Since the colonial era up until the present day, urban centres in Latin America have been developed under a homogenizing vision of civilization, which was later updated by ideals of modernity and progress joint to a developmentalist logic. Complementing the violence of Colony’s urban layout and its territorial spoliation, architectural design, based on Modernism, updates the Western vision regarding the relationship between body and space.
The title of this new issue of the magazine refers to Beatriz Colomina’s seminal text The Split Wall: Domestic Voyeurism. A text where the researcher understands architecture as “a gaze mechanism that produces subjects”, and where the act of building is never neutral, configuring issues of gender and domination through the construction of space itself.
Through the gaze, architectural Modernism acquired the redefinition of the relationship between exterior and interior, between the domestic and the public, the intimate and the social, thus stressing individualism and spectacle. Nowadays, the fields of architecture, urban and territorial planning perpetuate the hegemony of the real estate and financial capital and its effects of segregation, exploitation, and inequality. Under the guise of functionality and individual welfare, architecture hides the collateral damage of a developmental principle that reproduces in itself ignoring the exterior; thus, gentrification, waste, displacement, destruction, and violence continue to set the standard of what is built. How can architects critically carry out their practice establishing a space for dialogue to dislocate the exercises of capitalist power?Under what criteria of work can they establish honest processes where architecture functions in favor of those who inhabit it? To what extent can personal taste prevail over collective requirements? How can we think of architecture from an active heterogeneity that is capable of connecting the past and the future in order to maintain a hybrid present?
In this edition of Terremoto, we reflect together with architects, artists, and theorists about the way in which they build and consider structures to accommodate, organise and influence in human life as well as the forms of resistance that contribute to destabilise the foundations of the neoliberal system. From all the details, we look at cities and towns, real and mental spaces, horizons, and undergrounds from both a critical and caring perspective to understand the battle played out between bodies and concrete.