Curated by Nicholas Frank
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts
Download Tabloid (special issue) printed for the exhibition.
Ernesto Oroza’s “Architecture of Necessity” chronicles the inventive solutions that arise under conditions of severe economic limitations, such as those in his native Havana. The island nation of Cuba has been embargoed and isolated for decades and restricted by an authoritarian government, and deprivation is the norm. Though private production is illegal under the current system, people invent the things they need, and make changes to their built environment as necessary.
Oroza’s work (in essays, photographs, collected and reconstructed objects) documents the range of inventive solutions borne out of these conditions, while charting a moral course for social discourse and development.
The exhibition at Inova will feature a combination of interior design and architectural elements, along with documentary photographs of architectural modifications in Havana, and video detailing various household inventions. Inova will publish an edition of Oroza’s Tabloids, an ongoing project that conveys ideas and visual information in an inexpensive and widely distributable format. The Inova tabloid will act as the exhibition publication for the concurrent shows (Matthew Girson and Jeanne Dunning), and contain information specific to the Milwaukee community. We are grateful for the support of the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts and Aprenda Invertir (Miami).
This is Oroza’s first exhibition in the Midwest.
"The need for raw materials converts these places into very selective “black hollows”. All the plastic objects from the surroundings were absorbed by the mechanism, a kind of industrial cannibalism. Hordes of plastic prospectors were collecting containers from everywhere to feed the monster that was expelling little heads of Batman at the other side. Sometimes families were living with the machines inside the house, not in a patio or a cellar. A room during the day can transform itself into a plant to produce electric switches, pipes or hoses. Photos of children on the wall of the house and a small bedside table now used as a toolbox reappraised the past of the space."