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Rivera. The Architecture of Happiness
Taking these premises as her starting point and armed with a series of videos of performances, photographs and scale models, Julie Rivera has articulated her exhibition project entitled La arquitectura de la felicidad (The Architecture of Happiness). From this ironic perspective, she focuses on the logic that governs itineraries, the use of spaces and time and even the bodily movements and gazes of customers in shopping centres. Rivera examines the internal organisation of such centres and the manipulation and standardization of behaviours rendered sluggish by massive doses of consumerist subliminal messages, offered up falsely and banally as a substitute for fulfilment and happiness. She also explores the generation of behavioural patterns and guidelines that produce a whole lifestyle both within and around these spaces, and the insidious spread of their formulas and strategies into historic city centres through processes of "urbanalization" and "brandification", as cities learn to manage their differences or "brands" of authenticity in the same way as today's hybrid shopping malls-cum-amusement parks are managed, "reducing the city to a mere projection of its brand image, stripping it of all its complexity, and therefore showing only its most digestible facet".
Margarita de Aizpuru