TORRE-BLENIO – Argentina born artist Daniel González continues his quest to realise 'ephemeral architecture', structures which exist temporarily before returning to their original state.
Sitting in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain in the canton of Ticino stands Cima Norma, a decommissioned chocolate factory which suffered economic woes and fires before the end of its run at the end of the 60s. Once a source of stability, the factory intertwined with the Alpine town's inhabitants as well as its landscape. The industrial structure's tripartite facade forms tiers to navigate the steep terrain like a layered cake. In an effort to find a connection between the village and the factory – beyond a shared aesthetic with the village's buildings – González engaged a social experiment to scratch beneath the surface of the town's skin deep relationship with its loyal neighbour.
Once González got his mitts on white billboard paper and glue, he wrapped an 890-sq-m section of the former chocolate factory. Wall surfaces appear to be embossed with door frames and glass panes and ornamented with handles, lettering and railings, protected like a supersized candy bar waiting to be eaten. To further conceal the building's true identity, González gave La Fabbrica del Cioccolato an alias as bland as its canvased facade: Paper Building.
Like children on Christmas morning, Torre-Blenio's inhabitants were unleashed on the pristine covering whom then ripped it apart, let the factory's features emerge once again. Intended to ignite a passionate connection with the community, the exposing event coincided with the kickoff of a foundation dedicated to protecting the building's heritage and promoting cultural initiatives.
Until 30 September, the installation will deteriorate daily at Strada Vecchia 100, CH-6717 Torre-Blenio, Switzerland.
Photos Carola Merello