press release

Opening: March 18, 2008, from 6:30p.m. to 10:00p.m. (Tuesday) including a book presentation: PABELLÓN CUBA – 4D, 4Dimensions, 4 Decades (b_books: Berlin 2008)


In Cuba, in the 1960s and 1970s, a strange encounter happened: The Revolution met with Modern Architecture. The dynamics of the political events – the only ones of the last century whose results are not yet abrogated – met with a unique architecture, a mix of local Caribbean elements, the technique of prefabrication and a modern con ception of fluid and open spaces. The show PABELLÓN CUBA deve lops around this strange encounter.

The basis for the show at A Gentil Carioca, developed by Lisa Schmidt-Colinet, Alex Schmoeger and Florian Zeyfang, is a spatial representation, a model in different scales of the Cuban pavilion from the World Exposition in Montreal 1967. The building – constructed to host a show with the motto of the Expo 67, "Man and his World" – was developed by Vittorio Garatti, Sergio Baroni and Hugo D´Acosta. With its many-folded, white surfaces ar ranged in different angles, and “a sparkling pile-up of rectangular passage ways in bright colors” (Nicholas Taylor in Design, 1967), the temporary building stood for the ideals of the Modern: flexibility, travel, the new nomadic live.

The flexibility of this pavilion was meant to render the presentation-space into a transportable object, to be re-used as an exhibition pavilion in Cuba later on. Actually, the pavilion was demounted in Montreal and shipped, but to this point never again mounted elsewhere. Nobody seems to know about the where-abouts of the material, it may have been used for other purposes in the years after the Expo.

The exhibition pavilion presented Cuba in two contrasting ways, on the one hand an anti-imperialistic exhibition, showing Cuba in three different periodes, before the Revolution, in 1959 and its contemporary (1967) state, on the other hand a playful area where Cuban food, drinks and music was offered. As architect Roberto Gottardi once mentioned, the Cuban Pavilion in Montreal was one of the rare events of outstanding interdisciplinary work, bringing together performing artists, designer for fashion and graphic, filmmakers, architects as well as cooks.

In the exhibition PABELLÓN CUBA, the pavilion serves as an icon of the ideas of the 1960s architecture, and – in this model version – as a backdrop for different visual projections that thematize issues of politics and utopia, of architecture and presentational and propaganda politics. Projections are used to “play” next, in, or on the pavilion, and guests are asked to provide videos that formulate visions on these issues, including Niklas Goldbach and Judith Hopf / Natascha Sadr-Haghighian.

As part of the collective RAIN, Lisa Schmidt-Colinet, Alex Schmoeger and Florian Zeyfang have developed an extensive exhibition project during the 8thBiennial of Havana, hosted in the Pabellón Cuba in Vedado. On the occasion of the show, and as a world premiere, they will present together with co-curator Eugenio Valdés Figueroa the book PABELLÓN CUBA: 4D – 4Dimensions, 4 Decades (b_books: Berlin 2008). Artists include Ernesto Neto, José Patrício, Daniel Lima, artist group Bijari and many more.

only in german

An exhibition by Lisa Schmidt-Colinet, Alex Schmoeger, and Florian Zeyfang
Guest appearances by Niklas Goldbach, Judith Hopf / Natascha Sadr Haghighian