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architexts ISSN 1809-6298


This paper proposes to explore the extent to which the founders’s aspirations for the Institute of Architecture contributed to Chilean modernism.

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REINA-BRAVO, Doris. A Modernist Experiment. Traces of Poetry, Art, and Architecture within the Travesías and the Open City. Arquitextos, São Paulo, year 12, n. 136.02, Vitruvius, sep. 2011 <>.

Claudio Girola, Sin título [Untitled], 1978. Anchor cement and quartz. 178 x 149 x 140 cm. Located in the Bo Cenotaph Garden at the Open City
Doris Bravo


The experimental practices of the Instituto de Arquitectura [Institute of Architecture] within the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso from the 1950s through today are a notable thread in the discourse on Chilean modernism. Guided by the idealistic ambitions of Alberto Cruz, a Chilean architect, and Godofredo Iommi, an Argentine poet, since its inception the Institute has promoted progressive changes to architectural education. A noteworthy aspect of the Chilean case proposed here is how the development of modernism in Chile paved the way for reform within architectural education. This reform eventually led to the return of poetics to architecture, which enabled a new conceptualization of what a school of architecture was capable of, and most significantly, established a space where poetry, art, and architecture could coexist. The Institute struck a balance between a scientific methodologies rooted in observation and research, and a more experimental approach based on a desire to fuse art and life.

This paper proposes to explore the extent to which the founders’s aspirations for the Institute of Architecture contributed to Chilean modernism. I will examine the Institute of Architecture, focusing on the travesías and Ciudad Abierta [Open City], from three points of development—the birth of ideas, their implementation, and the outcome of this implementation. Within each phase I will explore the presence of modernity, modernization, and modernism in order to approximate the place of the Institute within Chilean modernism. My hypothesis is that the presence of poetry and art bound the Institute’s projects together and were thus essential components in fulfilling the Institute’s mission.


This section will elaborate the history behind the Institute of Architecture and the presence of modernity in this history. The history of the Institute begins with the meeting of Cruz and Iommi in 1950. The Chilean architect and the Argentine poet shared a common desire of “removing architecture from its doctrine, buried in mathematics and formalisms, and re-centering it in the poetic word.”(2)In 1952 the Jesuit order took over the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso. The new rector renovated the School of Architecture and offered Cruz a position. Cruz brought along Iommi, as well as a group of young architects, painters, poets, and engineers from Santiago, who were known for their progressive stance against the traditional architectural canon. Among the new faculty was Claudio Girola, an Argentine sculptor who had been a part of the renowned Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención (fig. 1)(3).

Together this multidisciplinary team established the Institute of Architecture, a critical component within the School of Architecture.(4) The development of an Institute “separate from the existing faculty and programs...provided an independence of structure for true and intense research.”(5)Based on Cruz and Iommi’s common interest of “re-centering” architecture, the Institute’s pedagogic program was built upon the notions of group work, poetry, and research. The Institute sought

To plant within the context of architecture the experience of working in group and the proposition of employing the poetic word as the foundation of an architectural polemic. And it insisted that that program of research engage the modern context.(6)

This multidisciplinary approach reflects the cultural atmosphere of 1950s Chile, which was defined by a significant amount of activity across numerous sectors, from music to dance to literature. Therefore, for the Institute’s founders “the presence of architecture at the university had to be justified by research activity, but also by its capacity for dialogue with other arts and disciplines.”(7)

The founding of the Institute as well as the repositioning of architecture are examples of modernity. For example, in Chile educational reforms had been enacted in schools of architecture beginning in the mid-1940s. The reforms were inspired by the tenets of Bauhaus and the ideas of modern architects, who became better known in Chile through the arrival and circulation of journals and books. Another principle of modernity shaping these changes is the importance of critically examining past methods of architectural instruction and favoring experimental projects, observation, and students’ experiences as part of their educational development. Chilean modernism is characterized by “the elimination of ornament, a certain rationality in the shape of layouts, and the structural and aesthetic conception of the open ground plan and the façade.”(8) Beginning in the 1950s, modern architecture in Chile, as in other Latin American countries during this period, was adopted as “the architecture of the State” forming “part of a social project that aspired to build a modern country, and therefore, many of its approaches and techniques remain in harmony with the social aspiration of ‘the man in the street’.”(9) Yet, as Horacio Torrent notes in his essay, modern architecture was utilized because of its capacity as a tool of civilization. By contrast, it seems that the Institute is uninterested in using architecture as a means of civilizing the population but more as a means of infusing architecture, and by extension daily life, with art and poetry. Thus, though the Institute participates in Chilean modernism it is in many ways an alternative to the prevailing modes of modern architecture in Chile.

