Xavier Campos · architecture, cómic and critique | Lexcursó

The graphical humor is an art generally associated with the press in which there abounds the satire of the political and / or social current importance. Therefore we can consider it to be a part of a dialog, of an interaction with the reality in the one that it is born.

This frequently distorsionador mirror is the assignment or the vocation that exists after the funny drawing, cartoon, emblem, strip, etc, or let’s call him since, and what better field that the architecture to explore in this type humor. For it today we approach Xavier Campos, architect from beginning of century, which has combined the architect’s profession with that of graphical, forming and illustrative designer.

“When I made myself an architect and the pasta not to become exhausted in psychologist, I devoted myself to draw what was passing and to joke of it; always like therapy and for medical prescription”.

Extract of the interview in the revista Notas.

You will ask yourselves, what has to see this with architecture, since quite and at all, it is forms more of critique, and that in this case Xavier, develops across his alter ego Lexcursó.

Lexcursó comes from the word “escurçó” (viper), which Person means, in one of his meanings, “Malignant person/“llengua d’escurçó” (language of viper). There presents defamer, who badly speaks traicioneramente.

How would you define Lexcursó?

“Lexcursó is a mediocre come architect until he thinks that the only way of finding work is that they vote for it as dean or similar. There happens the time imprisoned in a sordid office drawing comical strips on his wretched life as architect thinking that some day will gain some money with it, principally if it stops drawing”.

Extract of the interview in the revista Notas.

Ado we leave you with the humor and the satire that Xavier and his alter has shared ego, with this space.

 Xavier Campos | Fotografía: Plajorrin
Xavier Campos | Photography: Plajorrin

Explain to us, how and why does Lexcursó arise?

Lexcursó went out in the whiteness of 2000 of the paws of a young person and for, smart architect at the time, it had just licensed. Probably someone gave something to drink water or it was fed after midnight, going out of him, by a despicable and malevolent being. It counts the legend, but the certain thing is that when I made myself an architect, the pasta not to become exhausted in psychologists, I devoted myself to draw what was passing and to joke of it, always like therapy and for medical prescription. Since already they will know, on having graduated as architect, they give us a title of egocentrismo illustrated and I started drawing my exploits and battles with promoters and builders that the only thing that they wanted was something so despicable as to gain money. Of all that the best seller went out “Planning lines in the water” as architectural metaphor of what was happening to myself with mediocre and senseless promoters. Ultimately (care spoiler), suicidal raised to the volumes of the technical code. The end was more celebrated than of “Lost” but with economic different results. Since the publishing process was complex and costly, about 2002, Lexcursó happened to be a webcómic, harvesting successes and a casipremio (special mention to the contest of webcómics “Alhóndiga Bilbao”).

Did you meet many difficulties? Which were the most problematic?

As every webcómic, blog, etc, the most difficult thing is the continuity. To be witty every week and to make a comical strip with the quality that was doing it (I expect not to hear laughs), and reconciling it with the work, it is fed up difficultly. And if it raises all this work it is not rewarded of economic form, it is more difficult to justify it in house and to a few little boys that have the habit of eating 5 times a day. To all that the “crisis” and “twitter”came. The crisis did notch, so much in the economic part, the psychological part and overcoat the creative part. Since already I have counted, the comical strips were based on similar facts, and enclosed in an office hoping that the only calls that you receive are not alone in order that you change of telephonic company, it does that they happen fewer things to be able to count them then. Twitter was the tack to my creativity. Any more or less graceful occurrence, someone or I itself, could form her in 160 characters, without need to one week happen to me drawing. Because of it I had to re-adapt my emblems to a more or less incomprehensible freakada for some, since it was StarWars, architect’s version and a readaptation of the classic ones in “vintage architecture”.

Where I had serious problems it was with blog.Ko.A.C, an ANARCHISTIC, SUBVERSIVE and NIHILIST page on architects. A thing was to get with promoters, builders and with me itself, and other one is to do humor of the CSACE, Spades and companies of insurance. Some wanted to close the page and others expelled me from his insurance company for “effecting fraudulent evil to the company” (I think that they were mentioning something like that). This company supports this one and many of the current blogs of architecture, for better what I do not speak badly about her if I want that this interview is published. Since Lexcursó never had a collaborators’ string to continue battling (we were, I, I same and my circumstances), and I never had an unconditional support of furious followers, Lexcursó vanished and disappeared since It Iodizes in Dagobah.

” – They are going to go for you. – You are going to go for me. Because it is what has to happen. Because sometimes, the truth is not sufficient. Sometimes the people are deserved slightly more. Sometimes the people, deserve a reward for having faith.”

Batman, The Dark Knight.

