar Aalto
Biblioteca Municipal de Viipuri (1927-1934) de Alvar Aalto

Pedro Hernández · architect
ciudad de méxico. augusto2015


1. On this itself They Have it aims also that to the society of the transparency him turns out to be suspicious everything that one that has something that to conceal. Let’s think then about the new methods of vigilance and scanning of airports and other networks of transport. To hide itself, he says to us Han, it is negative and turns out to be dangerous.

2. See also the exhibition Indisposición general. Ensayo sobre la fatiga, curated by Martí Peran for Fabra i Coats Centre d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona.

Soy arquitecto por la Universidad de Alicante, pero mi interés sobre esta disciplina se encuentra alejado de su papel tradicional de diseño de espacios. Más bien, me interesa entender cómo las representaciones de la arquitectura, el paisaje, el diseño o el territorio construyen y materializan determinados discursos ideológicos, imponiendo posturas, subjetividades y formas de acción sobre los cuerpos que la habitan.

En mi trabajo edito estos discursos –sus imágenes, sus historias o sus restos materiales– y reelaboro comentarios críticos que ponen en evidencia sus controversias y contradicciones, formalizándolos en diversos formatos como textos, fotografías, vídeos, objetos o instalaciones, muchas veces entrecruzados entre sí.

He publicado artículos y ensayos en diversos medios de Estados Unidos, Italia, Croacia, España, Chile y México. Desde enero de 2013-2018 residí en la Ciudad de México donde trabajaba como coordinador de contenidos en Arquine. Actualmente resido en Madrid.

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