The belief in poetry as a key component in reconceptualizing architecture is rooted in the beliefs of modernist French poetry. For example, the influence of Arthur Rimbaud upon Iommi was especially significant with regards to “inserting art into the flow of everyday life.”(10) For the modern French poets, a connection between art and life was an essential aspect of representing modern life in their poetry. Beyond simply building physical structures, the Institute was concerned with moving beyond this realm “into the domain of the mind, using the modern poetic word and methodologies, and, therefore, was set up to engage modern culture through the mind.”(11) This commitment to utilizing poetry as a guide is perhaps most clearly evident in the inauguration process for each project. All the projects at the Institute are initiated with a poem: “No work is begun without a ‘founding act’, says Alberto Cruz (12). For the group, poetry is their vital and intellectual principle. Thus, they will perform a whole series of public poetic acts, known as phalènes.”(13)

Poetry is also present within the Institute through Iommi’s epic poem, Amereida. In 1965, ten faculty members traveled from Punta Arenas, Chile to Bolivia in a journey composed of “numerous poetic acts improvised on sites along the route and each poetic act, beyond reciting and making poetry, initiated the construction of a physical mark, inscription or offering on the site.”(14)This journey, a travesía, inspired Iommi to write Amereida.(15) This poem was published in three editions. The first “advanced [the] most proposals; the second was above all a travel log and the third was a compilation of the travesías undertaken. The text of Amereida I was drawn up in the course of a journey made in 1965.”(16) The poem illustrates, through text and imagery, the Institute’s philosophies and thus functions as the Institute’s manifesto.

Inspired by America as a physical and imaginative space, in Amereida Iommi rewrites the story of conquest, like Edmundo O’Gorman in his 1961 text, The Invention of America. O’Gorman proposes that the conquest significantly affected the European perception of the world and humanity. Another significant outcome of the conquest was how the concept of “America” was invented as a site for experimentation:

America was no more than a potentiality, which could be realized only by receiving and fulfilling the values and ideals of European culture. America, in fact, could acquire historical significance only by becoming another Europe. Such was the spiritual or historical being that was invented for America.(17)

The first line of Amereida echoes this sense of misguidedness: “was not the finding alien to the discoveries?”(18) From the beginning, Iommi highlights the accidental nature of the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. Moreover, this passage notes the disconnect between what the Europeans were seeking (Asia) and what they actually found. Latin America was a “gift” the Spanish and Portuguese “encountered but [did] not accept.”(19) Since the conquistadores were blinded by the pursuit of gold, they could not see the beauty and potential of the New World and therefore had to invent “Latin America” in its stead.

Iommi’s poem also reveals traces of Joaquín Torres-García’s manifesto for a new type of artistic practice in Latin America. Torres-García, an early-twentieth century artist from Uruguay, drew his famous inverted South American continent in 1943 (fig. 2).

Joaquín Torres-García, Mapa invertido, 1943.

Torres-García returned to Uruguay in 1934 after having spent much of his life abroad in Europe. While in Montevideo, he published texts and established workshops like the Asociación de Arte Constructivo [Constructive Art Association] and the Taller Torres García [Torres García Studio]. Torres-García’s pedagogy was rooted in the belief of a universal artistic practice that blended European and Latin American culture, specifically pre-Columbian art. Torres-García’s map inversion was revolutionary since it repositioned—both literally and metaphorically—the place of the modern Latin American individual in the world. A passage from the Amereida resumes Torres-García’s manifesto: “The thesis of the proper north./ and more than south/ is this not our north/ and its extreme/ summit/ will appear/ to those who/ will remount it for the first time?”(20) Accompanying this passage is an inverted drawing of Latin America where Iommi sketches the South American continent, laying the Southern Cross constellation over the continent so that its points touch the northern, eastern, southern, and western sides of the continent.

