Monday, 7 June 2004


floor painting and painting details by Federico Herrero

bicycle parking

Outdoor Cinema screen during the day

dining room and hammocks

running track to the beach

winners podium sculpture

archive of artists work

information center

cinema by night

Abreu's food, food delivery

copy center, books, cds and dvds available to see, hear and copy

24/7 souvenir shop

Tentacity, lodging for artists

hanging coloured lights

meditation greenhouse

Maria Papadimitriou's resting theatre

Pedro Reyes' floating piramid

Olympic Villa
Puerto Rico 04, Puerto Rico
with M&M Proyectos, Puerto Rico

By request of Michy Marxuach, the Artistic Director of Puerto Rico 04, my
curatorial proposal for PR04 was directed towards the construction of what would
become the Olympic Village: a base of operation for artists and curators during
PR04, a place that would not only accommodate the artists but which would host a
series of events and temporary exhibitions. PR 04 parted from the idea of the
collective memory left of the dream to host the Olympic Games of 2004. In 1994,
San Juan Puerto Rico was one of the eleven cities bidding to host the 2004
Olympic Games. Because of the attention given to this possibility by the Olympic
Campaign and the mass media, Puerto Ricans thought the Olympics could actually
happen there. When on September 5, 1997 in Lausanne, Switzerland it was
announced that the Olympics were going to take place in Athens it became a
national disappointment. PR04 focused on the idea of realizing the unrealized
Olympics while rearticulating them with new meanings.

“Puerto Rico 04 was not an event constructed around a series of exhibitions in the
way of a conventional event, but an event in which a series of situations or
activities would happen in much more organic way. In a similar way to the
organisation of the architecture of the Olympic Village where the event happened,
it was much more like a free way of organizing things, and where spaces were
created in order to be appropriated by the different situations that happened
without trying to pre-establish exactly what would happen. It was about opening
up this space and then letting things happen. And in this space different activities
could insert themselves in a much more free way. It was about how in that free
space things start to acquire their own order to create new conditions of dialogue
and creation. So yes, what I learned was about opening up this space and creating
this free structure that lets things happen and because you have these spaces for
experimentation where the users can start creating new experiences and situations
without knowing exactly what the outcome will be, things start to happen. For me
that was the important thing - to open up the space where things could happen.”

It was within this non-structure that I also invited 24/7, Federico Herrero, Maria
Papadimitriou, Marjetica Potrc and Pedro Reyes to create structures,
infrastructures and suprastructures that contested the traditional forms and
expectations coming from the construction of space and place in order to create
new and yet unknown spaces, places and situations. Contrary to the idea of art
tourism under the banner of an art event or biennial , the Olympic Village at
PR04 created a temporary utopian community, a space and place where things
could or could not happen. In doing this, for a moment and unknowingly, it
recreated paradise , a place where for a moment artists and curators could stop
thinking about how to advance their careers, and where they could actually start
relating to themselves and to the other through their work.

Olympic Village master plan, free style urbanism by Pablo Leon de la Barra

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