1124 a gilded tale

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In the writing of situationist Guy Debord, the concept of spectacle is essential as a critique of capitalism. The increased tendency of social mediation through objects makes our society fulfill authentic desires with commodities instead of direct life experiences. What if a souvenir is a collection of “situations” or “experiences” we live directly?

The socio-political and cultural elements of the Queens Community Board 3 make this fragment of New York City a composition of hundreds of “situations” constantly creating alternative life experiences in the shade of the city and its frantic consumerism and capitalistic soul. Opposing this tendency, the community focuses on the richness of its inner values and authenticity. These microcosms are composed by the intersection of three different neighborhoods, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, and North Corona, with the most diverse coexistence of ethnicities, cultures, and beliefs.

Taking inspiration from the context, this project is generated through a geometrical algorithm that assembles an abstract grid and planes derived from the dimensions of the city blocks, while in elevation takes its aggregation logic from the New Babylon of Constant Nieuwenhuys layered on the map of the three converging neighborhoods. The golden grid embodies a precious framework to display everyday episodes that best represent the community’s identity. This is a personal souvenir, an object in continuous evolution that relates to our individual experience, what we call the fifth dimension. The grid is a stage for icons of the past, the present, and new icons of the future: Louis Armstrong, Malcolm X, Ganesha, Buddha, Durga, the LGBTQ community. These are just a few of the symbols, part of the community, that people identify. It is up to whoever owns the gilded grid to fill empty platforms with their icons to reflect life’s experience.

Location: Storefront for Art & Architecture, New York, New York
Status: Group Exhibition, 2017
Team: Alessandro Orsini, Nick Roseboro, Giorgia Gerardi, Gerald Rubia
Curator: Eva Franch i Gilabert
Exhibition Design: MOS Architects