Constructing for chaos

Dionisio González presents his striking ideas for problem paradises in Marbella

Dionisio González's work 'Dauphin Island' forms part of the Marbella exhibition.
Dionisio González's work 'Dauphin Island' forms part of the Marbella exhibition.

Adversity, natural disasters and chaos all serve as inspiration for Dionisio González. And so do energy, the ability to resist and the fighting spirit of those who suffer. A lecturer at Seville University, González discovered in photography the way to develop one of his vocations, architecture, even if only in two dimensions. Over the last 10 years he has traveled the globe in search of inhabited areas continually buffeted by the forces of nature — hurricanes, floods, earthquakes — but whose residents refuse to abandon them.

From his visits to places such as Dauphin Island in the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil's overpopulated favelas, fishermen's houses in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam — enclaves where chaos and beauty sit side by side — González was inspired to look for solutions to the problems of their denizens, thinking up constructions that are daring, sustainable, almost sculptural, as well as practical — even if none of them, for now at least, has found form in concrete and brick. An architect and a graphic artist from his Seville studio helped provide ideas, which González inserted into his photographs of the places he visited. Out of that came series such as Favelas (2004-2007), Halong (2008-2011), Dauphin Island (2011), Busan (2011) and his most recent work, Inter-Acciones, which he completed last year.

Now you can see two of these, Dauphin Island and Inter-Acciones, at the Yusto-Giner gallery in Marbella. The exhibition, titled Architecture for resistance, consists of 20 photos from the two series in which González reflects upon the acceptance of adversity and the link established between construction and destruction in these places.

"The thread that runs through Dauphin Island is water," says González, whose work has hung on the walls of institutions such as the Pompidou Center in Paris, Madrid's Reina Sofía Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.

"This island in Alabama, in the Gulf of Mexico, was discovered by the Spanish and the French then rechristened it 'massacre island' because of the virulence of nature there with constant hurricanes that sweep everything away. Out of the energy of its people, resigned to an architecture of restitution, emerged the idea of creating an architecture for resistance, a bunkered architecture ready to resist the battering of nature."

Dionisio González. Architecture for resistance . Until March 20 at Galería Yusto-Giner, C/ Madera 9, Marbella. http://yusto-giner.com

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