LB°24 Participants

Grandeza Studio

Grandeza Studio, Pilbara Interregnum: Seven Political Allegories, 2023. 3 channel video installation. Installation view from Konsthallen Kulturens Hus, Luleå. The Luleå Biennial 2024. Photo: LKP

Grandeza Studio is a collective of architects and artists founded in Madrid in 2011.

Grandeza Studio consists of Amaia Sánchez-Velasco (b. 1985, Spain) and Jorge Valiente Oriol (b. 1984, Spain) who are based in Madrid, Spain, and Gonzalo Valiente Oriol (b. 1982, Spain) who lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Grandeza Studio’s work explores late-capitalist spaces and narratives to identify and challenge the mechanisms that veil and normalise structural forms of violence. The collective combines different methodologies that entangle with research, critical spatial practice, writing, performance, design, filmmaking and pedagogy.

On view at Konsthallen Kulturens Hus, Luleå

Pilbara Interregnum: Seven Political Allegories, 2023
3 channel video installation, 42 min. Territorial model: MDF, 3d printed filament, and golden paint. 550 x 160 cm approx.

Pilbara Interregnum: Seven Political Allegories presents seven unresolved territorial disputes in the Pilbara, an immense, arid, and thinly populated region in the north of Western Australia. Labelled as “the powerhouse of the nation” due to its rich mineral deposits, the Pilbara has been the stage for heavy resource extraction and drastic transformations since the first colonial incursions, 160 years ago. The region is a spatio-temporal battlefield of expulsions, explosions, and exploitation. Additionally, it grapples with substantial infrastructural underdevelopment and experiences high rates of racially charged social exclusion. Today, the long-established iron ore, gas, and petrol mining operations collide with the incursion of additional stakeholders in search of its recently “discovered” reserves of lithium and other rare earth minerals. The abundance of these desired metals, the extreme exposure to solar radiation and wind, and privileged access to the Indian Ocean position the Pilbara at the core of the planetary energy transition.

Pilbara Interregnum acknowledges the Pilbara as a centre-stage-territory where the most radical (geo)political and knowledge battles of our time are already taking place. The work re-stages the Pilbara by moving it away from a resources-extraction battlefield into a territory of political re-imagination, that puts in crisis the extractivist, colonial, and capitalist mythologies that are turning the Pilbara, as well as many other places globally, such as Norrbotten, into sacrificed areas. However distant geographically, the Pilbara and Norrbotten may not only share extractive processes but also forms of socio-political insurrection and imagination aimed at overcoming these challenges.

Film credits

Grandeza Studio
Amaia Sánchez Velasco, Jorge Valiente Oriol, Gonzalo Valiente Oriol.

Authorial collaborators

Caitlin Condon, Laura Domínguez Valdivieso, James Feng, Jordi Guijarro Contreras, Miguel Rodríguez-Casellas.

Technical collaborators

Melena Androide (acting), Juan Carlos Castro-Domínguez and Fab Lab at Universidad de Alicante (model fabrication), Juan Carlos Cembreros Llopis (cinematography on stage in Alicante), Bana Hankin (voice), Diego Lipnizky (sound design), Esteban Lloret-Linares (film editing support), Aintzane Méndez Zalbide (costume design and acting), Brooke Jackson (voice), Emma Johnson (copy editor), Andrea Lam (voice), Gigi Li (voice and language supervision), Sammy Nazam (voice), Vina Aurellia Purwantoro (voice), Bruno Salas (cinematography on stage in Chile), Laura Touman (voice), Brooke Zhang (voice and language supervision), Xiao Hong Zhen (voice).

Team members

Raquel Vázquez Romero, and students of “Residencias Remotas” from Andrés Bello University (UNAB) in Chile: Bastián Durán Silva, Martin Herrera Aqueveque, Claudio González Salamanca, Mitzi Muñoz Urra, Almendra Fernanda Parra Castillo, Andre Ramdohr, Pablo José Reyes Pérez, Natalia Rojas Collao, María José Vergara Sepulveda.

About Grandeza Studio

Grandeza Studio’s work has been widely published and exhibited in Germany, USA, Chile, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Australia. In 2019, the team co-directed the Australian pavilion for the XXII Triennale di Milano, which received the Golden Bee Award for the best international contribution. The work was acquired in 2021 by the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV). Their work Pilbara Interregnum: Seven Political Allegories was exhibited at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennial 2023, and their film Strata Incognita, co-directed with Locument, was exhibited in the Spanish pavilion of the same biennial.

Supported by

Consorci de Museus de la Comunitat Valenciana through the program “Cultura Resident” at Centro Cultural Las Cigarreras in Alicante, Spain; Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), Spain; School of Architecture at the Campus Creativo of Andrés Bello University (UNAB) through the program “Residencias Remotas”, Santiago de Chile - Viña del Mar, Chile; Fab Lab Alicante, Universidad de Alicante, Spain; University of Technology Sydney, Australia; University of Sydney, Australia; BFI National Archive, UK; as well as Havremagasinet.