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Cancha is a project that involves curatorship, design and management. When in October 2011 the National Council of Culture and the Arts called for applicants to participate in this three part open and public call to represent Chile at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, our main challenge became pinpointing the elements which best identify Chilean Architecture (and that which came before it) always keeping in mind that a presentation of a limited number of specified works cannot convey the diversity of the architecture that coexists on a daily basis.

We worked within the limits of three fundamental ideas:
1. Hans Ulrich Obrist states, in ¿Qué es hoy exhibir/exponer arquitectura? (What does it mean to show/exhibit architecture today?), that only extraordinary displays are memorable. This means taking risks and leaving behind the typical explanatory format of blueprints and models.
2. To be politically coherent: to refer to our country´s key problems and situations that identify the period of development and of social change, beyond contingency.
3. To develop the project based on the idea of absence: by limiting language, repertory and resources and by avoiding over-designing, to disappear.

In the same way that we come to the ground, we return to the roots, to emptiness and so settle down.
The root of the Mapuche culture (people of the land) and of all the ancestral tribes is the ground, natural order, with its laws that differ from political judicial laws. As Gastón Soublette states, ‘It is what gives the native tribes a sense of order, including order in matters of the mind’. Our country which is rich in resources lives from the exploitation of the land and subsoil, which is today one of the principal debates involving the reach of state. At the same time Walter de Maria’s New York Earth Room, art work presented in New York in 1977, comes to mind and becomes the starting point of our project.

From this point on the project focused on the search for a type of ground that could identify us as a country. Which one of our soils best represents Chile´s territorial structure and can therefore act as host? While reading about the exploitation of Chile´s enormous reserves of Lithium found underneath the Atacama salt flats, aware of the multiple options available, salt began to dominate and at the same time offered complex connotations and characteristics that we ignored.

Curators and Pavilion Design
María Pilar Pinchart Saavedra ~ Bernardo Valdés Echenique
Commissioner
Cristóbal Molina Baeza (National Council for Culture and the Arts of Chile)
Participants
Pedro Alonso Zúñiga
Alejandro Aravena Mori (Elemental)
Juan Pablo Corvalán Hochberger (Susuka)
Genaro Cuadros Ibáñez
Germán del Sol Guzmán
Iván Ivelic Yanes
Rodrigo Tisi Paredes


Catalogue Edition
María Pilar Pinchart Saavedra ~ Bernardo Valdés Echenique
Art Direction and Catalogue Design
Isaac Gimeno Pujabet ~ Loreto Varela Morey
Art Direction during Competition Stage
Esteban Iglesias Francheteau ~ Mimético
Photography and Filmmaking
Cristóbal Palma Domínguez
Local Architect and producer in Venice
Luigi D’Oro
Crystal Logo
Pedro Pulido Anker
Entrance Neon Sculpture
Iván Navarro Carvacho ~ Pedro Pulido Anker
Internet Developers
DID.is
Lighting Design
Interdesign
Collaborators
Sofía Quiroga Fernández ~ Pinchart Architects
MAPA Consultores
Assistant to Commissioner: María Aparicio Puentes ~ National Council for Culture and the Arts of Chile
Alfonso Díaz Manríquez ~ Cultural Affairs Bureau (DIRAC)
Santiago Elordi Mena ~ Embassy of Chile in Italy
Anna De Pari ~ Embassy of Chile in Italy
Mariana Sanfuentes Astaburuaga, Francisco Adriasola Caro – National Council for Culture and the Arts of Chile
Media Partners
Plataforma Arquitectura ~ www.plataformaarquitectura.cl
Edgar González ~ www.edgargonzalez.com
Translations
Ana María Sanhueza Jardel
Organizer
National Council of Culture and the Arts of Chile
Supporters
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Cultural Affairs Bureau (DIRAC) and the Directorate of International Financial Relationships (ProChile)
Fundación Imagen de Chile
SPL
Interdesign

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