| Jorge Pardo's house in Yucatan.
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Jorge Pardo’s house in Yucatan.

Posted by Fabrice Gilbert in Scouting

Jorge Pardo had never studied design, trained as an architect, or built a house when he undertook the creation of his first home on a hill high above downtown Los Angeles. In 1993, having been invited to present an exhibition at the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), the then 30-year-old Cuban-born artist proposed instead that he would build his own house, six miles away, and exhibit it as a work of art. A horseshoe-shaped single-story redwood structure that curled in on itself, Pardo’s 4166 Sea View Lane was closed to the street but open in the back, with windows offering views of the sea, the other rooms, and the landscaped courtyard. Every element—the lamps, furniture, tiles, garden, and kitchen cabinets—was designed by Pardo. For five weeks in 1998, five years after the initial commission, visitors were led on tours by docents in a kind of play on the real estate agent/client tango. Inside, the artist had installed his 110 hand-blown-glass lights, borrowed for the occasion from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Netherlands. When the show closed, Pardo moved in.

His home was the first of his works to grab the art world’s attention, though certainly not the last to confound viewers and critics. Was it art? Design? Design art? Architecture? Was Pardo scamming the museum to get a free place to live, as one of its board members first wondered?

Nowhere is that approach brought into sharper relief than at Tecoh, the sprawling series of buildings, structures, pools, and gardens that has consumed Pardo for the past six years. It lies on 740 acres deep in the northern Yucatán jungle, on the ruins of a 17th-century hacienda that made rope until synthetics wiped out the global market for agave fiber and plunged the surrounding villages into decline. Here, Pardo has combined Mayan culture and modern design, local craftsmanship and computer-generated technology, natural landscapes and fantastical interiors to produce a suite of kaleidoscopic experiences.

http://www.wmagazine.com

 

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21 Août 2014