Co-curation with Mario Ballesteros, Sarah Lorenzen, and Mimi Zeiger.
Photographs by Monica Nouwens and Adam Wiseman.
September 23, 2017 – January 17, 2018
The Neutra VDL Studio and Residences
Architects: Frida Escobedo, Pedro&Juana, Tezontle
Writers: Aris Janigian, Katya Tylevich, David Ulin
Filmographer: Miguel Buenrostro
Photographer: Adam Wiseman
Organizational collaborators: The Los Angeles Forum for Architecture & Urban Design, Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, The Neutra VDL Studio and Residences
The Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, and the Neutra VDL Studio and Residences have come together in collaboration to present Tu casa es mi casa, an exhibition that connects two modernist houses in Los Angeles and Mexico City via the exchange of texts, objects, and installations by contemporary writers and architects/artists.
Three California-based writers—Aris Janigian, Katya Tylevich, and David Ulin—were asked to craft a letter to one of the three Mexico City–based design teams—Frida Escobedo, Pedro&Juana, and Tezontle, who responded with site-specific installations at the Neutra VDL House.
If our contemporary political moment offers up a border wall as the primary architectural expression of connection between the U.S. and Mexico, Tu casa es mi casa suggests a more porous boundary between the two countries. The title, a riff on the welcoming “my house is your house”, offers the inverted “your house is my house”—an expression of the personal and political stakes of this transposition.
Installed in Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House in Los Angeles and in collaboration with Mexico City–based gallery Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, Tu casa es mi casa grapples with questions about architectural space, mass production, and domesticity within the legacy of modernism. Both Mexico City and Los Angeles absorbed the initial precepts of the international movement and adapted them to singular social-political-environmental contexts. A return to these twin interpretations re-investigates the promises of the utopian project through a contemporary lens.
Timed to coincide with The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time LA/LA, the exhibition acknowledges a history of architectural, critical, and literary exchange between California and Mexico, however the curators ask that we not only reevaluate past understandings, but also celebrate the richness of contemporary Mexican design practice today.
Tu casa es mi casa is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Crosby Doe Associates / Architecture for Sale Magazine, Ove Arup & Partners, Bestor Architecture, Michael Maltzan Architects, NAC Architecture, TEN Arquitectos with additional support from Aesop, Angel City Brewery, Bar Keeper and Mezcal Unión, Anawalt Lumber, Fabrisaurus, No Style, Triview Glass Industries LLC, Cal Poly Pomona Department of Architecture (CPP ARC), Sci-Arc, USC School of Architecture, and Woodbury University School of Architecture.
“Subtle modernist correspondences,” Abitare