Many artists have turned to architecture to explore new possibilities for sculpture and installation art; one can trace this line back to Gordon Matta-Clark. Some of the most interesting of these artists have been those examining informal manifestations in construction and urbanism; many works have been inspired by the aesthetics of shantytowns, favelas, or slums. Here the historical predecessor is Hélio Oiticica. The third-world city, with its manifold, ungovernable flows, offers the richest and most perverse example of this sort of uncontrolled building; so it’s hardly surprising that artists from Latin America, more than anywhere else, have taken up this theme in various ways, to the extent that some critics have detected a trend or fashion at work: the exploitation of the aesthetics of the shantytown. Indeed, this is a politically delicate path to tread. Nevertheless, artists as
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