Colombian Architecture BanalCAMPO, Laagencia, and Books People Places
OrganizersCAMPO, Cartagena & Bogotá
Sep 15, 2016 to Oct 14, 2016
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
The Architecture Banal focuses on three main goals: its major purpose aims to provide a space of reflection; its secondary goal is to question and discuss the current state of architecture in Colombia; and its final goal is to question the proliferation of the biennial as an exhibition format. The Banal's first iteration takes as its main research topic the “Production of the Public Sphere,” asking questions, such as: How has the public sphere been defined and understood? How is it "produced?" What is the spatial dimension of the public? Which are the new potential semantic territories that allow addressing a different idea of the public sphere?
altiplano is an architecture studio based in Bogotá, co-founded by Pedro Aparicio, Felipe Guerra, Alberto Manrique, and Felipe Velásquez. All members hold a BArch from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá. Pedro Aparicio is currently finishing his master’s degree at the Harvard University’s ULE program; Felipe Guerra holds an MsC from the Berlage and teaches at Universidad Javeriana and Universidad de Los Andes; and Felipe Velasquez and Alberto Manrique hold MsC degrees from Columbia University. The studio focuses its practice in the intersection of architecture, the city, and the territory, developing projects of diverse scales throughout Colombia. In 2011, they won a national competition for two-hundred public schools; in 2012, they participated in the Venice Biennale with their project, There Is Nothing New Under The Sun; and, in 2015, they received an honorable mention in the competition for the National Memory Museum.
Carlos Balen is an architect based in Bogotá. He holds a BArch from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. He received second place at the Architecture Annual in the “Habitat” category for his BA graduation project, and has previously worked with Delacarreracabanzo and Simón Vélez. Balen co-founded his own practice, Estudio BA.U Architects (2014). In 2013, he was offered accolades for his school projects by the Colombian president.
Juliana Sánchez Michelsen holds bachelor’s degrees in the visual arts and social communications from Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. In 2012, she was part of the certificate program for contemporary art at Sotheby's Institute of Art in New York. Her work focuses on the investigation of interstices and the generation of new spaces and models in which to create relationships between individuals. In 2014, she was in residence with artist Rodrigo Echeverri in Estudios las Nieves in Bogotá. Her project Grietas (Fissures) was exhibited at Espacio ArtNexus in 2013. Currently, she works between CAMPO and her foundation Red de Tierra, which focuses on reforesting the region with native flora. In 2016, she will collaborate with Nicolás Paris on his project Petricor at NC-arte.
Alejandra Sarria is a visual artist and social communicator based in Bogotá, who holds dual bachelor’s degrees from Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. She has worked with cultural publications and institutions in Colombia, such as El Malpensante and the Sub-Gerencia Cultural of the Banco República. In 2013, she was part of the internship program for curatorial studies and publications at the Guggenheim Museum of New York. Her research project Habitus and iterations, about habit as a creator of identity, has been exhibited in Espacio ArtNexus and LA Galería. She is currently content and programming coordinator at ARTBO, the International Art Fair of Bogotá, where she has collaborated with curators, such as José Roca, María Inés Rodríguez, and Catalina Lozano.
Monumental is an architecture studio based in Bogotá, created by Alejandro Piñol, Germán Ramírez, and Carlos Rueda, artists focused on local tradition, whose work has been recognized globally. They believe architecture is not a problem of innovation, but a technical tradition and common language, based on rigorous knowledge and sensitive experience of the landscape.
Laagencia, founded in 2010 and based in Bogotá, is an office for art projects that nurtures research and process on art and education; stimulates the debate about artistic and institutional practices; and experiments and proposes different strategies and work methodologies for media, collaborative public programs, self-publication intelligences, and alternative ways of doing things with others. Through its current program Escuela de Garage (Garage School), Laagencia aims to extend visibility to a larger number of local, national, and international initiatives that inquire into different ways of knowledge production and circulation.
Diego García is a Bogotá-based artist who works on cultural projects. He graduated from the arts program at the Universidad de Los Andes in 2010, after completing a one-year exchange program at the University of São Paulo. He is co-founder and director at Laagencia, and the editorial coordinator for the Escuela de Garaje project. Concomitantly, he manages Machete, a studio focused on graphic design, publications, and other services.
