Wednesday, 15.06.2016


2016 / 201606 / Präsentation
New Buenos Aires:
Tropical Babel: on a ruined mall stranded in Caracas

Celeste Olalquiaga

In the context of the group exhibition New Buenos Aires at Corner College.

Lateinamerikazentrum Zürich (Universität Zürich) and Corner College present

Tropical Babel: on a ruined mall stranded in Caracas
Celeste Olalquiaga (Proyecto Helicoide)

at Corner College
on 16 June 2016
at 19:00h, followed by a reception

El Helicoide de la Roca Tarpeya, Caracas, Venezuela.

Built in the 1960s as a futuristic shopping mall, El Helicoide de la Roca Tarpeya, in Caracas, Venezuela, would have been the most state-of-the-art shopping mall of the Americas, with a double helix of vehicular ramps aligned with high-end boutiques, exhibition centers and even a heliport. But El Helicoide was never finished and has been the site of multiple failed projects (including a bus terminal and a cemetery), massive informal occupations and, for the last thirty years, a police headquarters with political prisoners. How the building that was supposed to be the symbol of Venezuela modernity turned instead into one of this country's (and modernity's!) most emblematic failures make of El Helicoide an incredible story of soured ambitions, democratic betrayals, bankruptcy, evil spirits and more...

PROYECTO HELICOIDE is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing the architectural, cultural and social value of El Helicoide de la Roca Tarpeya in Caracas, Venezuela. Built as a spiraling drive-in mall between 1958 and 1961, El Helicoide was never finished. Its unique shape and peculiar history of abandonment, failed projects and police occupation make it a global icon of the contradictions of modernity.

Posted by Corner College Collective