Artist: Terence Gower
Tlatelolcona (prototype), 2005-07
Framed digital print, digital print on cardboard, and wood
Courtesy the artist
Tlatelolcona is about the modernist search for a universal, modular housing solution, which could be expanded ad infinitum. The piece is made up of an unlimited edition of white corrugated cardboard boxes screen-printed to appear like realistic scale reproductions of blocks of flats from the Tlatelolco housing complex. This is an interactive piece, in which its owner or installer can reconfigure the original Tlatelolco complex or expand it endlessly in a process similar to playing with children’s blocks.
The assembly of a large installation allows the viewer to experience in three dimensions what urbanist Ludwig Hilberseimer projected in his 1924 Hochhausstadt drawings; a fascinating and terrifying vision of a future metropolis blanketed with orderly rows of identical housing blocks. Tlatelolcona expresses the outer reaches of what I call “symbolic scale“—the use of massive scale in public projects to communicate a message of dynamic government action.