CASA MANIFIESTO: TECHNOLOGICAL REPRODUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION TECHNICS
RESEARCH: ALBERTO ODÉRIZ, LUCÍA VILLERS AND JUAN JOSÉ KOCHEN
Casa Manifiesto seeks to establish a critical dialogue through the reconstruction of the two houses that Mexican architect Juan O'Gorman (1905-1982) built for himself: his experimental studio house in San Ángel (1929), considered the first functionalist house in Mexico, and the singular Casa Cueva (1948-1969), sculpted from its own land in El Pedregal.
With these two houses -formally antagonistic but founded on the same technical discourse- O'Gorman observed the material and technological contradictions of the modern ideological apparatus, its conceptual aspirations and the relations of architectural production subjected to language, while deploring the disincorporation of artisanal techniques in construction, historically founded on individual skill, in favor of the standardized processes of his time. These epistemological contradictions, justified the invention of specific technics to develop a personal discourse - the manifestos instituted by O'Gorman in his two periods to explain his houses - inaugurating in architectural practice, new possibilities for both individual and collective creation.
The exhibition reviews the numerous material speculations, formal discourses and experimental processes present in his two houses, through the use of scientific technics of archaeological, documentary, graphic and digital reproduction oriented towards precision, combined with artisanal techniques activated by manual labor, execution, difficulty and the archaeological will of the process. From the institution of customized systems of graphic and documentary organization, and the use of both analog and digital tools -molds, CAD, photogrammetry, barrettes, cutters, models, photocopies, drawings, among others-, the project probes into the historical question of technic in the discipline, while evaluating its implications for building practice in general.
With the physical reconstruction of these two exemplary houses, the exhibition seeks to explain the institutional discourse of twentieth-century Mexican modernity not through historiography or biography, but through the revision of the ideas that underlie the reconstruction of these ideological objects, conceived as formal manifestos of an era and an author, while at the same time allowing us to explore the instances, methods and values in contemporary architectural production, its multiple tools and potential discourses.