Oscar Abraham Pabón

Site Specific Project for Mies van der Rohe Pavilion

16.09.2023 - 08.10.2023

“Psicoarquitectura” is a temporary artistic intervention at the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion designed by Lilly Reich (1885- 1947) and Mies van der Rohe (1886- 1969) in Barcelona. The artist and architect Oscar Abraham Pabón addresses the materiality of the Pavilion from its interpretative and psychological dimension. This intervention is part of the Barcelona Gallery Weekend 2023 and the Swab festival 2023.

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The Psicoarquitectura project is developed in two acts; the first as an introduction and referential framework, and the second results in the artistic intervention that is incorporated into the framework of the Pavilion that inspired the initial reflection.

The artist takes as a point of reference the symmetrical shapes that the surfaces of the Pavilion create and makes a parallel with the shapes of the Stains that the psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) created by folding a sheet with an ink blot as a projective method to evaluate and diagnose the person looking at them based on what they see. The responses that are generated in the attempt to give figurative meaning to the ambiguity of the forms reveal the aspects of mental life implicit in the act of knowing. In the same way, Oscar Abraham Pabón proposes a turn that takes us from interpreting the object to be the interpreted subject.

As a second act Oscar Abraham Pabón presents the materialization of a wall over the large pond of the Pavilion made of blocks of terra cotta (Calibric ONE). Breaking the surface of the wall the drawing of a new ink stain made from its interpretative possibilities interrelates with the Pavilion and with its own reflection that duplicates it in the water.

The clay block is offered as an object of interpretation, where the wall is approached as a surface or skin that showing itself in the different levels of the layers that make it up makes tangible and brings to the surface an internal dimension; which involves both the constructive history of the material and its role in twentieth-century architecture and urbanism.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe himself used brick as a structural material and for its aesthetic characteristics in some of his works simultaneous to the Barcelona Pavilion such as the Haus Lange and the Haus Esters in Krefeld. As Werner Blaser noted in Mies van der Rohe: The Art of Structure, "the structure of a brick wall begins already with the smallest divisible unit: the brick". This basic unit is now transferred to the Pavilion emphasizing the relationship between structure, materiality and beauty, in this case with an exempt and worked wall ("free standing wall").

"If the German pavilion of 1929 symbolizes the future of the modern house, the proposal Psicoarquitectura could offer an interpretation of the evolution of that modernity, but now from a psychic and somatized dimension, I understand the clay brick as a skin that covers a good part of the architecture and the city inherited from the modern project." - Oscar Abraham Pabón

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© Anna Mas / Fundación Mies van der Rohe

Oscar Abraham Pabón

Venezuelan multidisciplinary artist based in Barcelona. His work combines sculpture and architecture and focuses on public space.

He has exhibited in galleries in the United States, Latin America and Europe, and his works can be found in numerous international collections such as PAMM (Miami), Contemporany Art Museum (Chile) and CPPC (New York).

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