Towards the end of the conversation organized by Arquine on the occasion of the launch of the book “Nuevo Primitivismo”, Renata Sentkiewicz synthesized what the publishing of this new book implied for her and Iñaki Ábalos: “For us, it is not so much to close a stage, but an opportunity to look at it. You do the projects but you rarely have a moment to see them all together, to reflect on them. These are the kind of projects that open the conversation more than they close it. They are ideas, many of them half done. Some prototypes, some research. Some themes marked and started, which will continue… ”.
This way, concisely and directly, she summarized not only the content of the book but also a particular way of categorizing their projects. Readers will not find here an index-organized by dates, places, or uses. Ábalos + Sentkiewicz show us their projects according to the evolutionary state of the ideas that surround them. And these ideas configure a more complex order that, far from trying to dissect each episode, seeks to merge all its theoretical, academic, and professional production in a dense and fluctuating magma, in a permanent process of construction.
The Flying Spine
Their projects transcend their own buildings and this becomes much clearer when browsing through these first fifteen years of production, where many of the formulations announced in the Ábalos & Herreros stage acquired physical format. The sketch of the Casa Mora appears here published announcing a new iteration of its organizational system, now superimposed on the public scale of a community center. In the same way, the artificial topography initially tested in the Casa Verde will also change its scale and use when it materializes in Shanghai to house the church in the New Bund district.
The book could be described as an invitation to discover these kinds of associations, of time travel, taking the lead from each isolated episode. In these pages, projects do not appear as an end in themselves, but as the indispensable means through which to distill new project techniques. But it won’t just be their private obsessions that drive this enviable arsenal of tools. The subjective projection on the work of others is one of the least commented fertilizers (enrichers?) in Ábalos + Sentkiewicz’s work. It is extremely refreshing to find here renovated versions of the beautiful amphitheaters by Fernando Higueras, now crowning a Convergence Center in Seoul or the Zhuhai Museum of Contemporary Art that illustrates the cover of the book. Those who wish will also be able to find the Alpine Architecture of Bruno Taut in the diamond volume of the Spina Tower, as well as dozens of vernacular architectures, geographical features, and natural or mineral elements, crossed over and over again by the sensitivity of Iñaki and Renata, transformed into architecture.
Spreads on the book Abalos+Sentkiewicz
The description of a “present” forged by “remote pasts and futures” is the book’s starting point. On its first page, Robert Smithson invites us to liquefy time to travel in it, find non-linear routes or unexpected connections that allow us to make sense to our projections. Moving through these pages will involve readers in an analogous exercise. A task that will surely require more participation than usual, stimulated in this case by a bound universe much coarser than usual.
AUTHOR: Iñaki Ábalos, Renata Sentkiewicz / EDITOR: Arquine / TEXTS: Iñaki Ábalos, Renata Sentkiewicz | Interview with Plácido González / SOFT COVER / SIZE: 17 x 24 cm / PAGES: 340 / ENGLISH SPANISH EDITION