rafael landea

(See videos in the “Moving Images” section)

La Gesta (1992 - 2010)._ In Spanish the word "gesta" refers to heroic deeds. The great medieval Spanish epics were called ìgestasì. It also means to bring to term a pregnancy or gestate a new idea or insight
La Gesta is an apocryphal story of an attempt by a community to complete the construction of a brick, neo-gothic cathedral in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina that for some obscure architectural reason had remained unfinished for a hundred years.
La Plata is a city planned and built as a result of political necessity: the need for a capital for the Province of Buenos Aires. At the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, the project was called "The Jules Verne City" because of its modernity and boldness. As they said: French architecture built by Italians, with a Spanish flavor and inhabited by Polish, Turks, Jews, and an array of immigrants.  La Gesta explores the idea of ownership and the impossibility of owning an aesthetic that belongs to others.

The project was created as a documentary, which, in its entirety, includes video interviews of community members involved in the imaginary event. The project culminates with seven large drawings that tell the story of "how it happened".  The cathedral is ìcompletedì by drawing the missing towers on sewn together bed sheets.
La Gesta has the heroic dimension of a revolution. A revolution based on the power of creativity, the power of a community to re-imagine its own idea of the sacred.