This seminar is the culmination of the exhibition The Return of the Snake. Mathias Goeritz and the Invention of Emotional Architecture and looks to generate a debate centred on the artist Mathias Goertiz as a unique case study with which to understand the phenomena of the translation, reinterpretation and survival of modernity in a new time in history, straight after the war. In a similar vein, together with the seminar Radiations. The Idea of European Art in the Cold War (Museo Reina Sofía, 29 and 30 April), it will introduce the line of research based on the ideas, subjects and life experiences from this time period, which would end in the definition of a new multifocal geopolitical board that is interconnected and far more complex than previously thought by the traditional bipolar history of two antagonistic blocks confronting one another.
The seminar pivots around the concept of “emotional architecture”, put into circulation for the first time in 1953 when the artist opened his Museo experimental El Eco in the Mexican capital. Above and beyond the idea of construction present in a building’s structure, Goeritz’s concept of emotional architecture lead to spaces of recontextualisation in art disciplines, establishing a dialogue between mural painting and sculpture in an anti-functionalist architectural environment. Furthermore, Mathias Goeritz advocated a renewed blueprint of work that traversed the idea of traditional collaboration, favouring instead mechanisms of friendship, exchange and creative loans (the best example being the triad formed by Goeritz, the engineer and architect Luis Barragán and the collector, antiquarian and painter Jesús Reyes Ferreira), in addition to the expanded notion of patronage, which allowed the exponential joining of sensibilities and resources, materialising in works that, while fuelled by historical avant-garde tradition, lead to productions that stood on their own and stood outside the canons of the traditional history of art in central metropolises.
Paula Barreiro. Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Barcelona. In 2013 she co-directed the international conference Transatlantic Encounters: Avant-garde Discourses in Spain and Latin America in the Museo Reina Sofía. Her publications include, among others, Globalization and Art in the Twentieth Century (Third Text, 2013) and Crítica(s) de arte: discrepancias e hibridaciones de la Guerra Fría a la globalización (Critique(s) of Art: Discrepancies and Hybridisations from the Cold War to Globalisation) (Cendeac, 2014), recently co-edited with Julián Díaz Sánchez.
Julián Díaz Sánchez. Professor of Art History at the University of Castilla La Mancha. He is the author of titles such as La oficialización de la vanguardia artística en la postguerra española [el informalismo en la crítica de arte y los grandes relatos](The Formalisation of the Artistic Avant-garde in Post-war Spain [Informalism in Art Critique and Grand Narratives) (UCLM, 1999), Políticas, poéticas y prácticas artísticas. Apuntes para una historia del arte (Politics, Poetics and Artistic Practices. Notes for a History of Art) (Catarata, 2009) and La idea de arte abstracto en la España de Franco (The Idea of Abstract Art in Franco’s Spain) (Cátedra, 2013).
Daniel Garza Usabiaga. Art historian and author of the recent monograph Mathias Goeritz y la arquitectura emocional. Una revisión crítica [1952-1968] (Mathias Goeritz and Emotional Architecture. A Critical Review [1952-1968]) (Vanilla Planifolia, 2012). He has worked as a curator at Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM), Mexico City, and is currently curator of visual arts at the Museo Universitario del Chopo, also in Mexico City.
Francisco Reyes Palma. Art historian, critic and researcher at the National Centre for Research, Documentation and Information on Plastic Arts at the National Institute of Fine Arts, Mexico. A founding member and president of CURARE. Critical Space for the Arts. He is also the author of Mathias Goeritz (La Caja Negra Ediciones, 2011), and numerous other works, and curator of the exhibition The Return of the Snake. Mathias Goeritz and the Invention of Emotional Architecture (Museo Reina Sofía, 2015). Chair person and moderator.
Felicity Scott. Associate professor of architecture and director of the programme in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from the University of Columbia. She is also a founding co-editor of the journal Grey Room and author of Architecture or Techno-Utopia: Politics After Modernism (MIT Press, 2007), as well as multiple articles in exhibition catalogues and magazines such as Artforum and Texte zur Kunst.
Chus Tudelilla. Art historian, independent curator and art critic. Her noteworthy publications include Mathias Goeritz. Recuerdos de España [1940-1953] (Mathias Goeritz. Memories of Spain [1940-1953] (Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza, 2014). She has also regularly collaborated with the magazines Arte y Parte and MAKMA.