Displacement and Encounter: Projects and Utopias Arni Haraldsson and Manuel Piña

25 Jan 2002 - 07 Apr 2002

This exhibition of colour photographs by Canadian artist Arni Haraldsson and Cuban artist Manuel Piña presents two separate but interrelated series of images that engage public space, utopias, memory, and history. These photographs do not set out to directly document a sense of place, but rather to uncover material traces and spatial dialogues within the urban landscape. Arni Haraldsson's focus is Paris, and Manuel Piña's, Havana. Haraldsson photographed the coordinates of Le Corbusier's Plan Voisin (1925). Le Corbusier proposed the demolition of two square miles of central Paris, to be replaced by office towers, apartments, and gardens, all bisected by a superhighway. If this project had gone ahead, the urban landscape, observed from the street and in bird's-eye views, would no longer exist. Haraldsson's images also compare and contrast Le Corbusier's proposal of 1925 with the international corporate sector and a residential area of today's Paris. Manuel Piña photographed the sites where monuments were constructed on Havana's Avenida de los Presidentes; Piña calls these photographs "portraits of sites." The monuments to pro-American generals were taken down during the Cuban Revolution. Piña presents these sites as a series of discrete markings – an indexical history that is erased.