Architecture as Theatre (Tilting Axis/Het Nieuwe Instituut)

Cuban architect-duo Anadis Gonzales and Fernando Martirena, founders of Infraestudio, are the recipients of the Tilting Axis/Het Nieuwe Instituut Research Fellowship 2021/2022. They will be in conversation during the online event “Architecture as Theatre” on Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 1:30 to 3:00pm (EDT).

The architects will present a series of fictional projects developed during the fellowship, which critically question the relationship between architectural design and current problems such as political transparency, the boycott of ecology, censorship, surveillance and punishment. Invited to join the conversation are Neyran Turan and Jonas Staal. This event is moderated by Federica Notari.

During their fellowship Gonzales and Martirena focused on developing and investigating the relationships between architecture, politics and theater. Where do these practices meet and what happens when we think of architecture as a theater? What kind of impact can this have to subvert certain political contexts? Can architecture have an effective political agency, simultaneously with its functional one?

Fernando Martirena (b.1992) currently works and lives in Havana. He graduated from the Technical University of Havana, where he gave lectures on the theory and criticism of architecture. Martirena co-founded the art and architecture studio Infraestudio together with Anadis González. Infraestudio is a transdisciplinary practice interested in space, politics, the minimum and fiction. In addition to architectural projects, Martirena has produced books, collages, installations, urban research and editorial projects. His work seeks to illustrate the poetics of a minor architecture focused on ideas rather than forms. Currently, the studio has five buildings under construction, including the Line 508 Contemporary Art Center. Infraestudio has participated in exhibitions in the last two iterations of the Havana Biennial, the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, the Gorría Gallery Workshop and Cuban Art Factory. Fernando is also Coordinator of the Cuban Architecture Studies Group. Being one of the protagonists of contemporary Cuban architecture, he has thoroughly studied its political and social condition, and has published critical texts about it in Arquine, Rialta Magazine and No Country Magazine. Other examples of his positioning towards national architecture have been the curatorship of two group exhibitions featuring installations, performances and digital art. He has also been one of the main activists and leaders of the Campaign for the Legalisation of Cuban Independent Architecture, which up to the present day remains illegal.

Anadis González (b.1994) is the co-founder of the art and architecture studio Infraestudio and the editorial project Inframince Editions. She studied Music in the Professional School of Arts of Matanzas until 2013 and graduated in Architecture and Urban Planning from the Technological University of Havana in 2018. Her personal obsessions draw a body of interests whose borders are space, politics, and fiction. In addition to architecture projects she has made books, works of art, urban research, and curatorial projects; seeking to illustrate the poetics of a narrative and minor architecture from a transdisciplinary practice based in Havana. She has participated in the last two art Havana Biennials and in 2019 Infraestudio made its first solo exhibition in The Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, Everything I Say is Only What You Hear. During 2019 she worked as a member of the exhibition´s board in GECA. (Group of Cuban Architecture Studios) were she and Martirena curated the exhibitions such as How does the pressure takes you?, a critical overview of Cuban architects´ work. During the same year she curated Postales a Margot in the Factory of Cuban Art, to acknowledge the role of Cuban female architects of the past and present. She currently works and lives in Havana.

For full description, see https://thursdaynight.hetnieuweinstituut.nl/en/activities/architecture-theatre?  To attend, go to https://www.eventbrite.nl/e/architecture-as-theatre-tilting-axishet-nieuwe-instituut-tnl-tickets-311137680177?

[Shown above: Untitled (The Universal Art Museum of Cuba and the 5 Star Hotel Manzana Kempinski) by Infraestudio, 2020.]

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