LIGA, Space for Architecture is an independent platform founded in Mexico City in 2011 that promotes Latin American contemporary architecture through exhibitions, conferences and workshops.



Lunes a Jueves de 10 a.m. a 6 p.m.

Viernes de 10 a.m. a 3 p.m.

A partir del 15 de abril, sábados de 11 a.m. a 6 p.m.

IG:@ligadf o



LIGA 37: Juan Campanini Josefina Sposito

On the other side. Facade on Dr. Erazo Street.

Juan Campanini and Josefina Sposito established their eponymous studio in 2017 in the city of Buenos Aires (Argentina). Since then, their practice has been focused on both design and education, as well as research.

For LIGA 37, they present a reinterpretation of the landscape of Mexico City, not as a uniform and indivisible entity, but as a fragmented fabric composed of a collection of distinct recognizable parts. Thus, they present architecture as the discipline responsible for determining the urban framework, with the critical capacity to explore ways of creating and looking at the city.

The intervention takes place along the façade wall where LIGA is located, covering both the street-facing front and its reverse side within the gallery. The distance between the cityscape and the observer inside the room is eliminated through a technical illusion that frames the gaze: a real-time projection that showcases this new urban front within the gallery, yet another fragment of the city's landscape.

Graham Foundation 2023 grant

We are very excited to announce that LIGA-Archives has been awarded the Graham Foundation 2023 grant, for the project "The Missing Architect".

The 1950s in Cuba were very significant for architecture. Max Borges Recio (1918–2009) was one the great architects of this generation, designer of iconic projects such as Tropicana Cabaret (1952) or the Nautical Club (1953). His projects became part of the Cuban Modern Regionalist Movement, an architecture that blended the international principles of the modern style with local elements of the Cuban tradition. Borges's work is one of the few in Cuba that is still standing, and most of it remains in use for its intended purpose.

LIGA-Archives: Architecture for Gods

Architecture for Gods

The Heroic Military College (Agustín Hernández Navarro and Manuel González Rul, 1976) stands as a project both emblematic and enigmatic. Situated on the outskirts of Mexico City, it’s bearly accessible to civilians, evoking echoes of a pre-Hispanic era while also hinting at a dystopian future. Remarkably, despite its existence for almost half a century, this captivating site has been sparingly documented. The archives contain a handful of image series, an iconic music video featuring Luis Miguel, and even a film featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

After months of email exchanges, we reached an agreement on the logistics of the visit. We entrusted the task to a team of five architecture photographers: Arturo Arrieta, Lorena Darquea, Luis Gallardo, Onnis Luque, and Luis Young. The materials showcased in this exhibition are the outcome of two days of extensive photographic documentation. 

During the month of June 2022, as part of this initiative, we had the opportunity to interview Agustín Hernández Navarro and share some of the images we took with him.  Unfortunately, Hernández Navarro passed away last November. We would like to express our gratitude to his daughter, Lorena Hernández, for all the support provided in the development of this project.

The exhibition furniture was commissioned by LIGA in collaboration with Gerdau Corsa, a great ally and sponsor of our initiative. For its construction, a 24” IR beam weighing 55 pounds per foot was used. It was made of high-strength, low-alloy steel produced from 100% recycled materials.

This project was recognized by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

LIGA 36: Isidoro Michan-Guindi

LIGA 36: Isidoro Michan-Guindi / Hybrid Creatures.

Trained in the US (Princeton & Cornell), the young Mexican architect Isidoro Michan-Guindi (Mexico City, 1990) established a practice in Mexico City in 2019.

As the studio has no relevant realized buildings in its portfolio, Michan-Guindi is relatively unknown within the panorama of contemporary Mexican architecture. Yet, his studio is a thriving laboratory in which carboard models, colored concrete try-outs, electro-robotic components and aluminum casts are transformed into intelligent architectural proposals, ranging from everyday objects like door handles to complete housing towers.

Through a constant exploration with prototypes and models, Michan-Guindi has developed an exciting body of work that questions basic architectural notions such as composition, gravity, comfort and functionality. His proposals have strong animistic qualities and a certain formal awkwardness, that make the spectator looks twice. He invokes a tangible world of Hedjuk-like animals, devilish horns, otherworldy characters, shapes with souls and self-propelling stools, provoking a successful clash between the absurd and the plausible.

