An off-site project by Santiago Borja for the Neutra VDL Research House II with Maddalena Forcella, El Camino de los Altos Cooperative, and g727.

November 17 – December 22, 2010
Neutra VDL Research House II
2300 Silver Lake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039

Opening Reception
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Los Angeles – g727 presents FORT DA // SAMPLER, a site-specific installation by Mexico City-based artist Santiago Borja. For this project, Borja sets up an architectural intervention to encourage new readings of the frequently elusive nature of “magical thinking” embedded into Modernism. Reinterpreting the modernist vision of Austrian-born and Los Angeles-based architect Richard Neutra, the artist transforms the influential designer’s family home, known as the VDL Research House II, into a temporary functional textile loom design by Santiago’s team of collaborators, comprised of expert weavers from Chiapas, Mexico. The project grows from the formal similarities in between modern abstract geometry and Mayan patterning that represents the cosmos.

The installation title comes from Borja’s study of Freud’s “Fort / Da” theory, based on a child’s game of throwing a wooden reel attached to a string over a ledge until it disappears and then retrieving it. Freud theorized this game of disappearance and return as a way to view how the child manages his anxiety about the absence of his mother. Borja takes this theory further by interpreting it as a way of creating space, envisioning the act of throwing the reel as a way to visually and physically connect with a distant place.

Vis-à-vis this construct is the process of textile making in Chiapas, Mexico, where a young apprentice establishes her own identity as a textile maker through the creation of her first textile piece, a Sampler. The process of weaving and embroidering the Sampler is the connector between past, present, and future textile processes, creating a continuous dialogue with the cosmic and natural world around them.
About the Artist
Santiago Borja has a Bachelor Degree in Architecture from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico and a Master on Theory and Practice of Contemporary Art and New Media from Université Paris 8.

Recent projects include Divan, Freud Museum, London, May 2010; In the Shadow of the Sun, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dècalage, Museo Experimental El Eco, Mexico City, 2009; and Halo, Pavilion Le Corbusier, Foundation Suisse, CIUP, Paris, 2008.

Collaborators and Sponsors
Maddalena Forcella
El Camino de los Altos Cooperative
Fundación/ Colección Jumex
SNCA-FONCA Conaculta
Sarah Lorenzen of Neutra VDL Research House II

Additional Programming
g727 Textile Tour and Roundtable Discussion
Date: To be announced on

Downtown Los Angeles Textile Tour will be followed by a roundtable discussion at g727. For more information please to

g727 seeks to generate dialogues on artistic representations and interpretations of the urban landscape. The building blocks of a city comprise more than simply buildings, streets, and sidewalks. They equally encompass personal experience, collective memory and narratives. These are the less tangible, but no less integral elements that transform mere infrastructure into place. Through photography, painting, writing and video installations, artists open our eyes to these elements and heighten our awareness of what makes a place a place. g727 welcomes these artists to its space to help us all better understand the complex nature of cities and the urban condition.

Media Contact

Adrian Rivas, Director of g727 or (213) 627 9563

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