PILAR CALDERON AND MARC FOLCH
These are remote works which the circumstance of being knowingly far-off, beyond
distance, has turned into primary architectures. These are structures that seem
to stand in precarious balance, set in place momentarily to inaugurate a timid,
illusory ephemeral conquest. This process of learning on the periphery of things
suggests mechanisms, apparently elementary contrivances, devised to operate
cleanly and freely. We know that no
two places are faraway as much for the real distance separating them, as for
the circumstances (geographical, climatic, cultural, social, etc.) that distinguish
them. Now we have discovered another farness: the measure of man in nature.
is far from every other place in Chile and very far from the rest of the places
in the world. In this land's length and the limits of its territory (the Andes,
the ocean, the deserts of sand and of ice), one observes that this distance
entails implicitly other distances - those that arise on a map of contrasting
thermal, geographic and social gradients, one that is eminently rural and poor,
and often of difficult accessibility and of disperse technological knowledge.
Within this context, we find works that are generated from the circumstances
that surround them and from the observation of nearby events, works that are
especially eloquent in the vastness of the Chilean territory immersed in local
accidents and myths which are present in memory to one degree or another. The
knowledge of what is available - materials, technologies and other incidental
factors - is the fruit of meticulous observation, forming the starting point
of many of these works. In some cases we may speak of an "inventory architecture"
or an "ironmongery architecture" that is modulable according to the
available materials, that avoids waste and that presents simple construction
solutions, often conceived by the builders themselves, in which the use of materials
answers any questions as to their suitability and application. The result is
architectures of great freedom of design and a rich poetic content.
In this corner of
the Earth, the immense agitated nature places man in a state of constant precariousness.
To build on Chilean territory is to build, at times, for the first time ever.
In contrast to the neatly sliced and parcelled world with which we are familiar,
where the tracks of history lie one upon another and where designing with nature
often seems to be reduced to a matter of exterior design, there the vast uninhabited
extensions remind us that to install oneself means, firstly, to found, and only
afterwards to build and to persist in existing.
Faced with this boundless living geography, the inhabitant seeks a shelter according
to his measure, a place from which he may continue to observe the freely unfolding
course of things. Faced with the absurdity of dominating or domesticating this
geography, an initial, ephemeral precarious covenant arises, in which nature
takes on new meanings and the inhabitant establishes his presence, beginning
a remote primary experience. This condition of farness is the impulse of an
architecture that seeks intimacy and nearness.
The conditions of
farness form the remote part of these works.
PILAR CALDERON I MARC FOLCH are
architects and curators. "Espai Contemporani a Xile",