A man holding a cardboard model runs through the city.
Lesson / Koan : Carry your City with you always.
Anarchitekton is the generic title of a video series made as a work in progress by Spanish artist Jordi Colomer: Barcelona, Barcelona, Brasilia, Osaka are the first stops on this global journey.
A peculiar character, Idroj Sanicne travels the city contaminating the streets with fiction. The models of the buildings are utopian provocations, or playful flags. Idroj runs to the broke rhythm of the cross dissolve static images which, paradoxically, reflect a sense of reverse movement.
Anarchitekton is a portmanteau word conflating “anarchy” and “Architecton”. At its heart is archè, meaning the chief or original instance, the vectorial field between concept and real, self and the world. The Architectons were strictly orthogonal models-sculptures in plaster made by Kasimir Malevich in 1920-25. With no scale or measure, these “spatial constructions” materialise the cosmic trajectory of Suprematism. In contrast, Colomer’s maquettes are devoid of transcendence—indeed, they even play on an excessive mimesis, parodying the reality of architecture by copying its traits to the point of caricature, playing the same revelatory role as the mask in theatre. ( John Hejduk’s Masque is alive & well. )
The maquette instils anarchy into both the order of the real and that of fiction. Embodying architecture as project, it does not project a narrative onto the world it traverses, but instead offers a burlesque parody of it. Usually an instrument of prefiguration, the maquette here post-figures the building, and has no finality, not even an aesthetic one, in that it is not a “handsome” or finished object. It can thus deconstruct the order of representation. A migratory object, it endlessly displaces and fragments architectonic signs as it moves through urban landscapes. Because of this object, the figure carrying it constantly inhabits a discursive zone where everything remains in a state of indeterminacy.
After studying architecture, with a particular interest in modernism, Jordi Colomer went on to explore the emancipatory potential of architecture and the discrepancy between modern buildings and how they are appropriated by their occupants. At the time, new quarters were being built in Barcelona, contrasting with the blocks of flats and major projects of the 1960s. Anarchitekton started out as a game played between a few friends one summer’s day in Barcelona in 2002: Jordi & Idroj decided to “visit the physical limits of [their] city.”
Utopian provocations or brilliant banners, the maquettes can be read as ephemeral events in their urban setting, and traces among a multitude of strangers. Colomer has a rich and varied experience of theatre, and he is fascinated by the hybrid status of ephemeral structures built for festivals or demonstrations—a mixture of set and reality. Idroj is the “hero of immanence” who inhabits both life and art, carrying a symbolic, almost magical load on his shoulders which at the same time represents a weight and necessitates an effort.
maquette |maˈket| noun – a sculptor’s small preliminary model or sketch.
Fascinated by stage sets, by objects that are specially conceived and built for fiction, Colomer could not fail to take an interest in “simulacra:” these vectors of utopia that are architectural maquettes. At once they are theoretical and performative models, close in status to those “false cities in the middle of the desert” found in Hollywood movies. Both figurative and abstract, the architectural maquette evokes the “complex relations between object and word, between narration and set.”
Colomer draws on this world of the analogy and taxonomy of the real where “representation—whether celebration or knowledge—is given as repetition.”
– Michel Foucault, Les Mots et les Choses, 1966, p. 32.