What references does he handle Lexcursó at the moment of realizing his emblems?

You index all and none. Probably the clearest reference is the life itself, since the majority of my emblems are based and some even, they report my life. Always I have been a fan, collector and draftsman of cómics, as what modals I have many.  I have modified the style of my emblems in several occasions, up to finding, believe, a more or less own style. In a beginning, in spite of “Planning lines in the water”, I was very marked by the cómic underground, so much with in the drawing as by his disrespect. “Hate” and “Idiotic World” by Peter Bagge, “Poor Buck” by Joe Matt, “American Splendor” by Harvey Pekar and Robert Crumb, etc. Some “friends” say, that enclosed I have a retreat to Paul Giamatti (of the movie “American Splendor”, by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman), not so much for his aspect, but for his way of being. Overcome the stage underground and Lexcursó’s restructuring in a webcómic, with

“Always we remember Holy Barbara when it thunders”,

From the drawings to pencil and in occasions to ink, I happened to realize the emblems in “flash”, with a visual style to “Raspa Kids Club” and to Chris Ware, as references like that in the distance, so already I would like that my emblems would look alike in something. After an initiation trip and reflection and restructuring of me itself, awkward crisis, and the reading of David Mazzucchelli‘s “Asterios Polyp”, I decided to reinvent and to obtain again a similar style, in the distance and with the half-open eyes, to Mazzuchelli’s drawings, but mine drawn in Cad. “Vintage Architecture” and “Star Wars architect’s version”, the latter, with some reference to a saga of movies of which I am a bit a fan.

Already not so much as reference but as absolute admiration, Klaus is, as someone that always I have wanted to be of major, in spite of being Klaus more young woman than I. Of the few ones, only one in his species, I think, that it can take form in an emblem of an excellent quality, a biting and humorous critique of the current architecture and above be able to gain something of money with it. Also I have a special fondness to Eiza, for something forms in a tumblr that I was doing a lot of time ago behind, scanning and compiling architecture and cómic (some day, I promise I will manage to give him this information) and that serves me in some occasions as inspiration to continuing working.

“Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff”

Harvey Pekar

How there arise the subject matters that you approach in your emblems? What purpose have they your emblems?

My emblems always have made a pedagogic sense, and the humor like only one I walk. I want to think that my emblems are an honoring to the architects of afoot. To the architects who go out neither in the magazines nor in webs of architectural prestige. Professionals who look for the life with this profession, and that fight in his deeper of his being in not putting balusters in his works, and they have to yield if they want to come at the end of month. Architects despised and extracted by the professional and sure colleges of responsibility. Forgotten architects that the town halls never listen for not being anybody. (Plaudits, going down the pedestal, graces, thank you, thank you very much).

Xavier Campos | Fotografía: Plajorrin
Xavier Campos | Photography: Plajorrin

In many of them you think about diverse topics, might we say that you realize critique of architecture?

I try to do a destructive critique as autoreflection of our profession. Do not be if it has very much felt what I have said, but the critics are very given to do phrases without much felt. In few occasions I have done critique of architecture. And when I have done it, I it did of the easiest, Calatrava, Torres, Ferrater and other girls of the heap. Mine is more of criticizing the architect’s profession, of how they beat us and we leave ourselves to beat, be for promoters, for builders, and especially for us themselves. My critique is directed principally architects, not so much his work. Major architects, lobbies of architects, architects in professional colleges, cscaes etc. All this that they have done with his effort and delivery, that we are a laughing-stock.

Asked the previous thing, it is almost unavoidable the following one to appear, do you think that the critique of architecture has died?

If we think that Lexcursó was doing critique of architecture, we might say that at least a part has died. Between all they killed him and he solito died. The critique to the architecture has not died I nor believe that he never dies, but nowadays it does not demonstrate.

A few weeks ago, Santiago de Molina was writing on “living without teachers, might you X-ray the current panorama of the Spanish architecture? And world?

Another more green and small teacher that Grassi, Iodizes, was mentioning:

“Always two it is. Not more, not less. A teacher, and an apprentice”.

We all have had and have our teachers, and some, even they have managed to be teachers with his respective apprentices. Some apprentices also have defeated his teachers and teachers who have exploited apprentices, until these have passed to the dark side asking for a contract. Do not be if I am very worthy as to X-ray either the Spanish architecture or the world one, but if I have to do it he would say that apart from invoice of tibia and fibula, fruit of an entry lasts and at the wrong time for the engineers, the architecture has clearly a break of coxis fruit of so many orgies and sodomizaciones out of budget.