Collaborators: Sina Ozbudun en la Torre de cuatro patas (2018) y Edificio con rampa (2019) y de Mads Bjorn Christiansen en Casa columna (2021) y Edificio con sombrero (2022).

Team: Angélica Sarmiento, Luis Iván Méndez, Emmanuel Durán, Mariel Avilés, y Julián Castelán.


Opening: Thursday, September 8, 2022.
7:00 p.m. Mexico City

Next September 8, we will inaugurate LIGA 35: en tu mente, hand in hand with the Cuban architects Infraestudio.

Infraestudio is an art and architecture studio founded in Havana in 2016, headed by architects Anadis Gonzalez (1994) and Fernando Martirena (1992). They have exhibited in the 12th and 13th Havana Biennials, in group displays at Taller Chullima and Taller Galeria Gorría, and had their first solo exhibition at the Ludwig Foundation in 2019. Their transdisciplinary practice explores a variety of formats such as urban investigations, architectural projects, installations, sculpture, photography, performance, site specifics, drawing and collage.

Do not miss it!



New exhibition LIGA-ARCHIVOS.

Photographers: Arturo Arrieta, César Béjar, Luis Gallardo, Onnis Luque, Ariadna Polo and Luis Young.

Opening April the 21st, 19:00 pm.
Doctor Erazo 176, Colonia Doctores, CDMX

Available until august, 2022. 


MARCH 1st  2022

19:00 hrs (MX)

Don´t miss out!

The Tuesday, March 1 at 19:00 pm (GMT -6) we're present a new project on our platform LIGA-ARCHIVOS: three series by Dutch photographer Bob Schalkwijk (1933).

We're honored by the presence of Bob Schalkwijk; Wonne Ickx, architect and founding partner of LIGA; Gina Rodríguez, historian; Suleman Anaya, journalist and researcher in architecture and design; and Onnis Luque, photographer.

Iluminando Casa-Jardín Ortega

Lutron y LIGA presentan “Iluminando la Casa-Jardín Ortega de Luis Barragán”, en donde grandes diseñadores de iluminación y arquitectos toman los jardines de la Casa-Jardín Ortega como escenario e inspiración para homenajear la visión de Luis Barragán en la luz y la arquitectura.

Una fuente de inspiración, un millón de posibilidades.


"The LIGHT is an industrial object and familiar," wrote his
colleague Donald Judd in 1964 when first considering
implications or Dan Favin work; "It is a means new to art.
Art could be made of any number of objects, materials,
and techniques."And since then,it has been. Inventively
situating varying configuration of light in relationship to
architecture and occupying spaces with physical vol-
umes of light and color, Flavin's conception of art is
pretty much determined by light and color yet,the spatial
framework is the inflection point for Ihe viewer experi-.
ence.As Light and art mingle and blur, ight become art
and art deploys light as an expression.

La Casa-Jardín Ortega es una casa y un museo,donde la misma familia que desde la época de los 40s la habita hasta el dia de hoy y la mantiene como cuando Luis Barragán la diseño y el mismo habitó de 1942 a 1947.Posteriormente la dejó para construir su casa en el predio vecino que hoy es considerada una de sus más grandes obras realizadas en el barrio de Tacubaya formando parte de un nodo icónico en el patrimonio cultural y arquitectónico de la ciudad reconocida por la UNESCO.

Lutron de la mano de LIGA y la familia Ortega se han dado a la tarea de utilizar la luz y tecnología como herramienta de trabajo para explorar la relación entre los interiores,los patios y los jardines de Casa-Jardín Ortega desdibujando sus líneas al caer la noche. Diseñadores de iluminación y arquitectura de la actual generación experimentan una perspectiva diferente presentando estos espacios como salas museográticas abiertas, probando y rompiendo los límites fenomenológicos de los colores y de las formas de la arquitectura y el paisaje con la tecnología accesible en nuestros tiempos.

LIGA, Espacio para arquitectura, iniciativa sin fines de lucro que agradece y se suma a la creatividad y entusiasmo de los diseñadores invitados, quienes comprometidos por preservar el legado de Barragán contribuyeron con este proyecto. Los recursos recaudados se destinarán a la conservación y mantenimiento de Casa Ortega,considerada como el secreto mejor guardado de la obra de Luis Barragán.


