I was there: Chilean souvenirs

The Chilean proposal is a platform that recovers the works of architecture that, beyond the specialized diffusion circuits, have managed to transversally settle into the national memory.
The exhibition is a recollection of the Chilean's popular architecture icons which, after having become representative emblems of different local identities, have been reconstructed into handcraft miniature sculptures.
In this way, the exhibition establishes a dialogue between the conventional methods of architectural representation (using scale models) and the diverse naïve transformation of buildings (without scale, proportion or detail) systematically produced by people outside the discipline.
Under the title I WAS THERE, this proposal underlines the quality of fetishism, of objects that announce tourism, of souvenirs, and the role of architecture as a cultural device for promoting people's massive displacements.
These small objects, in their condition of original and unrepeated handcraft pieces, operate as elements of geographical location: I WAS THERE refers to the place of creation, to the remote site of origin, to Chile's distant location through the eyes of a foreign tourist. The souvenir is thus understood as a kind of witness of an experience, as the evidence that is linked to an imaginary tale.
I WAS THERE reveals the persistence of memory embodied in buildings. They are idealized buildings transformed into archetypes, into singular buildings that transcend immediate functions.
By confronting traditional and contemporary architecture, this exhibition is conceived as an opportunity for expanding the mental imaginary of both sides of architecture: the lay people who take a picture in front of a significant background and the architects who imagine and produce those backgrounds.

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