Pilar Quinteros: Cathedral of Freedom

Starting point: the boat barrier on the Ljubljanica River at the Mortuary Bridge
Course of navigation: Mortuary Bridge – Butchers’ Bridge – Mortuary Bridge
Saturday, 25 July, at 10 am

In 1947, during the time of Yugoslavia, Slovenian architect Jože Plečnik proposed a draft for a new Slovenian Parliament in Ljubljana called the Plečnik Parliament or the Cathedral of Freedom, which is also the title of the project by Chilean artist Pilar Quinteros at the 31st Biennial of Graphic Arts. However, his proposal was rejected due to financial, logistic and stylistic reasons. A new open call for submissions was released in order to find the final form and the building of the Slovenian Parliament as we know it today became the winning project. Nevertheless, Plečnik’s draft remained enshrined in the collective memory and can today be seen on the Slovenian 10 cent coin, even though the project was never developed.

The project by Pilar Quinteros tries to reconstruct the model of Plečnik’s draft using lightweight materials (such as cardboard), covered with waterproof materials. Cathedral of Freedom will be installed on a raft produced by the artist herself, which she will release on the Ljubljanica River. Hence the building will not only be the first volumetric presence in the city, but will also “visit” different places without having to be anywhere for too long, since there is no room for it in the city’s urban plan. The raft, which the artists produced in Ljubljana in its entirety, is made from wood and recycled plastic bottles.

As the artist says: “My project is about a building with no space to be that, moving aimlessly across the waters of Ljubljana.”

Pilar Quinteros

In cooperation with the Ljubljana Association of River Captains.

Biography Pilar Quinteros

Pilar Quinteros was born in 1988 in Santiago, Chile. She studied Art at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile gaining her degree in 2011. She has been working at the same institution for the past few years as a teaching assistant on a number of courses including Colour, Drawing and the Thesis Workshop.
She is a co-founder and active member of the MICH (International Museum of Chile) art collective, which is a multidisciplinary collective dedicated to generating reflective projects, art spaces and artwork. She is the winner of the Jean-Claude Reynal Scholarship (2012) for artists working in paper awarded by the Fondation de France and the Fine Arts Museum of Bordeaux, the third place winner of the CCU Art Scholarship (2013), and the finalist for the Future Generation Art Prize awarded by PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine (2014).

She has shown her work in venues such as the National Fine Arts Museum (Media Arts Biennial, Santiago, Chile, 2013), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Santiago, Chile, 2010), ArteBA (Buenos Aires, Argentina 2012), Casa de las Américas (Havana, Cuba, 2013), PinchukArtCentre (Kiev, Ukraine, 2014) and Carlos/Ishikawa Gallery (London, UK, 2015).
In her work, Pilar Quinteros uses building materials such as cardboard, wood, fibreglass and plastic, among others, many of which have been discarded, to create volumes by hand. The latter represents an important aspect of her work, as she values the thinking and understanding that emerge from a direct relationship to the production processes. By involving herself both mentally and physically in the process of creation, the result is ultimately the product of her daily routine and a full life experience. At the same time, the artist turns to video to record the actions and interventions that she undertakes in diverse contexts (public spaces, uninhabited sites, etc.) as a way of sharing with others.
Her work is dedicated to understanding our immediate universe and the transformations it undergoes over time. This has led her to think and analyze how all the things that we are used to (cities, objects, cultural imaginaries of all kinds) change with the passing of the years. Her aesthetic and visual analysis of these transformations takes as its point of departure the idea that the collective imaginary is a construction in the widest sense of the word, able not only to create fictions, but also to believe them.

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Photo: Urška Boljkovac. MGLC Archive.