Artec Studo / Taller ADG / Jorge Hernández de la Garza / Luca Salas / Luz en Arquitectura / Sombra / Tonal Taller / Yuri Zagorin. 
Agradecemos a Casa-Jardín Ortega por abrir sus puertas a este gran proyecto.
Este proyecto es posible gracias a la colaboración y patrocinio de LUTRON, MAERIC, MT Ingeniería. 

Inauguración miércoles 3 de noviembre 2021, 6:00pm CDMX.


Fair Shelter.
July 24–December 2021.

Opening. Saturday, July 24, 2021.
3:30 p.m. Mexico City.


This intervention is a body of work that describes part of an investigation titled — El Sinseñalismo—which explores the concepts of digital disconnectivity and deceleration and its relationship with art and architecture. Through this endeavor Tezontle seeks to suggest a reconnection with the elemental essence of humankind.

‘Fair Shelter’ is a living space for a fictional explorer in which a ‘signal-less’ life can be sustained. A diorama of sorts, this space seeks to display this character’s life by means of a series of objects, artifacts, and sculptures that represent and symbolize the daily routine of the user. Elements that recall, through their interactions with the most basic forms of life, a way of relating and reconnecting with the essential, while questioning our contemporary way of living— behavioral patterns, customs, and uses we take for granted. By creating an ephemeral space, the installation also explores themes of temporality in architecture, calling into question the very notion of permanece.


With our new project called LIGA-ARCHIVOS (LIGA Archives) we add a view towards the past to our programming at LIGA. Through a web platform and public programs, we aim to show, activate, and promote valuable architectural work and photography in the hands of families or small foundations in Mexico (and Latin-America).

Next Tuesday, January 26th at 7 pm, we invite you to join us for the launch of LIGA-ARCHIVOS, presenting the archive of the photographers Roberto and Fernando Luna, through an online conversation* with Wonne Ickx (founding partner of LIGA), Ana María Artigas Cantú (Francisco Artigas’ daughter), Mario Ballesteros (Editor of Travesías magazine) and Luis Fernando Luna (Fernando Luna’s son).

* The transmission will be hosted on our YouTube channel and via our Facebook page.



Spring 2021

Tezontle, formed by Lucas Cantú and Carlos H. Matos, uses tools and codes from architecture and sculpture, placing itself at an ambiguous point between both disciplines. Starting from different aesthetic and historical references, they have built an idiosyncratic imaginary that refers to a bucolic utopia, at the same time modernist, pre-hispanic and primitivist.


LIGA and Panel-Rey present an online conversation series of single family residencies in our neighbour country, United States.
Brief conversations between Wonne Ickx and our guest architect to talk about their most relevant housing projects.

1. Wednesday, Oct 21st: Ardmore House. Kwong Von Glinow
2. Wednesday, Oct 28th: Haus Gables. Jennifer Bonner (MALL).
3. Wednesday, Nov 4th: House #10. MOS Architects.
4. Wednesday, Nov 11th: Vault House. Sharon Johnston (Johnston Marklee).
5. Wednesday, Nov 18th: Mother House. Paul Andersen (Independent Architecture).





The upcoming exhibition at LIGA is in charge of Amunátegui Valdés, a Chilean duo that works from Santiago de Chile and Los Angeles, California.  The architects Cristobal Amunátegui and Alejandro Valdés produce a broad range of projects in different scales and media, including furniture design, exhibits, buildings, writing and lectures. A dialogue between architectural history and contemporary culture is a central focus point of their practice. 

LIGA 33 by Amunátegui Valdés, is entitled "Compendium" and explores configurations in which architecture neither designs nor composes, but rather organizes and assembles the material world to mediate between humans, technique and nature. It takes clues from historical references such as tabernacles, cabinets, miniatures and mobile shrines, to investigate juxtapositions of elements as a way to create environments of meaning and experience. The project is planned to open in the fall, in presence of both architects. 

For the moment, LIGA is open to the public (by appointment only) to visit the exhibition LIGA 32 "Shameless Copy" by the brazilian firm Terra e Tuma.



Monday, July 6th, we open our doors to visit our current show LIGA 32: TERRA E TUMA. Shameless copy. 

Visits are individual. All necessary health and safety measures will be taken.

The use of face masks is mandatory for access.


We are very happy to announce we are the winners of a Co-Investment Grant from the Mexican Fund for Arts and Culture (FONCA) for our project LIGA-ARCHIVES.

