Valentina Acierno
Vicens Vidal
Victor Rahola
Xabier Eizaguirre
Xabier Unzurrunzaga
Xavier Fàbregas
Xavier Monteys
Xavier Rubert de Ventós
Zaida Muxí
Àlex Giménez
Amador Ferrer
Angel Martín
Anton Pàmies
Antoni Llena
Antoni Marí
Antonio Font
Aquiles González
Ariella Masboungi
Axel Fohl
Beth Galí
At the corner.
I met Manuel de Solà-Morales because
in 2003 he asked me to join the scientific committee for his Cities, Corners exhibition, to be held in Barcelona a year later. After the exhibition our collaboration continued, me helping him to get his monograph A Matter of Things published in 2008.
In both collaborations I had the feeling of being close and at the same time very distant from Manuel. Close, because of the warmth of his personal contact. Distant, because independent of what I proposed or suggested, and no matter whether those proposals and suggestions might actually have been of any use, I always got the impression that he was following his own track anyway, pursuing his own line of reasoning and
keeping his own thoughts, which were, I imagine, usually quite determined. This combination of warmth and distance was epitomized by the generous letter I got from him after the publication of the monograph. He kindly thanked me for my contribution and wrote that my text offered a reading of what his work could possibly be about.
It seemed to me that he was willing to accept that someone looked at his work the way I did, but in a reticent manner he made clear that he had obviously different ideas about it. This made me realize once more that it is always an open question whether a creative achievement is ever appreciated for the same reasons the maker considers important.
I believe that, to a certain extent, Manuel’s work is very much for a divergence between intention and
perception, because of its aloofness. In his case, the character of the person and of his work are very much congruent, both showing a mix of introversion and, at the same time, outspokenness. But without wanting to be explicit about everything.
The main idea behind Cities, Corners was his conviction that urban life begins where two lines meet and form a corner. According to Manuel, the public value of the corner surpasses the social dimension of what are more commonly seen as the most important public spaces, the street and the square. For him a corner of a building suffices as a crystallization point for urbanity. On a corner, people coming from different directions can meet momentarily and, after a brief encounter, they can pursue their own path. Just as it happened to Manuel and me./ Amsterdam