The best way to learn about an architectural project from a distance is through photographs (many of them), plans (the more the better) and texts. A good publication can provide these, and in the case of the Catalogue of this IXth BIAU, these expectations are more than fulfilled. Why an exhibition? What should the exhibition of disparate works of architecture, in a single place, for a fixed (and short) period of time, aim to contribute? What can make a visit to such an exhibition a memorable experience?
Exhibiting architectural works in a specific context which allows them to be understood in a way which is different, unique and appropriate for the event provides unexpected interpretations through comparing, relating and contrasting.
The exhibitions of architecture in which the conventional formats for exhibiting (plans, pictures and texts) are accompanied by unusual objects and specific data provide a remarkable experience of architectural work and of the process which made it possible.
The construction of a specific space – but one which is at the same time generic and neutral – favours the multiple interpretations that are offered by the exhibition of the works and of the documents which describe them.
So this IXth BIAU has been designed to bring a new and different interpretation of the works, through accompaniment and comparison, which complements the information in the catalogue; to show documents which are not usual during the publication of these works, but which enrich the information about processes and uses; to create a new space which favours research and satisfies the curiosity of the collector who visits a museum which exhibits the results of a piece of research, of a compilation, of a cataloguing. All of this is based on three ideas:
1. Cartographies. The geographic and the cartographic as elements which generate a space that is distinct and appropriate to the exhibition.
2. Collections. Collections as a vindication of the expeditionary tradition which, at the end of the XIXth century, incorporated the continent’s wealth into the transatlantic cultural bases.
3. Travels. The itinerant as the dual condition of the exhibition itself (which travels) and of the journeys between both sides of the Atlantic which have established a shared architectural tradition.
Nine large-format collections bring together the thirty selected projects through their geographies, techniques, economies and
scales, users, languages and processes, scenes and systems, all of them very different, suggesting new interpretations that reveal the nature of this Ibero-American architecture. The nine collections are kept in nine trunks which will travel from Rosario to the rest of America and Europe, and will be opened in different places to show the precious objects collected together on this intellectual tour through the best architectural production of present-day Ibero-America.