Villa Saboye, Poissy, France 2011

The Sitio project offers a fascinating image which becomes instinctively lodged in the memory, introducing the visitor to the evocative power of Santiago Borja’s works, and their ability to produce new ground-breaking narratives.

The Villa Savoye, which was built between 1928 and 1931, illustrates the principles of modern architecture (the “International Style”) which, as drawn up in those years by Le Corbusier, could be applied here, there and everywhere, regardless of distinctive local features and elements. By working in that timeless and de-territorialized icon, Borja enhances the purism of the Villa Savoye with other references. For this occasion, three works have been installed on the site:

Installed in the Villa’s grounds, Destinerrance is a work inspired by the “palapas”, traditional Maya dwellings made with wood and palm fronds. The artist juggles with the formal links between the piles of the Villa Savoye and the structure of the palapa, as well as with primitive Swiss lakeside dwellings, of which Le Corbusier seemed to have retained unwitting traces (according to Le Corbusier le bon sauvage, Adolf Max Vogt, 1996).  

Santiago Borja thus explores the bonds between modern architecture and surviving features of primitivism which, in his view, form a part of its identity. To illustrate this idea, the work’s title is borrowed from a notion developed by the philosopher Jacques Derrida, who connects the two concepts of destination and errance (wandering), and discusses our relation to space and time. The fantastic overlay of the two palapas, one of which is upside down, is part of this very incongruousness and loss of reference.