Lúa Coderch »Souvenir [Onyx]«


Souvenir [Onyx] is an inflatable replica of the charismatic Onyx Wall on a scale of 1:4, the main architectural element of Mies van der Rohe's German Pavilion in Barcelona.

On the occasion of an exhibition La muntanya mágica (Magic Mountain) at the Fundació Joan Miró, Lúa Coderch spent 72 days researching, among other things, the historical development of the city of Barcelona and the materiality of its historical events.

03 lua coderch souvenir onyx c christoph liebentritt
02 lua coderch souvenir onyx c christoph liebentritt

After the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion had been demolished in 1930, Barcelona decided in 1986 to rebuild it as an architectural icon and tourist attraction - an attempt to leave memories of the Franco regime behind and demonstratively tie in with contemporary events that took place internationally. The original construction plans, however, were lost during the Second World War. As a result, the pavilion could only be reconstructed on the basis of archive photos. Today the pavilion is imbued with a "ghostly aura" according to the artist.

Barcelona Pavilion Mies van der Rohe c Naotake Murayama

(c) Naotake Murayama

(c) Marc Teer

For Lúa Coderch, the deformable nature of the inflatable PVC sculpture embodies the relativity of time and history, and expresses the manipulative intention behind the reconstruction. In collaboration with the architectural magazine 100 Häuser, Souvenir [Onyx] has been created as an exclusive edition which was presented at Palais Rasumowksy in Vienna and later again at an architectural symposium that took place at Breitwieser Stoneworlds that was discussing stone as a building material.

H Lcoderch

(c) Florian Langhammer

Lúa Coderch (*1982 in Iquitos, Peru) lives and works in Barcelona. Using research not to become an expert on a particular topic, her work explores the surface of things and the materiality of personal and historical narratives. Both things and anecdotes keep appearing once and again as characters in a narrative that arises from the stringing of her different projects. Using a wide range of media and strategies, she asks about the aesthetic aspect of topics like sincerity, enthusiasm, value or deception.

In 2014, Lúa Coderch exhibited at the Miró Foundation The Magic Mountain. Her work was a narrative in 72 chapters, extended along the 72 days of the exhibition around the idea of historical present, and on the tyranny of constantly having to define your expectations. She reflected on the location of the Foundation, the Montjuïch mountain, a very touristic enclave and a never-ending resource to produce discourse and imaginary: it is where the 1992 Olympics took place and the International Exhibition of 1929, where the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion was installed.

Her solo shows include Night in a Remote Cabin Lit by a Kerosene Lamp (Galería Angels Barcelona, 2015), Gold (Suñol Foundation, Barcelona, 2014), La parte que falta (Galería Bacelos, Madrid, 2014) and The Magic Mountain (Espai 13, Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona, 2013-14). Her group shows include Especies de Espacios (MACBA, 2015-16), ¿Por qué no lo llamas entropía? (Encuentro de Cultura Contemporánea de Guadalajara, México, 2015), The World of Interiors (The Green Parrot, Barcelona, 2014) and The future doesn't wait (La Capella, BCN Producció, 2014). In 2016 she will present the video project Shelter, promoted by BBVA Foundation. Lúa Coderch is represented by Àngels Barcelona gallery.

03 Lua Coderch Breitwieser 100 H

Souvenir [Onyx], 2016 by Lúa Coderch installed at Breitwieser Stoneworlds, Tulln (AT); (c) Florian Langhammer

Text: Florian Langhammer
Photos: Christoph Liebentritt, if not otherwise credited


Palais Rasumowky
Breitwieser Stoneworlds
100 Häuser

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