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cuddled scraps of dust

falling from carbonate rocks

from waters high and low

heated by the Earth’s core 


scars, breaks, cracks

in white, tan, rusty skin

fleshy locked, breathing still

exhaling subterranean gasps

piling up in fitful lumps

let there be light


blown borosilicate glass rubble
silica plus boron oxide
shaped through Hephaestus’ breath 
god of fire,
volcanoes, god of crafts
filling you with silent voices 
separates air from turmoil
formless substance
cremates in a viscid way
fading to a dancing mineral 
molecules mistake their place
in a frail aplomb
incisive edges calling danger


trauma echoes:

first steps of glass, creeping crash

crystal beats and falling ashes,

tools dinging, fire melting, silica and gas

silica is everywhere in sand

radiating from all Earth crust

crust, glass, sand, dust, travertine

calcium carbonate, silicon oxide, 

fluxing agent, all at once,

singing, bouncing, breaking the floor

shouting, blowing, flaming, caressing all!


glass and travertine honoring a rite
between discovery and mourning
between care and what’s revealed
(to u)
an archaeological mesh excavation 
or an awkward treasure from the ancient times


a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth

life embracing death
celebrating their shadows 
longing that nothing and everything last


Beautiful Failures is a site-specific intervention that investigates fragility and vulnerability through two of the most delicate materials used in the construction of the Barcelona Pavilion by Lilly Reich and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: glass and travertine. Seventeen travertine paving slabs lifted out of their spaces reveal seventeen voids. Around them are placed a series of discarded glass pieces salvaged from artisan glassblowing workshops in Barcelona and grouped by the students into seventeen families, based on their morphology. The new landscape resulting from the partial removal of the pavement, and its relationship with the rejected glass pieces, show similarities with an archaeological stratigraphic excavation. Understood simultaneously as a ritual of burial and revelation, the temporary intervention in the pavilion sets up a cycle of birth, death and rebirth in which all the elements play an important role: from the history of the pavilion—understood not just as a replica, but as a living entity, implicit in the actions involving the travertine—to the life force concentrated in each of the pieces of glass.

Stella Rahola Matutes + Roger Paez
Students: Dalia Al-Akki, Agustina Angelini, Jana Antoun, Juan Arizti, Momen Bakry, Dastan Bissenov, Marta Borreguero, Elena Caubet, Ines Fernandez, Malak Ghemraoui, John Gillen, Tanvi Gupta, Stephanie Ibrahim, Tracy Jabbour, Yunling Jin, Liana Kalaitzoglou, Jad Karam, Gal·la Knoph, Selen Kurt, Julia Llorens, Alexa Nader, Joelle Nader, Assil Naji, Mokshuda Narula, Elsa Romero, Chloë Rood, Tiago Rosado, Eirini Sampani, Montserrat Sevilla, Brentsen Solomon, Giulia Tufariello, Irini Vazanellis,  Kuan Yi Wu, Alexandra Zaitceva.
Soundtrack: Inés Fernández
Photo: Alba Yruela, Noelia
MEATS Elisava, Fundació Mies van der Rohe
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