Thus, in contrast to Torres-García’s version that highlights Montevideo, Iommi alludes to a more continental identity.  If Torres García’s map was a call for universal constructivism rooted in Uruguay, the Amereida as a manifesto is a call for pan-Americanism. Iommi summons a reworking of how people living within Latin America conceptualize this space and more importantly, their right and duty to explore the space as a counter-action to the conquest. For example, Iommi underscores the significance of traveling into the continent in Amereida. Once the Conquistadores settled the New World, they did so on its shores, ignoring the interior lands or as Iommi calls it, “the interior sea”:

And this ‘interior sea’ dares one to lift its veil through travesía, which are not discoveries or inventions but acknowledgments: ‘how to receive America?/ be vigilant/ raise the veil/ across/ —the voice tells us—/ travesía/ which is not discovery or invention/ but consent/ that one’s own sea dares us/ arise/ in gratitude/ or recognition/ our own liberty.(21)

Like O’Gorman and Torres-García, Iommi embraces the pluralistic history of Latin America where its inhabitants are active participants in their own histories instead of passive recipients of the conquest. A defining aspect of modernity is a critique and break from the past. Such a break from tradition was not viable within Latin America because of its multivalent and hybrid history. Therefore, perhaps hybridity itself becomes a tradition. And in the Latin American case of modernity the past is not something that is resisted but rather continuously integrated into one’s culture. Therefore, modernism facilitates the acceptance of a complex and heterogeneous identity.This is an example of how in Latin America the malleability of modernity, modernization, and modernism enabled Latin Americans to adapt them to their local needs in order to maintain their traditions. Thus, in the Chilean case modernity also functions as a means of integrating the past into the discussion of reform within schools of architecture.


The modern ideas outlined in the previous section are manifested in two principle ways: the travesías and the Open City. In the 1970s programs in graphic design and industrial design began to be offered at the Institute, in addition to architecture. About one hundred and twenty students enroll each year, split among the three programs. The Institute’s program of study is notable for its emphasis on “poetic enactment” of the student’s body with his/her surroundings, drawing, and music, all in an effort to call attention to “the body’s perception of space.”(22) Students also participate in one of the six annual Travesías por América [Journeys through America], which became part of the curriculum in 1984. As with the first trip in 1965, on these journeys students along with faculty members from different disciplines conduct poetic acts and build structures that are donated to the local populations. The purpose of the travesía echoes the sentiments expressed in Amereida: “first, to discover the power and value of the natural continent in relationship to a concept of history in which the Latin American heritage is considered a gift and, second, to inform the way of doing/making through the discovery.”(23) The teams build a variety of structures during these trips: sculptures, wind pipes, observation decks, theater spaces, retreats, etc. To date, students have traveled from the Beagle Canal all the way west to Easter Island and north to the Amazon Rainforest reviving the quest for a common history outlined in Iommi’s poem.

The modern ideas promoted by the founders of the Institute are also manifested in the Open City, a utopian community established in 1970 (fig. 3).

View of the Open City, June 2011
Doris Bravo

Salvador Allende was elected president this same year, ushering in a brief era of progressive reforms. At the heart of this community is a “desire to unite life, study, and work” among a variety of structures, from agoras to lodges to workshops.(24) Another critical goal of the Open City is evident in the project’s name. The Open City “was intended as an open site in the double sense that it was open to its destiny and had a vocation for hospitality.”(25) The Open City was conceived as a cooperative space where alternative living spaces—like hospederías [lodges]—and public spaces could be built over time. For example, hospederías are homes for one to two families; yet, they are not private dwellings since the community is free to use them, especially when guests need somewhere to stay. Additionally, architects and architecture students from the Institute could experiment with materials, design, and the physical landscape at the Open City. The Open City is notable for the urban features it lacks such as streets, sidewalks, and an overall grid plan. The site is also unorthodox since construction documents are not made. The School of Architecture funds each project and does not impose a construction schedule therefore all projects progress at their own speed. Faculty and students work on the projects “en ronda,” which was a collective means of working that informed teaching, research, design, and construction.

