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  • Emina Helić Čamdžić

'You know, you cannot see yourself so well as by reflection' Exhibition Structure

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Author: Emina Čamdžic, BA Dip. Eng. Arch MA

museum structure on water

Photo: Exhibition structure at the V&A Museum. Photo © Emina Čamdžic, BA Dip. Eng. Arch MA

Made to be a temporary structure during the London Design Festival at the V & A Museum (Victoria and Albert Museum), the Mexican pavilion became a popular visitor attraction. Installed at the courtyard of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the pavilion is overlapping two different landscapes. It sparks discussion about identity, people, culture and the world.

As a grid - like pattern of mirrored platforms, it is referencing one of Mexico’s most emblematic territorializations: the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlán. This city was built on a lake in the early 14th century, while its channels, streets and ‘chinampas’ can still be recognized in the urban structure of today’s Mexico City.

Title 'You know, you cannot see yourself so well as by reflection' is a reference to the physical reflective nature as well as the philosophical inspiration for the pavilion. It is a quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, Act 1 Scene 2.

‘ The pavilion is an abstraction of this first settlement in the lake: a mirrored system of platforms that resembles the city’s grid and the sheen of the water as it was first described by Cortez’s men. The platforms can be arranged in different configurations, making it a dynamic and flexible space that adapts to a number of events. The reflective surface integrates the pavilion with its surroundings, becoming a link between past and present, between context and a new common territory.... It is a pavilion that embraces itself as much as it can.'

' This is not who we are, this is my interpretation of what Mexico is, and it's more important for me to generate activity than to just present our culture', Frida Escobedo.

Frida Escobedo is a Mexican architect, with a degree in architecture and urbanism from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She has finished her Masters in Art, Design and the Public Domain at the HGSD (Harvard Graduate School of Design). In year 2003, she founded the studio 'Perro Rojo' with Alejandro Alarcón. Frida has been working as an independent architect since 2006. Her work was shown at the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco.

  • Architect: Frida Escobedo

  • Location: Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

  • Type: Pavillion. Temporary Structure.


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