The project seeks to make visible and to promote existing historical archives related to architecture in Mexico. We want to give small family archives or foundations with limited resources, the possibility to share their valuable material through a web platform and to activate their archive through our public program.


More news soon!






"Shameless Copy"
March 19 - May 31

Terra e Tuma, the Brazilian quartet made up of Danilo Terra, Fernanda Sakano, Pedro Tuma, and Juliana Terra, presents a project that defines their architecture of craftsmanship and skill: a discipline of copying and repetition.


In this exhibition, they draw on the thought of Paulo Mendes da Rocha: the idea that architects are condemned to always making the same house, working with the same materials, but in a different way, as happens also in the field of literature. Shameless Copy challenges the current notion that constant innovation, attention-grabbing novelty, and originality at all costs constitute an irrefutable dogma. 

The São Paulo-based firm, known for its austere, pragmatic buildings, exhibits eight of its single-family home projects in this labyrinthine space. The models, made of basic neutral grey materials, are presented simply and straightforwardly, like all of Terra e Tuma’s work. It is not the beauty of the individual models that counts, however, but rather the relations established between them. Set up as a series, in a darkened space, with very precise lighting, some of them are placed in front of a mirror in which the following project is reflected. These superimposed silhouettes interconnect the projects in a complex spatial relationship, transforming a series of single works into an overview of the firm’s methods and production as a whole.



Saturday, February 29: 11pm - 1pm 
Exquisite Corpse 
Directed by Kerrry Tribe
(USA, 2016, 51 min)
Premier in México of Exquisite Corpse, a 51-minute film that traces the 51-mile LA River from its origin in the San Fernando Valley to its terminus at the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, Tribe’s camera captures its varied landscapes, neighborhoods, creatures, and communities through a string of meditative encounters that collectively describe the river at this juncture in its history.
Directed by Lorenzo Hagerman and José Cohen
(Mexico, 2014, 75 min)
H2OMX is a documentary film that portrays the problem of water supply in Mexico City. Best Documentary Award at the Ariel Film Festival, 2015.

Free event. 

Interludio: Guided Walk

Boca Grand Canal
February 15: 10 am
Join us for a walk along the Boca Grand Canal. Guided tour by Panósmico. Departure from LIGA: Dr. Erazo # 172. Colonia Doctores

Free event. Limited places available 
Please contact us at:

Interludio: Lyrical Ecologies

Lyrical Ecologies: a dialogue between 
Tania Candiani, Adriana Salazar and Ruth Estévez
Saturday, January 25: 12pm

A dialogue on water ecosystems through an interdisciplinary approach. The three speakers will talk about projects where art and ecology open up new forms of research, exchange and production.

Free event


Thursday, January 23 and Thursday, February 6 and 20, 12pm to 6pm. 
Open doors to see the development of the Panósmico´s project in LIGA with the presence of the Collective.

Free event. 

"Ay Agüita"

Interludio: Lectura en voz alta
by Iñigo Malvido
Thursday, December 18: 7pm
Iñigo Malvido is a collaboration of the CAH, a project by Panósmico Collective. He will read publicly his book ,  "Ay Agüita", a novel that combines subjective thoughts, collective diaries and and diverse cartographies and landscapes in a free and personal narrative.


Free event. 


Hydrographic Auscultation Circuit
November 28th - March 1st, 2020
Opening: November 28th
Hydrographic Auscultation Circuit is a methodological observatory, data collector, information processor, and language interface. It acts as a link between different media, disciplines, and territories, reimagining the possibilities of the landscape and exploring its ecological imbalances.


CAH studies the concealed and exposed waterways that circulate within Mexico City, as well as their effects on the environment, viewed in constant relation to historical and temporal conditions. The focus of the present exploration is the Becerra river, a body of water whose place and role in the urban territory of Mexico City offers rich material for investigation. Located in the west of the city, it flows from the heights of Santa Fe, through the neighborhoods adjoining Alta Tensión, and on between the thoroughfares of Periférico and Patriotismo, finally running into a deep drainage system at the commencement of a major distributor road. As one of the last visible bodies of water in the center of the city, its bears witness to the desiccation and sanitation polices implemented since the Spanish Conquest, right through to the modern regimes of presidents Porfirio Díaz and Luis Echeverría: river = tubing = drainage.
The CAH is a project by PANÓSMICO (Manolo Larrosa and Mariana Mañón), submitted to the open call entitled “Máquinas imaginantes” (Imaginal Machines), the 2019 edition of a biannual competition organized by LIGA. Roberto Michelsen, Íñigo Malvido, Francisco Ohem, and Mateo Torres Ruiz also collaborated on the project.

