In the late nineties, Domènec (b. Mataró, 1962) started to think about artists’ commitment to their social and political context. He realised then that architecture and urbanism are the arts that most directly affect people’s day-to-day lives. So, exploring the social potentialities of architecture at the same time as the devices of art, he began to map out an artistic path that has materialised in the form of sculptures, models, instalations, videos, photographs, workshops, and interventions in public space.
In his work, Domènec questions the grand emancipatory narratives of modernity, drawing attention to the dysfunctions of twentieth-century architectural utopias, while avoiding the pitfalls of apocalyptic, dystopian neoliberalism. His criticism is instead regenerative: a struggle played out in the symbolic field to reconstruct and occupy spaces of rebellion, from the perspective of the micro, the local, and the everyday.
In this podcast, Domènec talks about his working and documentation processes – what he calls “bastard research”, always straddling art, anthropology, sociology, history, journalism, and activism. He also reflects on the nature of the spaces of art as public spaces, and gives a detailed account of some of his most notable works, such as 'Existenzminimum' (2002), 'Playground (Tatlin in Mexico)' (2011), some of the pieces produced in the context of the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the recent 'Public Audience' (2018).
00:00 Political iconoclasm. A struggle in the symbolic sphere
05:21 Architecture. Economy of desire. Social impact
06:36 Breaking away from the white cube. Returning to the white cube
10:00 "Playground" (Tatlin in Mexico) or the accomplished micro-utopias of childsplay
22:26 "Existenzminimum". Relating to the emancipatory ideologies of modernity
27:04 Artistic practices, hybridised disciplines and bastard research
30:40 Case study: the Israeli-Palestinian context
47:36 Eyal Weizman, Gilles Deleuze, Gordon Matta-Clark. Future war. A new military paradigm
56:36 "Public Audience". The staging of the trial of Adolf Eichmann: the architecture of horror
1:01:06 Thinking about other futures