Architects by Force

Maria Teresa Fernández
Oct. 8- Nov. 27, 2011
Opening Reception  Oct. 8, 6-9pm

Architects by Force-Panel Discussion & Film Nov. 12, 7pm

Need is what makes them “Architects by Force.” An elementary knowledge of building, along with bold and contradictory components, are precisely the raw materials for these houses in Tijuana. Some of these “Architects,” with their unfulfilled American Dream, now fight for their survival in any open space, fearlessly claiming their forbidden grounds. In order to protect themselves from the forces of nature, they ingenuously battle with whatever materials come across their path. Upon the disheveled and torn walls there is a sense of serenity and coexistence with nature. Like weeds, these homes bloom and spread across any existing territorial opening. They use objects such as tires, garage doors, springboard mattresses, refrigerator doors, planks of wood, iron, plastic, metal sheets, and waste from the maquiladoras to construct their homes.
They do not use these materials as environmentalists, but merely as architects facing the harsh fact that they have no other alternative. “Architects by Force” is an architectural style never taken into consideration by mainstream culture. Mexican architecture is being promoted in beautiful books and magazines, but no one looks to the originality and creativity of these “Architects by Force”.
The photographs depict a dialogue between form and material, between the patterns and textures, all of which combine with the wild range of colors to create a cacophonous dialect. These factors confirm the notion that a piece of discarded material is no longer a piece of trash; the colors, the patterns, and the textures conjure up the vitality and imagination required to convert trash into a home. These constructions summon the spirit and creativity of those Mexican Architects who solely want to achieve their objective; a tranquil and covered space for their family to feel protected: a HOME.
They have my respect and admiration.

Maria Teresa