Graham Foundation Grant

LIGA has been selected by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts as one of the 54 organizations worldwide to receive one of their 2019 Grant for Organizations. Through the Graham Foundation website we have announced our 2019-2020 exhibition program that continues to focus on emerging and influential Latin American architectural practices.


Escobedo Soliz

July 25th - October 25th
Opening: July 25th
The Bolivian-Mexican duo Escobedo Soliz builds an installation in LIGA's gallery space that, under the name of "thorax", protects the interior of its vacuum. A place built from wooden poles that creates a rhythmic oval structure.

A construction that reminds us of the rib cage of a great whale, trapped inside the gallery space itself. The "thorax" is fragile and flexible at the same time, a space that simultaneously represses and protects our vital organs: between prison and protective cave. It is difficult to know if the wooden structure inquestion is the fragile beginning of a construction (the wooden studs of a workin progress), or if it is its ruin, that what remains after the shipwreck.

The reductive, but explicit tectonics-in this case the pinewood slats and their joints articulated with ixtle-cord-is a key element in Escobedo Soliz's work. But here, the disjunction between the envelope (the floor, ceiling and walls of the gallery) and the interior temporary construction, generate an interstitial space: a witness of the friction that exists between the constructive logic and the architectural obsession. Accompanied by a text by Pablo Goldin, the exhibition questions whether architecture has the capacity to liberate and emancipate us, or if, in its naive ideological aspiration, it only makes us prisoners of its own system.

Winners Máquinas Imaginantes

The collective PANÓSMICO (Mariana Mañón and Manolo Larrosa) in collaboration with architects Alice Pontiggia and Roberto Michelsen, poet Iñigo Malvido, filmmaker Eduardo Makoszay and biologist Ivan Ransom are the winners of LIGA’s second open call: Máquinas Imaginantes (Imaginary Machines) with their proposal: Circuito de Auscultación Hidrográfica” (Hydrographic Auscultation Circuit).
Hydrographic Auscultation Circuit is a data collection observatory, information processor and language interface. A binding element between diverse media and territories that imagines the possibilities of our landscape and its ecological imbalance in relationship to aquatic, bacteriological and human architecture. 
The project consists of three sensor stations controlled by Arduino boards, each one distributed between three of the dams of the Becerra River; one of the subterranean rivers that flows through Mexico City.  These stations will report the fluctuating state of its water quality index: pH, amount of oxygen, rate of motion, temperature, and density of dissolved particles in the water. The information collected by the sensors will circulate in real time at LIGA’s exhibition space, made visible through containers of water that modify their state according to the values found in the Becerra River. One of the circuits will include filmed documentary material from each dam. 
Research: Hydrographic Auscultation Circuit is a multidisciplinary research project that analyzes the state and infrastructure of the Becerra River—one of the few currents of Mexico City that hasn’t been completely piped. The members of the project will study the relationship between the body and urban spaces as a means to question the complexity of our relationship to the landscape and its residual spaces. 

Deadline for registration: May 7

"The machine is invented to respond to specific needs. Once it exists, the operator can go far beyond its original capacities: by breaking the rules imposed by the machine itself, creative outcomes emerge that were unimagined before using the machine, before breaking its rules."

