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If I think of a free space, I immediately think of a space without constraints, a space in which it is possible to move independently. The installation of the Uruguay pavilion deals precisely with this freedom, showing us the project of a prison. At first it may seem strange to talk about freedom in such a context, yet believe me, I'm not wrong. The project entitled “ Prison to Prison ” curated by Sergio Aldama , Federico Colom , Diego Morera , Jilema RÍos and Mauricio Wood connects two prisons built side by side. Theoretically they should be the same, instead the two architectures are opposite in their peculiarities: from sanctions for behaviors that do not comply with surveillance, from space to management. Two buildings very close to each other, but completely distant in the conception of space. The space inside the pavilion seems to expand and shrink through a play of lights, making the viewer participate, who lives or rather experiences, the sensation of constriction and subsequently of freedom of the two prisons. The glows created by the lighting capture and isolate me, allowing me for a moment to experience the two prisons, so different from each other. The dark and confined space, in which I feel a sense of claustrophobia, of the recently built prison, and subsequently, the light and the expansion of the space of a place that seems to me to have no more boundaries like the “prison-village”. All within a few square meters. Then a question arises spontaneously: Why if the “village prison” has proved to be a successful model for the rehabilitation of prisoners, in 2017 a prison was built with an opposite use model?

The answer concerns the political and economic sphere, the political authorities, in fact, affirm that "conditions of poor confinement make" rehabilitation "impossible, and with 2000 and more places available, overcrowding will no longer be a problem" FRESPACE IS POLITICAL , this the writing that can be read in the pavilion as you head towards the exit. A strong affirmation, which wants to make us reflect.

Because free space cannot be subject to political manipulation and allow the construction of ethically and functionally wrong places. Space should be reconnected to architecture and its generous and necessary cultural dimension in order to allow the construction of intelligent architectures, but not for their technologies, but rather for their ability to relate to man.


Uruguay pavilion exterior © Andrea Di Cinzio for WMMQ

Entrance inside the "Prison to Prison" installation © Andrea Di Cinzio for WMMQ

Uruguay pavilion installation © Andrea Di Cinzio for WMMQ

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