Can our cities survive?: Domènec


ADN Galeria presents its fourth exhibition by Domènec. Can our cities survive? brings together a selection of brand-new pieces along other recent works through which the artist investigates the history of various architectural projects as a way to materialize the rise and fall of the 20th Century Modern precepts. The exhibition will open on September 15 within the frame of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend, 2022.

The exhibition title is taken from the book Can our Cities Survive? An ABC of Urban Problems, their Analisis, their Solutions, where its author, Catalan architect Josep Lluís Sert, collects and theorizes all the elements in the renowned Athens Charter of 1934, which contains the ideas agreed upon during the International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM), led by Le Corbusier. In the text, Sert presents the housing complex named the Cité de la Muette as the desirable model for modern life, a "garden city" that combines affordable housing with community life.

This social housing complex for the working class was built between 1931 and 1934 in Drancy, northeast of Paris, as one of the first major housing projects designed according to CIAM principles. However, a few years later, one of the buildings in the complex drastically changed its function: in 1941 the Drancy concentration camp was installed there, which, until August 1944, was the France´s hub for the anti-Semitic policy of expulsion. This camp was, during three years, the main internment center for Jews before being deported to Nazi death camps, most of them in Auschwitz.
Starting from this case, the exhibition is assembled through a back-and-forth dialogue between different pieces around the paradox of turning a social housing into an anti-Semitic concentration camp.

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