Architecture as Revolution
Episodes in the History of Modern Mexico
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Texas Press
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English-speaking readers have not had many opportunities to learn about the architectural culture that characterized Mexico as a result of its Revolution. It is not strange, therefore, that the reaction to the book that one is about to read could be similar to that of the anonymous...
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It seems inevitable that I would have done this work. after all, some of my most vivid childhood memories revolve around the Monument to
Introduction: Mexico, Modernity, and Architecture after the Revolution
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Writing with hindsight in 1950, the poet and critic Octavio Paz best defined the paradox of the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920. These remarks display the perplexity held for historians, writers, critics—Mexicans or otherwise—about the social and cultural aims, accomplishments, and motives of the Mexican Revolution. The Revolution has been broadly understood as a heterogeneous outpouring of political, economic, and social meanings as well as...
If Walls Could Talk: José Vasconcelos’ Raza Cósmica and the Building for the Secretaría de Educación Pública
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Upon José Vasconcelos’ departure as minister of education in July 1924, the aesthetic and architectural program he initiated for the Secretaría de Educación Pública (sep, the federal Department of Public Education) suffered the most radical reevaluation and reinstitutionalization encountered anywhere of an avant-garde proposal for the reintegration of art and life. Initially conceived as a redemptive pedagogical program for Mexico’s uneducated masses, it was quickly converted into a propaganda tool...
Chapter 1. If Walls Could Talk: José Vasconcelos’ Raza Cósmica and the Building for the Secretaría de Educación Pública
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Upon José Vasconcelos’ departure as minister of education in July 1924, the aesthetic and architectural program he initiated for the Secretaría de Educación Pública (sep, the federal Department of Public Education) suﬀered the most radical reevaluation and reinstitutionalization encountered anywhere of an avant-garde proposal for the reintegration of art and life. Initially conceived as a redemptive...
Chapter 2. La Ciudad Falsificada: The Avant-garde and the Literary City
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In a late article about Diego Rivera’s mural La Creación, Manuel Maples Arce described its importance in reconceptualizing artistic production: “The work of art had changed not only in the manner it was conceived but also in its function: it is taken from the intimate quality of the salon painting to be placed near the public’s gaze.”1 Maples Arce was present in...
Chapter 3. Colonizing the Colonizer: The Mexican Pavilion at the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition
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In 1928 the third and definitive competition took place to choose the design of the Mexican Pavilion for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition to be held in Seville, Spain. Within the context of the exposition itself, the invitation for Mexico to participate created a strong reaction against the typically imposed colonial structures of international expositions. The location of this exposition furthermore provided Mexico ...
Chapter 4. Against a New Architecture: Juan O’Gorman and the Disillusionment of Modernism
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By 1952, after completing his “primitive cave” house in El Pedregal (Figures 4.1 and 4.2) and the mosaic decorations for the library of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (unam, National University, Figure 4.3), Juan O’Gorman had reconceptualized his personal crisis regarding the appropriateness and need for functional architecture in Mexico. Yet, still...
Chapter 5. Monumentalizing the Revolution
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Juan O’Gorman’s La Ciudad de México (1942, Figure 5.1) presents, in a clear and concise way and without reservations, the fate of architecture in Mexico as the ideals to the Revolution become monumentalized.1 In the painting, O’Gorman’s vantage point is from the Monument to the Revolution—the monument that is, in other words, the Revolution. This metaphor...
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Page Count: 255
Illustrations: 129 b&w photos
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: Roger Fullington Series in Architecture