The integration of the travesías into the program of study and Open City are examples of the modernization that the Catholic University has undergone since the first reforms of the 1950s. Therefore, the case study of the Institute of Architecture presents a scenario of a modernization process within an institution rather than the modernization processes enacted on a national scale, as in the case of post-Revolutionary Mexico. An essential question within studies of twentieth-century Latin American architecture is if modernism existed before modernization in Latin America. In some Latin American cases modernity and modernization did not spawn modernism; but rather, modernism was born almost autonomously and enabled modernization to implement itself, as in the case of Mexico. Thus, this is more of a parallel development where modernism develops alongside modernization, which is also the case for Chile. Homegrown modernism had been present in Chile since the early twentieth century with writers like Vicente Huidobro and art collectives like the Generación del Trece, Grupo Montparnasse, and Generación del Cuarenta.(26) Once modern architecture had begun to burgeon in the 1940s in Chile and gained stability between 1955 and 1965, modern ideas had circulating throughout the cultural realm for decades.(27)


Though modernism was critical in realizing the Institute of Architecture and its projects, in many ways the travesías and the Open City also contribute to Chilean modernism. By inventing a space where poetry, art, and architecture could interact the Institute’s mission could thus be realized.

The travesía to the Plains of Curimahuida, conducted in 1986, produced a functional structure in the desolate plains within the Andes mountains in northern Chile. With this travesía, whose location was 3,300 m above sea level, the students and professors proposed “to recover the ancestral capacity of the pre-Columbian cultures to live at great heights.”(28) The structure was initially conceived to function as a lodge and sign for the potential traveler to this site. The team utilized the notion of a nave as their architectural guide. The site contains an atrium, a 60 m wall, and three rooms of varying sizes.

Approximately 116 m tons of stones were quarried on the site. The students and professors set up an informal camp on the site with a polyethylene marquee that housed their workshop and sleeping quarters.

This work exhibits the spirit of the Amereida, via the interest in pre-Columbian modes of living. Moreover, this work belongs to the “functional” category of structures built during the travesías since it had a specific purpose as a habitat.

By contrast, the travesía to the Valle del Aconcagua, Juncal in 1989 belongs to the “art” category of travesía structures. The University’s website contains a list of the majority of the travesías, including information and often images in their individual entries. Each entry contains an archive of the travesía. For example, the entry for the Juncal travesía includes information regarding which courses from the School participated, the names of professors, the coordinates of the site, the dimensions of the site, which texts were read, and a text that describes the travesía. This latter text contains information regarding the conceptualization of the project as well as some information regarding what the site contained. It is unclear when this text was written, either before or after the trip.

The project constructed in Juncal was conceptualized in three ways: the work in relation to the road (a 400 mts-long path); the work in proximity to two trees that sustain the poem and sculpture; the work’s distance from a sculpture by Girola.

A poem had been dedicated especially for the site and there had been talk about constructing a plaza, from which to read the poem and view the sculpture. The work (29)—the poem, sculpture, and path—proposes four steps

a. by moving closer to work the small front of a vastness appears; b. the plaza interior, the very elements that construct this space, enlarge the mountain; c. the interior enables one to see a particular direction, showing the bottom of a valley where the path will be elongated; d. the reading shows the work and its site at the same time.(30)

Amereida was read and verses were engraved onto concrete plaques, 15 cm wide and of varying length, depending on the verse.  The poem’s call for pan-Americanism is evident in a self-referential passage

The travesías sing in the first place of American territorial unity, detaching geographic accidents, overcoming the abyssal. Nonetheless, we find ourselves within its limits. These sometimes occur in the middle of the territory. That’s the case with the Andes Mountain range, which interrupts the path, placing a limit on altitude, with its climatic impediments: Juncal is the site of a future trans-Andean tunnel.(31)

As the travesías demonstrate the sense of reconnecting with the essence of Latin America remains an important venture. What O’Gorman, Torres-García, and Iommi were underscoring was for a pan-American unity and awareness; this idea of self-discovery that was not tinged with hegemony or colonialism.

