• LOUBON Patrice

Freddy MAMANI, architect of the 21st century


On my first trip to the Plurinational State of Bolivia in 2014, I was shocked by El Alto’s vision. This new 36-year-old city overlooks La Paz, the highest capital in the world. Buildings never seen elsewhere decorate this emerging urbanity in an unusual way! What a joy to be witness of the birth of a city through a totally new urban and social phenomenon, the re-appropriation by the Indian people, by architecture of its power and its future.
The Aymara’s people is the master of this experience and Freddy Mamani their prophet!

El Alto

Bolivia’s second-largest city on an overgrown plateau at an altitude of 4000 m, located between two mountain ranges, El Alto is an urban community composed of simple red brick buildings, gray asphalt ribbons and highways unpaved.
Under the presidency of Evo Morales, the indigenous populations of the country have gained new self-confidence and Mamani’s architectures have reinforced this confidence in his conception of architecture and in particular of the facade.
The design of the buildings is comparable to that of Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
They are characterized by their vitality and an imaginative singularity, with clear allusions to Aymara’s traditions, the largest ethnic group in Bolivia. The colors resemble those of the ponchos and other costumes of the Altiplano, the forms are not without reminder, often butterflies, snakes and condors, which play a central role in Aymara’s mythology. (source: Wikipedia)

Freddy Mamani

Engineer, bricklayer and self-taught architect born in Bolivia in 1971. Inventor of new structures qualified "neo-Andean architecture" or Cholet. There are now more than a hundred projects in the Bolivian city of El Alto.
At the age of 14, he started working as an assistant bricklayer, then he followed a training the following year at the Faculty of Technology of Civil Architecture of the University Mayor of San Andrés (CESU) in La Paz, then studied civil engineering at the Boliviana University of Informática (UBI) in La Paz.
Today recognized internationally, he exposes and builds all around the world his hallucinating vernacular architectures, reaffirming his Indian origin, humble and rural, as well as the awareness of the power of his act and the authenticity of his achievements.

The film

The exhibition can also be accompanied by the film Cholet - The work of Freddy Mamani directed by Isaac Niemand which we can easily have the rights of diffusion.

Throughout the film, Moby’s discography crosses the sounds of Bolivian nature in the highlands, offering spectators a tour of El Alto, the highest city in the world. The film begins with careful shots of the city while a voice-over speaks Aymara, one of the Andean languages ​​in danger of extinction.
The film highlights the original work of Bolivian architect Freddy Mamani. Inspired by the Andean culture Aymara of which it is native. On the heights of the altiplano, his achievements are "sumptuous, crazy and colorful parentheses in the middle of the sobriety of a precarious and monotonous suburb".


LOUBON Patrice

Graduated from the National School of Photography (1992) and holds a MASTER 1 in Visual Arts from the University of Montpellier (2002). He is the holder of artistic and cultural projects, and in 2005 he received a MASTER 2 for "cultural development and project management" (Lyon II University).
Teacher in photography and image analysis from 1999 to 2004 for the universities of Montpellier III and Nîmes. In 2007, he organized the photojournalism department for the World Press Photo, at the Higher Institute of Information and Communication of Morocco (Rabat). Since 2005, he has coordinated a large number of educational projects related to the image.
Founder and director of NEGPOS (Nîmes), Artistic Director of the Images and Heritage Biennale, the Rencontres Images et Ville and the FOTOLIMO festival (Cerbère-Portbou).
His favorite subject is the city and the phenomena that cross it. Each new approach generates different devices and shapes that can integrate photography, video, walking, performance and installation. Since 2003, he has been setting up projects where sharing and co-production are at the heart of the process. His concerns are universalistic and the subjects treated as many attempts to reveal the invisible phenomena that populate the arteries of contemporary urbanity.
He has made numerous personal and collective exhibitions, mainly in France, but also elsewhere: Rabat, Santiago de Chile, London and Havana. His work can be found in the collections of the Carré d’Art Médiathèque (Nîmes), the Casa de las Americas in Havana and in private collections in France, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, Morocco and Cuba.
Over the past 15 years, it has benefited from regular support for creation from the Occitanie Region and DRAC Occitanie.

Grants DRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016.
Grants of the Regional Council Languedoc-Roussillon, 2009, 2015.
Fond’Art as curator for the project "Historia de una foto", Chile, 2012.

Recent exhibitions:
2018: The declaration of La Habana, Centro Cultural Las Condes, Santiago de Chile.
2018: An architect of the 21st century, Freddy MAMANI, House of the Region, Nîmes.
2018: Hope (col.), The other is the same, Manuel Rivera Ortiz Foundation, Rencontres d’Arles.
2018: Regards croisés, Paris-Shanghai, with LIU Gang, NegPos gallery, Nîmes.
2017: H.A.B.I.T.E.R. ARCHIFOTO 2017, Galerie La Chambre, Strasbourg.
2016: Do not blink (col.), The other is the same, The Toy Store, Arles.
2015: Sam Sulaah’s AmerikaZ, Objects of yesterday gallery, Nîmes.
2014: The declaracion of La Habana, Cristo Salvador Gallery, Havana.
2013: Urba Latin Arpilleras, Center for Resistance and Deportation, Arles.
2012: RSV (col.), The wood on the other side of the ring road, Salamandre Gallery, Nîmes.