Felipe Ehrenberg

Our second open call borrows its title from the book by Stevphen Shukaitis, lmaginal Machines [1], to discuss the productive structures that operate on the basis of a radical and collective imagination. A mechanism that is activated by social self-determination and joint action and that is the fruit of sharing the experience, knowledge and techniques that ground us as a society. 
We invite architects, researchers and writers to think about past and present "machines" that use architecture to work as tools of social analysis and production.
Leaving aside any deux ex machina mechanism, the structures we would like to assembie avoid a happy ending, where this is produced by standardized modes of operation. lmaginal machines help us to construct a vision of how to live together in the world, dismantling the state of comfortable individualism in which most of us live. Machines that are in a continuous state of trial and error, operating on the basis of their own dysfunctionality "lt might be that imaginal machines only work by breaking down. [...] By reopening the question of recuperation, the inevitable drive to integrate the power of social insurgency back in to the werking of capital and the state."[2] Only in this way can we create possibilities where the shared imagination can combine different ecologies of knowledge in the service of social change.
We are open to both real and/or imaginary projects that use installation, historica! documents and archive material, performance, or publications that refer to the creation of these imaginal machines within architecture as antagonists of the status quo, whether using specific cases or those under development.
The winner proposal would be shown in LIGA as part of the annual exhibitions program. 
[1] Shukaitis, Stevphen. lmaginal Machines: Autonomy and Self-Organization in the Revolutions of Every Day Life. New York: Autonomedia, 2009
[2] lbid 1. 
First Stage Jury
Iván López Munuera (ESP) 
Fabrizio Gallanti (ITA) 
Amaryllis Jacobs (BEL)
Camilo Restrepo (COL)
Rubén Valdéz (MEX)
Andrew Kovacs (Archive of Affinities)  (EEUU)
Anna Junni (BRA)
Sandra Barclay (PER)

Second Stage Jury
Julieta González (VEN/MEX)
Rozana Montiel (MEX)
Natalia de la Rosa (MEX)
Amanda de la Garza (MEX)
Surella Segú (MEX)

To download competition bases, please click ¨DESCARGAR¨ here below. Scroll down in document for English text:

Una posible puesta en escena

Una posible puesta en escena
Colaboración entre Pedro&Juana y Francesco Pedraglio
Jueves, 18 de abril, 19.30 h./20:00 h/20.30 h 
Seis actrices están esperando en la galería para representar una puesta en escena. Perdidas en la ciudad, ellas recrean situaciones imperceptibles:  “Sonido Sonorense” es el rumor de la flauta de un afilador de cuchillos, el vendedor del agua o el camión de la basura; “Solecito de Tepito” presenta el calor bochornoso cada medio día en los puestos de comida de Tepito; “La Ventosa”  nos recuerda el viento turbulento que corre entre la Torre de Reforma e Insurgentes; “La Inundación” es aquella coladera que tapa la ciudad creando un lago improvisado, y “la Flor de Esquites”, una máquina de olores que nos devuelve esos aromas tan característicos de los mercados. 

Una vez en el espacio de la galería, y tomando la forma de un personaje/escultura, se preguntan cual será su papel en esta obra.  Pedraglio toma  "Seis personajes en busca de un autor" (1925) del dramaturgo italiano Luigi Pirandello como base para un guión, eliminando todas aquellas frases que no aluden directamente al tema central de la obra: Seis personajes que se presentan en escena para formar parte de una representación. Las actrices irrumpen así en el espacio de LIGA, e insisten en que se les permita contar su propia historia: ya sea la de los personajes que representan en la ciudad, o la de las actrices que ahora les toca ser.

Francesco Pedraglio and Pedro&Juana

A possible mise en scène
Francesco Pedraglio and Pedro&Juana
Thursday 7, 7 pm



The Horizon is Ours! 
March 7 - June 20

Since their introduction to museums in the 19th century, dioramas have constituted a museographic device for displaying spaces to scale, where remote places, geographically or dislocated in time, are reflected. A mixture of art and science, dioramas became the first attempt at virtual reality, through the interrelation between a foreground and a painting in a curved background. Thus the diorama represented a natural space that was transformed into a landscape through its own constructive morphology.

For this project, the Mexican studio Pedro&Juana works with the device of diorama as a radical architectural gesture: a "window into the city" that reproduces a visual reality from an exercise in taxidermy, framing what by inertia is always in constant change. Through this intervention, Pedro & Juana makes an open question on the relationship between culture and nature, representation and reality, and the "power" of the subject and its capacity to contain, compose and fragment inside a vitrine the constructed world.