As the following case studies illustrate, the Open City is also a project where poetry, art, and architecture coexist. When the Casa de los nombres [House of Names] was built in 1992, the concrete pillars were marked not by posts and cord, but through “the placement of bodies within the site during a poetic act in which a relationship was made between the reading of lines of a poem and the length of travel of the reader.”(32) The space, built to commemorate the Institute’s 40th anniversary, served as an exhibition pavilion, assembly area, and site for material collected during the travesías. Groups of architects and students worked on the project for two years in collaborative workshops. The House was built in two months by a four hundred-member crew. With the twenty-nine points mapped, twenty-six foot high concrete pillars were driven into the sand, which had been molded to form a concave bowl.

Once the pillars were stabilized, square caps—made of black mesh and a polyethylene membrane—were mounted atop the pillars.

A poetic act took place in July of 1992 to determine the placement of Girola’s sculptures along the road to the House of Names.

Twelve students from the School of Architecture and Iommi created “a poem that would indicate the sites among the dunes.”(33) Each student formed a phrase or word from an image drawn on twelve cards. All the students needed to approve the phrase or word, after which that text would be written on a blackboard. If one student disagreed, they would return the card to the board. Using the text inspired by the images Iommi created a “raw poem by adding punctuation to link words, breaking up phrases, breaking up words, cutting lines into pieces, extending meanings. From the ‘finished’ poem, Iommi and the group were able to discover where to find the sites for the sculptures, which were then installed on the site.”(34) The way in which Iommi and the students drafted this poem demonstrates traces of the automatism employed in surrealist poetry.(35)

The Henri Tronquoy Agora and Vestal was built in 1972 to commemorate Henri Tronquoy, a French poet who was associated with the School. The agora consists of a walkway, oriented towards the Caribbean Sea where the poet’s plane crashed; a rhomboidal esplanade; and two sculptures by Girola.

In one image featuring the walkway, it seems as if the boardwalk abruptly ends, thus countering the notion of what a path is meant to achieve: a link between two points.

Instead, in this memorial the path leads the visitor into an empty environment. As if in a surrealist dreamscape, the walkway visitor walks off the edge of the platform into the unknown.

The travesías and the Open City reinforce the Institute’s mission of merging art and life, infusing poetry in the teaching methodology, and promoting collaborative and observation-based research. The pedagogical value of these projects for architecture students resides in their ability to provide a venue for collaboration, experimentation—with materials and other disciplines—and research.

Art is present within the travesías and the Open City in the physical presence of sculptures and in abstract way, through strategies employed in conceptual and site-specific art. Conceptual Art, as it developed in the United States in the 1960s, considered the idea behind an artwork as important and often more important than the physical manifestation of that idea. For example, the exhibition January 5-31, 1969 featured the conceptual artists Robert Barry, Douglas Huebler, Joseph Kosuth, and Lawrence Weiner.  Yet for the curator, Seth Siegelaub, the exhibition catalog—which contained an exhibition list, selected images, and artist statement for each artist—was the most important element of this show.

At the heart of January 5-31, 1969 is “a reversal of the distinction between ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ information, which allowed for the exhibition catalogue to take precedence over the exhibits.”(36) Thus, this exhibition catalog—essentially the container of the ideas behind the artworks—becomes more important than the actual exhibition, in terms of how the artwork’s concepts are communicated. Both the travesias and Open City work with the conceptual strategy of the idea being as important or more important than the art object itself. For example, poetry is an essential part of each Institute’s project since it is the means of inauguration. Therefore, with each poetic act there is the implication that all the relevant information regarding the spirit of the project is contained within the poem. As in the case of January 5-31, 1969, the poems read at each project’s inauguration represent an essential, if not the essential, aspect of that project. What follows the initial reading of a poem, either during a travesía or at the Open City, is merely the realization of the concepts expressed in the text.

Another way art is present within the Institute is through the strategies employed by site-specific art. This type of art is notable for its relationship to the physical site for which it was originally created. Richard Serra’s site-specific sculpture Tilted Arc (1981) is a notable example that embodies the complexities of an artwork’s relationship to its environment.

