Text by Luisa Rodriguez

Aesthetics of the Improvised

I will use "improvised" as a provisional way of naming structures that have in common a combination of worn out, unrefined, repurposed looks and at the same time demonstrate examples of practical, intuitive, empirical, temporary, and creative solutions.

These are honest in their nature. The reference available for this is most often found on the media or witnessing it oneself. They tell stories of fragility and latent adversity.

In the theory, it might be similar to Arte Povera's aim were materials create dialogs with the precariousness of time and linked to univocal gestures of primitive intentions. Distinct in the way the movement attempts to separate art from life, the improvised aesthetics are not a representation of but rather they are life and unintentionally created. Thomas Hirschorn installations also come to mind. But they are different from the such of the covering of a derelict adobe building in Tegucigalpa with colorful plastics and tin roofing sheets which are just the best the responsible body could do. These examples could be found in many other places in the world.

On the visual aspect, ultimately and obviously far from vintage, rustic styles, and sustainable reuse in interior design or architecture, these are real. It is not about efficiency of resources, but not having any at all. It is not a stylistic option but an only choice.

The question lies in presenting it as an art object. In the meantime, a good alternative is merely the presentation of itself into sympathizing better with the described conditions and questioning the use of it as a trend. This, in a step forward to blur lines between, art, architecture and life.


An interesting example of this is Rural Studio, part of the Auburn University in Alabama. Founded by Samuel Mockabee, this academic program's goal is to find concrete solutions for a town of poor people. Their creative solutions often transform repurposed materials into real form of architecture.


To be continued...

Work by Luisa

"My constructions examine social realities and factual recollections by highlighting 'underlooked' elements discovered within the built environment. ​​Through the repurposing and treatment of discarded materials, I create two-sided objects which bring together contrasting realities into single moments of perception."- Luisa