Where the Facade bends
David Harvey. Rebel cities: from the right to the city to the urban revolution. 2019. Verso/London.
Your gaze scans the streets as if they were written pages: the city says everything you must think, makes you repeat her discourse, and while you believe you are visiting Tamara you are only recording the names with which she defines herself and all her parts. However the city may really be, beneath this thick coating of signs, whatever it may contain or conceal, you leave Tamara without having discovered it. Outside, the land stretches, empty, to the horizon; the sky opens, with speeding clouds.
Italo Calvino. Invisible cities. 1974. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich/New York.
The space of our lives is neither continuous, nor infinite, nor homogeneous, nor is it isotropic. But do we know precisely where it breaks, where it bends, where it disconnects and where it comes together? We feel confusedly cracks, hiatuses, points of friction, we sometimes have the vague impression that it gets stuck somewhere, or that it bursts, or that it bangs. We seldom seek to know more, and most often we move from one place to another, from one space to another, without thinking of measuring, of taking charge, of taking into account these gaps. The problem is not to invent space, even less to reinvent it (too many well-intentioned people are here today to think about our environment...), but to question it, or, even more simply, to read it, because what we call everydayness is not obvious, but opaque: a form of blindness, a kind of anaesthesia.
George Perec. Species of spaces. 1998. Penguin Classics.
In order not to distort this fantasy, the social implications, political dynamics and internal problems of architecture and spatial production are conveniently left out of the picture.
Mark Minkjan. What this MVRDV Rendering Says About Architecture and the Media. 2016. Failed Architecture.
Davide Tommaso Ferrando. Keeping It (un)Real - Behind the facade of starchitect video marketing. 2016.
If the CGI is produced in dislocation from the site, i.e by visualisers whose concern is based within the speculative digital representation, and it is this image which causes the site to come into being, then the built environment itself will materialise as fragmentary representations of the image; each of them devoid of meaning as a result of their de-contextualisation from the actual site.
Felicity Hammond. World Capital. 2019.
Book for Architects: Wolfgang Tillmans in Conversation with Rem Koolhaas. Tate Talks. 2017/London
Architectural renders are highly realistic images, commonly used for advertising, communication and marketing purposes. They are performative visuals, depicting places that have yet to exist. Happy human archetypes are pasted in the ‘perfect’ house, which is placed in an idealised environment. At the core of this peculiar world-building practise, the narrative of hyper-perfection fashions a sleek paradise, propels capitalist norms and shapes our collective imagination of desirable lifestyles, cities and potential futures.
Where the facade bends plays with these 'neither real nor imaginary’ places. With collaged fragments of renders, the video reassembles a new space, a stage for a journey through the backsides, absurdities and ruptures of such smooth surfaces.
Music and sound design : Juanlu Montoro and Ana Becerra Martínez