While Mexico is known to have been the surrealist capital of the world for the most part of the Twentieth Century, it also has a most interesting, often underrepresented modernist heritage. Its cultural and historical axis is still continuously being negotiated, especially in relation to an influential neighbour like the United States with its powerful influence. The cultural layers of Mexico are most interesting, not least because of its rich pre-colonial heritage, but also the broad European migrations that happened in most of the 18th and 19th Century. Mexico City or Tenochtitlan as known originally during the Aztec Empire was the biggest city in the world in the middle ages, more than four time the size of London at the time, with a vast civilisation built in stone.
Mexico’s pre-hispanic origins have led to a unique strand of modernism, often neglected in the history of art and acrhitecture. An absolutely unique cultural and artistic mix, which has fascinated and drawn artists and architects over the last hundred years, it has generated an interesting blend of the local and international styles such as the Art Nouveau and Art Deco architecture. But also modern examples such as Espacio Escultorico (University Campus of UNAM) or the works by Luis Barragan and Matthias Goeritz reflect this unique cultural blend of Modernism in Mexico, which will be our departing point through visits and workshops in Mexico City before emabrking onto our adventure in Las Pozas.
Luis Barragan & M. Goeritz, Satellite Towers
Model of the City of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City) at Antropologia Museum
Aerial view at Espacio Escultorico in UNAM