Built in the late 1950s as a state-of-the-art, drive-in mall, El Helicoide was never completed and went through decades of abandonment, failed private and public projects, and informal occupations until the security police took it over in 1985. Now a ruin, the building epitomizes modernity's utopic dreams and its dystopian reality, ultimately presenting the dark side of modernity in Latin America.
Terreform/Urban Research will launch the publication of From Mall to Prison: El Helicoide's Downward Spiral, a book about the building, in conjunction with the exhibition. Edited by exhibition curator Celeste Olalquiaga and Lisa Blackmore, the book is a profusely-illustrated history and analytical commentary on El Helicoide.
Curated and designed by: Celeste Olalquiaga
Celeste Olalquiaga is an independent cultural historian. She has a PhD in Latin American Cultural Studies from Columbia University (1990) and her books, Megalopolis: Contemporary Urban Sensibilities (1992) and The Artificial Kingdom (1998) have become classics within modern cultural studies. She writes for specialized journals and lectures worldwide, and has received Guggenheim and Rockefeller awards. In 2013, she created PROYECTO HELICOIDE, dedicated to rescuing the memory of El Helicoide.