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Collaborative Sculpture: An Essay on Construction proposed an exercise of co-participation between the collective Tercerunquinto and nine construction workers from Santa María la Ribera. This working process makes visible the points of tension between the hierarchies of architectural and engineering knowledge, compared to the experience of knowledge that workers acquire in their mastery of the trade. For the collective, the architectural blueprint and its interpretation by workers are the places where this tension occurs.

At first, the artists intervened on the original blueprint fitted to the measurements available on a terrain belonging to a neighbor. Later the nine workers deciphered that first blueprint subverting the functionality of the spaces based on their practice. The result was a structure in which the sculptural qualities of the construction are clearly emphasized over the real conditions of habitability. The workers overflowed the spatial limits of the blueprint proposing columns and flattened places in the spaces adjacent to the construction. Those decisions, together with the details of paint, floor, lighting, and plumbing, generated the idea along the lines of radical and subversive constructs.

The piece is made up of a photographic record of the work experience and a printed glossary for neighborhood dissemination that contains terms belonging to each trade involved in the project: masonry, plumbing, cabinetmaking, electricity, and blacksmithing. The glossary uses language to vindicate the scales of specialized knowledges against the more traditional forms of learning a skill, and disseminating the codes of working that operate within each trade.

—Violeta Celis

Curator: Violeta Celis

Final Project: The construction of a temporary, nonfunctioning structure, together with a publication, Collaborative Sculpture: An Essay on Construction.