Una ilustración de Lexcursó
Lexcursó’s illustration

The architecture, it has opened many fronts of battle (LSP, Bologna, unemployment, labor precariousness, COAs, ETSAs, emigration, communication, etc), will not they be too much for the existing polarization inside the same one?

The only thought is badly, especially when it is not mine, and the polarization is badly a matter especially for being a word with so many syllables and of difficult comprehension. With so many opened fronts it is clear that the polarization goes to finishhh”, but if we all were thinking the same thing we would be engineers. Or as my friend and brilliant architect says, Maikel Menéndez

“providing that there should be 2 architects 3 ideas will go ou”.

How do you see the future of the architecture? And that of the profession?

Since everything in the future is uncertain. The architecture exists since the times exist, and I see still long life. Yes I see that there is a certain stagnation in the architecture, not so much with the talent, which exists very much, but in the constructive processes. Surely through the fault of the regulation and the Sword of Damocles in the shape of responsibility. There is no risk in the architecture. There is no innovation, yes innovation exists in materials, for example, but not in his use, owed probably to the rigorous quality controls, to the enormous regulation and also due to the burocratización of the architecture. They have tried to extract an energetic certificate using biomass instead of solar plates? Or put aerotermia in his projects, they will see what laughs.

On the profession, the future, more that uncertain is certainly black. In some countries the architect’s profession tends to disappear and in some already does not even exist. Hereabouts at the moment he restrains himself hardly. All the fronts of battle before commented, the burocratización, the extensive regulation, the corruption of colleges and advices, the clients’ lack etc, do that the profession is tedious and weary.

What do you think of those that they have been going to work abroad?

The majority of my friends have had to look for fortune it was, some of them have found her, others not so much. For it me is sad, since now hardly I see them. The lack of work does desperate measures and it is necessary many valor to prove luck it was. But this option is not good for all and is very oppressive when to the lack of work always they do the same question to you

Have you tried abroad?

Una ilustración de Lexcursó
Lexcursó’s illustration

Immediately after the question what do you think of the architects who undertake in new fields?

Immediately after the question have you tried abroad?, it comes of why you do not devote yourself to another thing, or do you make yourself an entrepreneur? There seem to me to be marvellous the people who finds work abroad or who undertakes new fields or is autoproclaimed a dean of an architects’ college (good, equal last it would not seem to myself so well). Everything and that I have exercised as architect to the use during enough time, also I have been employed at other fields, as graphical designer, since formingly, as illustrator at games for mobiles …, and nowadays I do theme parks. So much I iron an egg as cold a shirt. Definitively, it seems to me to be fatal.

¿Estás contentos con los objetivos alcanzados? ¿Qué proyectos de futuro le esperan a Lexcursó?

El objetivo principal de Lexcursó (tal como reza en su bio), era la de ser “decano en lugar del decano” o “ganar dinero dibujando”, o que “le pagaran para que lo dejara de hacer”. En el primer caso fracasé rotundamente, quizás debería haber probado de presentarme, pero no lo hice. Respecto a ganar dinero, poco o más bien nada, y sobre que alguien me pagara para que lo dejara de hacer, amenazas pues tuve varias, pero nunca me han ofrecido dinero por ello.

With regard to the second case I am on the verge of doing a graphical novel, that the most probable thing turns into a best seller, with the only end of moving back. For it I possess J.M Echarte’s prologue (that though he does not know it still, with a couple of canes becomes convinced him rapidly) and with the help of my partner Enrique Parra (of the practically unknown page pedacicos), with him have created “Parralex studio” and we are searching publishing house and distributor. When we find her and do an anticipation to us, we will write the script and I will start drawing.

To finish, what do you advise the current students and future professionals of architecture?

That take the door and start running, without looking behind, that enter the first supermarket or Macdonalds and ask him the cashier, cashier, of what there served him the last máster of architecture who paid to the University, and when they eat up a Mac Royal with cheese cooked by a doctorate, think about his acts, get up of his seat and with airy voice and seizing the pencil of the wacoom shout

“At Mies I put for witness that nevermore I will return to spend hunger”,

forthwith run much more rapid, so if they are students of architecture they will not have money Mac Royal pays one to himself with cheese.

And if they wanted a more optimistic response, to have read To Echarte, or probably it is that they have not understood this interview

Una ilustración de Lexcursó
Lexcursó’s illustration

Xavier Campos · architecture, cómic and critique | Lexcursó
March 2016

Interview realized by Ana Barreiro Blanco and Alberto Alonso Oro. To be grateful for Xavier his time and predisposition with this space.

Alberto Alonso Oro

Arquitecto y editor en veredes, arquitectura y divulgación. Invernalia es un buen lugar. A veces escribo en Fundacion Arquia.

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