The museum has been the mausoleum of the objects of the past, reinserted in the present under the auspices of the building that houses them, and intersected by different methods in which objects are incorporated, cataloged, analyzed and then displayed. The museographic forms and, specifically, the diorama, perhaps one of its maximum expressions, are a consequence of the impossibility of representing the object of desire.
Undoubtedly, one of the most recurrent fantasies of Modernity was to interpret the past as if it were an intact relic, uncontaminated by the gaze of the present. It is impossible, however, to separate the presented device from the knowledge and the gaze of the one who made it and who has the power to return it to circulation. "The modernist nation was crafted as the ark of a People:  a finite and bounded artifact with a trajectory in time, a storied space; museums and art history as its cybernetic or navigational instruments, as optical devices allowing each citizen- passenger both to see behind the ship, the direction whence it came […] Never mind that such a horizon point is always equally far away however close we seem to come: the visual mirage in the noonday blankness of the present."
Actually, it was about interpreting the known world as a sequence of images adapted to the visual horizon of Western thought, turning objects into fetishes. In this hegemonic act, the museum becomes the administrative brain of knowledge and of "everything else", that is, of all objects from different cultures and backgrounds, a set of flaccid bodies that are activated under the impulse of this machine of representations.
A semi-rigid machine that cannot bend down to observe each one of the parts. A torsion, which, more than a reverence, would mean an act of multiple unfolding, that would facilitate the understanding of plurality and the diverse states of knowledge of which we are a result. Given this impossibility of connection based on differences, taxidermy seems to be the only possible form of interpretation: museography becomes that structural archive that fragments and endows things with value while it neutralizes them under generic terms.
Pedro & Juana put in place a diorama in the LIGA gallery, representing an imaginary space in Mexico City, where a number of objects set up a scene that is simultaneously present and timeless. It is a series of objects that represent, each in its own way, different facets of the daily life of the city. These are objects that most of the times go unnoticed, either by its precariousness or by its excessive worldliness. Some of these objects represent situations, moments that shape the city from sensations. This selection made by Pedro & Juana responds to the interest of this Mexican study for manual processes and the recovery of handicraft materials, which are often in relation to the underground economies that sustain the day to day of the city.
Pedro and Juana refer to these objects as the actresses, because their way of acting makes the city stay alive and in full circulation. The actresses are gathered in LIGA presenting a mise en scène directed by Francesco Pedraglio, based on a imaginary script. These actresses adopt a stage name, conferring them a certain epic halo: "Sonido sonorense" represents the sound of the flute of a knife sharpener, the seller of water or a garbage truck; "Solecito de Tepito" represent the hot weather that incremented over the day on Tepito´s food stalls; "La Ventosa" recalls the turbulent wind that happens between the Tower of Reformation and Insurgentes; "The Inundación" is the storm drain that clogs the city creating an improvised lake, and "the Flower of Esquites " is a smells machine that brings back the aromas so characteristic of some markets.
This diorama also plays with the scale of the objects, using the same devices to reproduce the reality that the dioramas use within the museum. From techniques that create a false perspective, The horizon is ours!reinforces the feeling of depth, but also the illusion of shaping the horizon of the city in which we live. A project that refers, not without a certain irony, to the possibility of owning the landscape. With this intention, an operation is remade of selecting and labeling a city project in which the architects are inscribed. However, this selection of Pedro&Juana is motivated by another type of hierarchy, one that departs organically from the traditional sequence of values.
1 Donald Preziosi. “Performing Modernity” in Performing the Body. Performing the Text, Routledge, New York, 1999. P-31.

Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola

Trajectories of a panel
November 30 - February 22, 2019

For their exhibition at LIGA, Chilean researchers Pedro Alonso and Hugo Palmarola are presenting, for the first time in Mexico, a summary of their investigation into the “genealogies” of systems of construction models in Chile during the years of socialism under Salvador Allende. An investigation that links architecture to social and cultural transformations, fruit of the geopolitical avatars of modernity.

The exhibition takes a starting point the project “Monolith Controversies,” an investigation undertaken for the Venice Biennale 2014, curated by Rem Koolhaas, as part of the section “Absorbing Modernity.”  A hybrid object stood in the middle of the Pavilion of Chile: a concrete panel 3 x 3 m in height, produced by the KPD factory donated by the USSR to the city of Quipulé in Chile, to support the socialist government of Salvador Allende.

