Tabakalera explores architectural frontiers | Tabakalera - Donostia / San Sebastián
06-11-2017 12:30

Tabakalera explores architectural frontiers


Tabakalera presents two artist interventions within its walls at the hands of Pernille With Madsen and Miren Doiz, coinciding with the International Architecture Biennial of the Basque Country. 

A film programme and a workshop on open design and digital manufacturing will complete the initiative organised by Tabakalera.


The International Centre for Contemporary Culture Tabakalera has organised a suite of activities as part of the first International Architecture Biennial of the Basque Country, running in San Sebastián from October to January.

The interventions in Tabakalera by artists Pernille With Madsen and Miren Doiz will launch on November 9th and December 1st, respectively, and will be open to visitors during an extended period. Alongside the artist interventions will be a specific film programme on November 17th, comprising the presentation of the book Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema and a screening of the two-part feature film Los Angeles Plays Itself, which underscores the relationship between film and the city. Lastly, Hirikilabs will host an interdisciplinary workshop from 6th to 9th November which explores the frontiers between digital manufacturing tools and ways of sharing knowledge.

Tabakalera has been interested in architectural issues and explored these through its public programme since its beginnings. Initiatives such as City and Other Policies, and Architecture: Filmic Languages, run in collaboration with the Cristina Enea Foundation, are part of the reflection on these matters triggered by Tabakalera, with a focus on their imaginary dimension. In its role as International Centre for Contemporary Culture, Tabakalera’s mission is to work with the possibilities and resources deployed by this dimension which, contrary to what one may think, has a wide-reaching impact on the material world around us. Hence, Tabakalera has decided to play an active role in this first international biennial.



The following activities have been organised by Tabakalera to coincide with the 1st International Architecture Biennial of the Basque Country:


November 6th - 9th
17:00-20:00 (SP)
This experimental workshop will apply digital manufacturing tools to themes related to architecture, beginning with a speculative problem before later using these tools in a practical case study. The process will also try to respond to the beginnings of open design philosophy by considering whether it is possible to document ideas which can then be implemented in a real setting.


November 9th - December 9th
Opening: November 9th, 19:00
2nd floor hall
This installation will be staged around the three electrical outlets in the vicinity of the exhibition area. With Madsen was surprised to see how users all throughout Tabakalera made small sculptural piles on the floor with their backpacks and jackets whilst plugging in their digital devices to charge. She too wants to sip from the electrical watering hole provided by the sockets, and will do just that to present three of her works: Building Ruins I, Building Ruins II and Collapse.


November 17th
Cinema, Auditorium 1

Film has taught us how to see certain cities — can the same thing happen the other way around? Can architecture and urbanism teach us how to watch movies? Firstly, and in response to these questions, we’ll show a modern classic and one of those films which asks a direct question about the relationship between cinematographic imagination and urbanism. A film essay which looks at how cinema has represented the city of Los Angeles throughout history: Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003), by Thom Andersen. We’ll complete the session with a presentation of the book Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema, delivered by his co-editor María Palacios Cruz.


December 1st to January 31st
Opening: December 1st, 19:00
First floor staircase

Miren Doiz uses architectural shapes from the Tabakalera building itself as the basis and a means for an intervention which seeks to transform the space. These shapes will be repeated, divided, modified and — in a move away from painting — will be created in this intervention from various materials, much of it recycled from the building itself, in a continuous dialogue with this space, this place, this creator and container of experiences.



In addition to the activities already mentioned, Tabakalera will also host initiatives such as Mediateka transfronteriza, a small mobile container housing a hundred printed titles specific to the theme of ‘borders’, as well as films and documentaries. The building will also be the venue for the workshop titled A Fine Line: Scenarios of bordering conditions, organised by Atari.  


See the full programme for the architecture biennial here