Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

Curators: Mario Ballesteros, Andrea Dietz, Sarah Lorenzen, and Mimi Zeiger
 

Artists and writers: Frida Escobedo, Aris Janigian, Pedro&Juana, Tezontle, Katya Tylevich, and David Ulin

Neutra VDL Studio and Residences, Los Angeles with Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design and Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura.

Tu casa es mi casa features site-specific installations by three Mexico City–based design teams—Frida Escobedo, Pedro&Juana, and Tezontle, and three California-based writers—Aris Janigian, Katya Tylevich, and David Ulin.

If our contemporary political moment offers up a border wall as the primary architectural expression of connection between the U.S. and Mexico, Tu casa es mi casa suggests a more porous boundary between the two countries. The title, a riff on the welcoming “my house is your house,” offers the inverted “your house is my house”—an expression of the personal and political stakes of this transposition.

Installed in Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House in Los Angeles and in collaboration with Mexico City–based gallery Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, Tu casa es mi casagrapples with questions about architectural space, mass production, and domesticity within the legacy of modernism. Both Mexico City and Los Angeles absorbed the initial precepts of the international movement and adapted them to singular social-political-environmental contexts. A return to these twin interpretations re-investigates the promises of the utopian project through a contemporary lens.

Timed to coincide with The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time LA/LA, the exhibition acknowledges a history of architectural, critical, and literary exchange between California and Mexico, however the curators ask that we not only reevaluate past understandings, but also celebrate the richness of contemporary Mexican design practice today.

Tu casa es mi casa is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Cal Poly Pomona Foundation, Bestor Architecture, Michael Maltzan Architects, NAC Architecture, TEN Arquitectos with additional support from Aesop, Bar Keeper and Mezcal Union, Triview Glass Industries LLC, Cal Poly Pomona Department of Architecture (CPP ARC), SCI-Arc, USC School of Architecture, and Woodbury University School of Architecture.

Let’s get this bit out of the way: Mexico City is dense, Mexico City is colourful, and Mexico City is a place of contrasts. That is to say, in a haze of pollution you can eat tapas on the roof of a boutique hotel designed by Enrique Norton – or scoff down quesadillas on the street, sheltered by a tarp hung between a fence and a lamp post. The city’s famous outdoor markets sell local crafts and produce alongside imported Chinese sundries. Icons of Mexican modernism are tangled in an urban fabric dating back centuries. For a number of young architects, designers, and curators practicing in its colonias (neighbourhoods), Mexico City is more than clichéd observation; it’s an opportunity to refashion the narrative. Read More …