This concrete monolith, part an industrial product, part a monument to the present, was a symbol of the social and economic transformation of Chile through the mass construction of social housing. The model came from France, and had been invented as a cheap and efficient solution during the post-war reconstruction period in Europe. It was later adopted by the Soviet Union due to the housing shortage arising from the de-Stalinization process led by the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Its third incarnation emerged in Cuba, where the system was readapted as the Soviet “Great Panel” in 1963, as the result of the donation of a concrete panel production factory to the regime of Fidel Castro. By means of these adaptations, the panel system finally reached the Chile of Salvador Allende, following a new donation of a KPD panel factory to support the Chilean people in the wake of the 1971 earthquake. One of the first panels to be produced was signed by the hand of Allende himself, as a symbol of a new era, an example of modernization and new social policies for housing. Following the 1973 coup d’état, the factory switched direction and strategy, altering the path set out by the socialist wing. The wall, which was signed together with the Russian ambassador with the legend “Thank you Soviet and Chilean comrades,” was canceled out with a new layer, converting the social monolith into a traditional religious altar: the triumph of the conservative right over socialism and the burial alive of a moment loaded with hopes and airs of renewal. The factory continued operating, and the concrete panel would be assimilated into two politically antagonistic phases, representing its fourth and fifth interaction: the socialist KPD (1972) and the neoliberal VEP (1976).

For the exhibition, the two researchers make a recount through photographs of the history of the panel as a reflection of the architectural, political and cultural history of Chile, starting with a journey of several decades until its recovery and exhibition at the Venice Biennale. In the LIGA space a model of a “Matrioshka” building is on display, where the different interconnected systems of this model converge, with values of similarity and repetition, standardization and variation of an object, which is linked to technological, architectural, design, art, political and cultural processes.

In addition, drawings and press documents will be exhibited that accompanied  the sociocultural process of Chile and the transformation of the city during the period of Salvador Allende. Finally, a previously unseen documentary will be shown that covers the whole process of the recent discovery and unveiling of the panel.

About the researchers: Pedro Alonso is an architect who holds a master’s in Architecture from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a doctorate in Architecture from the Architectural Association of London. Hugo Palmarola studied design at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). He holds a master’s in the History and Theory of Industrial Design from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), where he also studied a doctorate in Latin American studies with a thesis on the technological imaginary during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema.

A House Is Not A House. Tatiana Bilbao

Thursday, January 31, 7pm

Book Launch:  “A House Is Not Just a House”. A book published by Columbia Books on Architecture and the City, New York. 

“A House Is Not Just a House” [Una casa no es solo una casa], revisa el trabajo de Tatiana Bilbao en torno a la vivienda. Su trabajo construye argumentos sobre la producción de espacios domésticos de una forma expansiva a la par que mínimal, inseparable del contexto donde se ubican y basados en los principios fundamentales del habitar. El libro incluye  reflexiones de colegas y académicas como Amale Andraos, Gabriela Etchegaray, Hilary Sample e Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco. 

La presentación del libro en LIGA junta a sus autoras en un debate que servirá para conocer a fondo el trabajo de Tatiana Bilbao y ahondar en las genealogías de la vivienda social. Un proyecto que enlaza también con la reciente exposición inaugurada en LIGA “Trayectorias de un panel”, sobre la historia geopolítica de la vivienda en Chile.

A House Is Not Just a House forma parte de la serie Transcripts on Housing, de la serie GSAPP Transcripts, en colaboración con M.Arch Housing Studios en Columbia University GSAPP.

We open a new space!

In November 2018 we inaugurate our new LIGA venue in the Doctores neighborhood of Mexico City, where we are continuing our exhibition program, diversifying and expanding new lines of research, publishing projects and public activities.

We are open from Tuesday to Satudardy from 11am to 6pm.

The Split Wall. Terremoto #13

Terremoto and LIGA jointly edit the new issue of this Mexico-based contemporary art magazine, that will be focused on architecture.

In this issue we will reflect together with architects, artists and theoreticians on the way in which structures to house, organize and influence human life are planned and built, together with forms of resistance that contribute to destabilizing the pillars of the neoliberal system.

In the mirage of functionality, the collateral effects of a developmental principle that (re)produces itself, ignoring gentrification, dispossession and displacement, become invisible. How can architects address their practice critically, establishing a space for dialogue that reverses the exercises of power? Under what working parameters can honest processes be established, where architecture works in favor of the well-being of the community? How to think about architecture on the basis of an active heterogeneity that is able to connect the past and the future in order to sustain a hybrid present?

Collaborators: Laura Burocco, María Berríos, Tadeo Cervantes, Mónica Chuji, Dorothée Dupuis, Ruth Estévez, Jorge Lobo, Iván López Munuera, Andrea Pacheco, Godofredo Pereira, Fernando Portal, Marina Reyes Franco, Elisa Silva, Vere Van Gol.