Rafael Landea

La Gesta

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.

la gesta
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La Gesta (short)

Rafael Landea

Rafael Landea Artista VisualRafael Landea received his MFA from La Plata University, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a 2011 recipient of a San Francisco Arts Commission Grant for Individual Artists and he was featured in the 2012 “Our Radar”, Creative Capital database of art projects. His works are included in the public collections at MaM (Museum of Art and Memory), and MPB (Fine Arts Museum Buenos Aires) Argentina. His most recent solo exhibitions were “1930” Buenos Aires Holocaust Museum, “Maps of Silence”, a multimedia installation at the Exploratorium Museum of Art Science and Human Perception in San Francisco, and “Malvinas” Museum Malvinas (ESMA) Buenos Aires. Other solo exhibition venues include Grace Cathedral 1055 Gallery, San Francisco, CA, and, Archimboldo Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Group exhibition highlights include “Performance” at Gensler San Francisco, “Madres de Plaza de Mayo” CC Haroldo Conti, Buenos Aires. Landea has worked as a set designer and painter for theater in Argentina for more than 15 years. He has also been actively involved in designing and producing murals nationally and internationally; the latest in San Francisco, funded by Artery Project, and collaborations in Turin and Genoa, Italy. In 2019 created two large murals, Architecture University and the Law Library both in La Plata, Argentina. He has created illustrations for magazines and books for important Argentinean publishers as Anfibia, Malisia, EME, Ediciones B, and Universities, the latest in 2021: “Malvinas mi Casa” a book based on a diary written in 1829 in Malvinas/Falklands. Landea was selected for the 2020 Prequalified Artist Pool by San Francisco Arts Commission.