Mariana Murcia is a Bogotá-based artist. She graduated from the Universidad de Los Andes in 2010, after completing a one-year exchange program at the University of São Paulo. She has been a director at Laagencia since 2011, where she is one of the chief curators for the Escuela de Garaje project. She is also co-founder and director of CARNE, an itinerant art gallery. Her work explores economic phenomena as aesthetic facts and social interactions.
Santiago Pinyol is a Bogotá- and Madrid-based artist who holds a BA and MA in research and creativity from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. He is co-founder and director at Laagencia, and one of the chief curators of the Escuela de Garaje project. Pinyol forms part of the art collective Poderes Unidos, and is a member of the Madrid Creators Archive. He is also co-founder and director of CARNE, an itinerant art gallery. His work is focused on phenomenology, white magic, and artistic education. He is currently teaching in the arts program at the Universidad del Bosque in Bogotá.
Monica Zamudio is a Bogotá-based artist who holds a BA from Universidad de Los Andes, where she completed a one-year exchange at the Escuela de Arte y Comunicación Program at Universidad de São Paulo. She is co-founder and director at Laagencia, and one of the chief curators of the Escuela de Garaje project. Her work involves the abstraction of words, signs, and images. She is also a member of the collectives Real Universal and Los Queridos Poseídos.
Sebastián Cruz is an independent photographer who lives and works in Bogotá. His artistic practice centers on collective initiatives, and he was a member of Colectivo Invisible from 2007 to 2010, where he directed a magazine and produced performance festivals. In 2008, he co-founded the residency program, Residencia en la Tierra, which lasted until 2013. He previously co-curated the XIV Regional Artists Salon at the Zona Centro Occidente. Since 2012, he has been involved with Laagencia, and is now the main production coordinator for the Escuela de Garaje project.
Books People Places combines a bookstore and a cultural agency dedicated to urbanism, architecture, and society. Located in Berlin, the agency mediates between contents, interests, and cultures involving various contributors. Cooperating with publishers, universities, offices, stores, and institutions, Book People Places creates a network of relevant conversations, motivating people to take part in a more vibrant discourse on architecture through installations, talks, and exhibitions. Previous collaborations include: Laagencia (an office for art projects in Bogotá), Fulcrum (a publication based at the Architectural Association in London), the Roundabout Lecture Series (produced by the faculty of architecture at the Technical University of Berlin), Friends with Books (an art-book fair in Berlin), AG Drucken Heften Laden (a project of the Independent Publisher's Work Group in Berlin), HKW (the House of World Cultures in Berlin), the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture (based at Columbia University in New York) and dpr-barcelona (an architectural research practice in Barcelona), among others.
Maria C. Mora earned her BArch from the National University of Colombia and her master's degree in urban design from the Technical University of Berlin. She has worked for various construction companies in Bogotá, where she lived before moving to Berlin in 2009. In 2015, she co-founded the studio space and publication platform Books People Places. Her work seeks alternative cultural bridges between Latin America and the rest of the world within architectural practice.
Peter Schmidt graduated with a degree in physics from the RWTH Aachen in Germany. He studied in the Postgraduate Program for Urban Strategies at the University of Applied Arts and finished a master's degree to teach theory, reading, and writing on architecture and urbanism at the same studio at the Brain City Lab. He contributed to the conference Urban Design Research: Method and Application in in Birmingham, UK (2009), and worked for dérive, the Austrian magazine for city planning, in Vienna. In 2011, he moved to Berlin, where he started to work for several bookstores, and in 2015, he co-founded Books People Places.
CAMPO (2015) is an interdisciplinary cultural space for research, dialogue, and exhibition, which examines contemporary issues through art and architecture. CAMPO works through an expanded cultural field that uses what emerges from both artistic and architectural practices, looking to challenge and transform to explore collaborations between disciplines. In its collaboration, it tries to produce critical positions regarding contemporary urban culture. CAMPO acts within predetermined notions of art and architecture as independent disciplines with their own forms of production, practice, and research, as well as within the political potential offered by interdisciplinary and undetermined forms of practice. In this way, CAMPO is open to generating projects that re-configure and escape conceptual, disciplinary, ideological, and geographical boundaries, to generate new relationships and models of knowledge and production.
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