The work consists of a raw steel barrier, 120 feet long and 12 feet high, that was placed in the center of the Federal Plaza in New York City, effectively dividing this space in two. As pedestrians walk through the plaza they must alter their typical route in order to accommodate Serra’s sculpture. Therefore, many people found the work to be a nuisance and controversy ignited regarding its removal. For Serra, this nuisance was at the heart of his mission—he wanted the people who walked through this space to interact with the work in order to get a better sense of their own physicality and movement through the plaza. After all, as an artwork Serra’s piece is meant provoke emotion and not simply function as ornamentation for a building. Within the art world, site-specific art is noted for existing outside the gallery confines and thus brings art to the public in a more visceral way. After much debate, and against Serra’s wishes, the piece was removed from the Federal Plaza in 1989. For the artist, “removing the piece would irrevocably alter it, for the essence of Tilted Arc was intimately tied to the physical, structural, social, and political surroundings in which it was installed. Separating the work from these environs was the equivalent of destroying it.”(37) Thus, Serra’s work united the space by embodying the “physical, structural, social, and political” aspects of the site. Moreover, this sculpture, like other site-specific works, reinvented the space in such a way that when it was removed this sense of unity was also destroyed, thereby altering the space; the site does not return to what it was before the site-specific piece, since that artwork irrevocably changed it.

The travesías and the Open City employ the tenets of site-specific art since many of the sculptures were made specifically for the site, as in the case of Girola’s sculptures in several travesías and throughout the Open City (figs. 4).

Claudio Girola, Sin título [Untitled], 1978. Anchor cement and quartz. 185 x 142 x 142 cm. Located in the Bo Cenotaph Garden at the Open City.
Doris Bravo

Like Serra, Girola created his sculptures taking into account the landscape as well as how people would interact with them. As in the Federal Plaza, at the travesía sites and the Open City the viewer is meant to physically engage with the site-specific works in order to approach an understanding of how the artist related these pieces to their environment. Girola’s sculptures united their respective spaces and invented a new space that enabled poetry, art, and architecture to co-exist. And most significantly, Girola’s sculptures also transformed their respective sites into artworks. The travesías and the Open City can thus be seen as conceptualist, site-specific works. Most importantly, they are spaces where the structures fluctuate between architectural and site-specific works.


A narrative central to most of the texts about the Institute of Architecture highlight the importance of poetry in the development of architectural projects, but fail to note the contribution of artworks in this history. With this examination I hope to uncover the importance of art as a critical component that, along with poetry, was fundamental in realizing the Institute’s mission. From the outset the Institute founders envisioned architecture to function differently within the modern world, with a heightened awareness of what it means to inhabit Latin America. Those initial ambitions, and the diverse disciplines they integrated, established a site for experimentation that would reflect, challenge, and enhance Chilean modernism.


This article is the first of a series about Latin American modern architecture, written by group LAMA (Latin American Modern Architecture) from University of Texas at Austin, under the coordination of Prof. Fernando Luiz Lara.

This paper was written for Fernando Lara’s Fall 2010 graduate seminar, 20th Century Latin American Architecture, and presented at the Center for Latin American Visual Studies’ (CLAVIS) Permanent Seminar in Latin American Art on February 24, 2011. I would like to thank Professor Lara for his guidance and for introducing me to this project. I am also grateful for the feedback I received from my colleagues and Professors Andrea Giunta and Eddie Chambers at the Permanent Seminarmeeting.

Ann M. Pendleton-Jullian, “Autopoetic Architecture: The Open City, Ritoque, Chile,” in Architecturally Speaking: Practices of Art, Architecture, and the Everyday, ed. Alan Read (London, New York: Routledge, 2000), 267.

The artists in this collective, formed in 1945 in Buenos Aires, promoted a new role for art and were particularly inspired by science fiction. They sought a break with the traditional frame and as constructivists they conceptualized their work as being free of metaphysical significance.

It is worth noting that, despite the formation of an Institute of Architecture separate from the School of Architecture, these two entities are often considered to be the same. In addition, there is a third name used to refer to the group: the School of Valparaíso. For some, “...the Valparaíso School denotes the movement, group, and line of thought and action centred around the School itself, sometimes vaguely and overlapping or becoming confused with other names and organisations, such as Institute of Architecture, Amereida, Open City, etc.” “Glossary,” in Valparaíso School: Open City Group, ed. Raúl Rispa (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003), 166.

