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Architecture on Film: The Proposal

26 May 18:30 - 20:30
Organized by: The Architecture Foundation
Venue: Barbican
Silk Street


(USA, 2018, Jill Magid, 83 min)


Part thriller, part romance, part artwork itself, artist Jill Magid’s epic tale takes us on the journey of her project to reanimate the privately-held archives of one of the 20th century’s most significant architects – Luis Barragán.


For the final chapter of her multi-media, multi-year, project The Barragán Archives, artist Jill Magid transformed her struggle to access the archives of Mexican Pritzker Prize winning architect Luis Barragán (1902-1988) into a film. Barragán’s personal archive and most of his architecture remains in Mexico, but since 1995 Barragán’s professional archive, including the rights to his name and work, has lingered under lock and key in a Swiss bunker, after having been acquired by furniture company Vitra, and allegedly gifted by Vitra’s owner to his fiancé as an engagement present.


Hatching her plan from an intimate stay in the guest bedroom of Casa Barragán itself in Mexico City, Magid finds herself in a game of negotiation, letters, tactics, and relations, entering into an unusual love triangle that leads to her eventually making a radical proposal of her own – seeking to resurrect the deceased architect’s body of work through the means of his actual body.


A bold investigation into the boundaries between personal and professional lives, public and private property, the living and the dead, the legacy of Modernism, Mexico’s most famous architect and the afterlife of architecture. Executively produced by Laura Poitras.