VAN ALEN BOOKS

SPRING/FALL 2014

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Wednesday, 7pm

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26

Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools

John Loomis, Benjamin Murray, Alysa Nahmias

Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools examines the convergence of architecture, ideology, and culture in 1960s Cuba through the design of the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte (National Art Schools), conceived and initiated by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara soon after the Revolution’s victory. The utopian vision of architects Ricardo Porro, Roberto Gottardi, and Vittorio Garatti integrated issues of culture, ethnicity, and place, reinventing architecture just as the Revolution hoped to reinvent society.

As the utopian dream succumbed to dystopian reality, construction was halted and the architects fell out of political favor. The 2011 documentary Unfinished Spaces explores the current state of the schools and follows the exiled architects, who were invited back by Castro to finish their unrealized dream. Revolution of Forms author John Loomis will be joined by Unfinished Spaces co-directors Benjamin Murray and Alysa Nahmias for a conversation on the history of the schools and their rediscovery as visionary architectural masterpieces, now officially recognized by the Cuban government as national treasures.