Ann M. Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, Ritoque, Chile (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1996), 16.

Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 16.

Fernando Pérez Oyarzún, “The Valparaíso School,” in Valparaíso School: Open City Group, ed. Raúl Rispa (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003), 10.

Horacio Torrent, “Abstraction and Tectonics in Chilean Architecture Since 1950,” in Chilean Modern Architecture Since 1950, ed. Malcolm Quantrill (College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2010), 93.

Torrent, “Abstraction and Tectonics in Chilean Architecture Since 1950,” 100-101.

Pérez Oyarzún, “The Valparaíso School,” 12.

Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 17.

It is interesting to note that an “act of foundation” has been the rule in Latin American cities since the Felipe II Law of the Indies of 1572 or before.

“Glossary,” 166.

Pendleton-Jullian, “Autopoetic Architecture: The Open City, Ritoque, Chile,” 274.

Iommi created the word “Amereida” by joining “America” with the title of Virgil’s epic poem, the “Aeneid.”

Rodrigo Pérez de Arce, “So far yet so near: the Open City and the Travesías,” in Valparaíso School: Open City Group, ed. Raúl Rispa (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003), 13.

Edmundo O’Gorman, The Invention of America: An Inquiry into the Historical Nature of the New World and the Meaning of its History (Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press, 1961), 139.

Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 74.


Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 74.

Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 78.

Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 75.

Oliver Lowenstein, “Visionary Architecture – Alive and Well in Amereida,” Fourth Door Review 5 (2001): 36.

Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 83.

Pérez de Arce, “So far yet so near: the Open City and the Travesías,” 15.

Pérez Oyarzún, “The Valparaíso School,” 9.

For further reading on these groups see the chapter on Chile in Edward Sullivan’s Latin American Art in the Twentieth Century (New York: Phaidon, 2004).

Torrent, “Abstraction and Tectonics in Chilean Architecture Since 1950,” 112.

Travesía to the Plains of Curimahuida,” in Valparaíso School: Open City Group, ed. Raúl Rispa (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003), 128.

The abstract nature of this text does not illuminate what it defines as “the work.” However, the section on materiality lists: there were tubes and outlines, high altitude water, the stone of the site, a sculpture, and the poem. Thus, one can infer that “the work” is perhaps the path, the poem, and the sculpture.

Travesías: Bitácora Colectiva de las Travesías de Amereida, “Travesía Valle del Aconagua, Juncal,” Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso,

Travesías: Bitácora Colectiva de las Travesías de Amereida.

Pendleton-Jullian, “Autopoetic Architecture: The Open City, Ritoque, Chile,” 264.

Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 47.

Pendleton-Jullian, The Road That Is Not a Road and the Open City, 47.

The Surrealists were inspired by psychoanalysis and thus, “concentrated initially on expressing the workings of the unconscious mind through the technique of automatism: drawing or writing executed without any conscious control.” Oxford Art Online: Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, s.v. “Surrealism” (by Christopher Masters),

Peter Osborne, Conceptual Art (London; New York: Phaidon, 2002), 29.

Oxford Art Online: Encyclopedia of Aesthetics
, s.v. “Site-specific” (by Mary M. Tinti),

about the author

Doris Bravo is a PhD student in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. For her dissertation she is studying the activities of the School of Architecture and Design at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, specifically the travesías and Ciudad Abierta.


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original: english




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Claudia Girão


Passos à frente: algumas observações sobre o MUBE

Rafael Antonio Cunha Perrone


Por uma nova monumentalidade

O Monumento Nacional aos Mortos na Segunda Guerra Mundial no Rio de Janeiro

Ricardo Rocha


Uma escada em Roma

algumas anotações sobre a Rainha Albermale ou o último turista, obra póstuma de Jean-Paul Sartre

Adson Cristiano Bozzi Ramatis Lima


Repetição, ritmo, transferência e revelação

articulações entre estética e psicanálise

Luiz Felipe da Cunha e Silva


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