Across human history one element in architecture has stood out as the one place where our dreams and aspirations have been projected on: the wall.
If we understand it as that vertical element enclosing and defining space, the wall has been canvas, frame and screen for the ideals of the culture that erected it. For centuries one of the main themes on those walls has been women. Goddesses and muses, sinners and virgins, queens and warriors, victims and heroins, mothers and pin-ups, singers and actresses. Every culture and time has portrayed its ideals and fears though the representation of women onto the wall.
Using the recurrent element of representation that is the wall, and reinterpret it, with fabric as its material to make it a journey of exploration. A representation and reinterpretation of the multiple women that dreamed of being acclaimed and admired, in an era that defined our modern understatement of femininity and that prepared the ground for the sexual revolution and the liberation of women.
This proposal, using the softness, elasticity and richness of textiles, explores the ideas of exposure, intimacy, confidence and discomfort. All of these feelings are projected and presented through the visual suggestion of the visitors own bodies and the elimination of the limits of personal space.
The objective of the exposition is to put the visitor through a series of stimulating, introspective and sensorial experiences. The idea comes from the conceptualization of the struggles that the women in the exposition faced in order to achieve their dreams. Spatially, the proposal consists of three main bodies: The entrance, the journey corridor and the exhibit chamber.
The entrance consists of a floating white volume representing the dreams of every woman who wished to be revered as a pin-up icon, looking inviting and accesible as the perception that any outsider has of fame.
To access the exposition, the visitors must make their way through the multiple layers of translucent fabric, getting them into the spotlight. A central space, bright and ethereal, is limited by soft fabrics where the visitor is first confronted with the “wall”, a mirrored surface that is meant to present the users a way to introspection and self awareness before entering into the corridor. This is the sensual start of a truly unknown journey.
The Journey Corridor:
The entrance consists of a slim cut and a narrow path where people can advance only one person at a time. That way, the visitor is forced to squeeze between small spaces and rub against the sinuous shapes defined by the wall. In this constrained space, one side is made of stretching fabric forcing the visitor to be pushed over the oposite wall made of glass.
Divided in two sections, the first curving wall pushes the visitor into a glass wall where they realize for the first time that the reflective surface on the entrance is actually a two way mirror. Giving them the sensation of unwanted exposure when they were on the outside, and transforming them at the same time into undesired observers of the people still on the entrance part of the exhibition.
Moving forward, the second wall curving pushes them into an illuminated frosted glass, giving the visitor a sensation of extreme closeness to an unknown observer.
Along the corridor the visitor is forced to shed the feelings of embarrassment that might have haunted them in the beginning of the journey, creating a conceptual depiction of the challenges every woman faced and continues to face in the modeling world. Focusing on how they had to self-construct their identity to make themselves a recognized figure on the pin-up world.
The Exhibit Chamber:
Once the visitors finish their journey through the corridor, they arrive to the main exhibition chamber. A refined, sober and dark space designed for contemplation where only two opposing walls are used as exhibition.
First, the entrance wall will act as a screen, projecting the silhouettes of people still walking through the corridor. Exploring the ideas of exposure, intimacy, confidence and discomfort through the visual suggestion of the visitors own bodies and the elimination of the limits of personal space.
The main wall echoes the theatre billboards in which these women wished to be presented on, finally giving them a sense of accomplishment in a space where they are the main protagonists.
At this point the “wall” becomes a stage reminiscent of any billboard of the first decade on the last century. Choosing a traditional method to depict these portraits as opposed to modern and digital projections which never occurred to these women.