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Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation


Conversation with Reinier de Graaf


Following the first edition of the International Literature Festival Chapter One, Matadero is organising new encounters with the best literature through its monthly programme of conversations. This series of face-to-face meetings will be inaugurated by the architect and writer Reinier de Graaf, on the occasion of the publication of his first novel The Masterplan (Archis, 2021).

Reinier de Graaf is an architect, architectural theorist, urban planner and writer and one of the partners of the Dutch agency The Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). He is also co-founder of AMO, an OMA partner project dedicated to research and design, which applies architectural thinking to other workspaces. AMO, together with Harvard University, curated the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale and its publication Elements.

In his second book, The Masterplan, De Graaf tells a story of ambition and disenchantment in the form of a novel and points to the question of what the architect's work can be today in the scenario marked by globalisation. Chronicling the career of an architect who craves recognition, Rodrigo Tomás, and who is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime when he is asked to design the capital of a young African republic, The Masterplan tells how an architectural dream is destroyed by external forces beyond his control.

Ethel Baraona is co-founder of the independent research and publishing studio dpr-barcelona, which operates in the fields of architecture, political theory and the social environment. She writes regularly for numerous magazines, books and journals, and her curatorial practice includes, among others, Adhocracy ATHENS (with César Reyes and Pelin Tan for the Onassis Cultural Centre, 2015), winner of the ADI Culture Prize 2016; and most recently curator of the exhibition Twelve urban fables (Matadero Madrid, 2020-21).

Chapter One is Matadero Madrid's international literature festival, a biennial, face-to-face event that held its first edition in October 2021 in collaboration with Casa del Lector. Among the authors who have participated in the festival's programming are Alejandro Zambra, César Aira, Edwidge Danticat, Donatella Di Pietrantonio, Liv Strömquist, Javier Cercas, Cristina Morales, Dominique Barbéris, Minna Salami, Marta Sanz, Rebecca Makkai, Mariana Enríquez, Kalaf Epalanga, Ted Chiang, Anne Carson and Irene Vallejo, among many others.