THE CHINESE CITY GRAND EXHIBITION (PARIS & BARCELONA)
LOCATION PARIS, FRANCE /BARCELONA, SPAIN PROMOTOR CITÉ DE L’ARCHITECTURE ET DU PATRIMOINE /CENTRE DE CULTURA CONTEMPORÀNIA DE BARCELONA CURATOR FRÉDÉRIC EDELMANN AREA 1.525 M2 (PARIS) 1.619 M2 (BARCELONA) BUDGET 315.000EUR (PARIS) 354.000EUR (BARCELONA) YEARS 2007 – 2009
This exhibition meant an approach to those major social, urban and regional transformations taking place in China today. It put on the same plane continuity and change, tradition and modernity, creation and destruction. Its conceptual structure was based in areas defined by semantic fields (character, earth, water, etc) and in a selection of cities that exemplify some contemporary issues (production and Canton, Shanghai and seduction, etc).
Our design of the exhibition enhanced the curator’s premise, emphasizing the main concepts of simultaneity and size, two characteristics that are inherent to China’s condition. The semantic fields of the exhibit formed a continuous, non-interrupted background, allowing for long visuals at different levels. The magnificent wing of the Palais de Chaillot in which it was shown, was used as an opportunity to express this unity in the space of the Chinese city and the various vicissitudes that take place in it.
The elements that condense meaning in this continuity, both in reality and in the exhibition, are the cities themselves, a sort of archipelago in the Chinese ocean. Each city, and its specific material, was a very tall volume in which all its contents was shown, and onto which a specific movie for each city, specially commissioned by the award-winning Chinese director Jia Zhangke to several other Chinese directors, was shown.
This exhibition was later shown in Barcelona, at CCCB cultural center, in very different spatial conditions from the wing of the Cité de l’Architecture in Paris. But still the same elements were used and the same formal and organizational criteria remained, thus resulting in two different expressions of the same conceptual design.
EMBA ENRIC MASSIP-BOSCH, PRINCIPAL; NATÀLIA VALLDEPERES, INMA RODRÍGUEZ (ARCHITECTS DIRECTORS) CONSULTANTS MM!: MÒNICA MESTANZA, ROSA RODRÍGUEZ (GRAFISME)