She Corrects Manners Laughingly

Espai 13

Exhibition program
Preventive Archaeology
Oriol Vilanova
Curated by
Oriol Fontdevila

The Poble Espanyol is a sum of architectural recreations that reorders the Spanish imaginary and links it to folklore and ancient customs. As part of the same International Exhibition of 1929, and only a few meters below, Mies van der Rohe's German Pavilion becomes, in this case, a renewed expression of the culture of work and of the project of modernity. Both are areas that stage ideologies apparently opposed, but that, at the end, require of each other. How, if not through contrast, can we perceive the new from the old?

Oriol Vilanova juxtaposes the Poble Espanyol with the Mies van der Rohe's Pavilion as if we were talking of stage designs. He pokes around in search of potential lines of continuity, and forces interruptions into the values they represent. The ellipsis he draws brings both places into a paradoxical situation: the pavilion, with its 1986 reconstruction, stops being modern to become a notorious example of a culture imbued in historicist simulacra. The Poble Expanyol, meanwhile, becomes an inevitable post-modern referent, and an instigator of that same Mies van der Rohe's recreation. What type of archaeology do we apply to the copy?