Las Palabras son Muros [Pavilion for Astoria]

July 13, 2019 – November 3, 2019

Opening: July 12, 2019 (6:00 pm – 8:00 pm)

Artists: Rafael Domenech


Las Palabras son Muros [Pavilion for Astoria] (The Words are Walls [Pavilion for Astoria]) by artist Rafael Domenech is a collectively authored dynamic sculptural “book” project.

Scaffolding and construction mesh, provisional materials emblematic of the changing urban landscape, comprise the two semicircular towers of this outdoor piece. The mesh “pages” hanging from the scaffolding feature graphically dynamic laser-cut texts that rotate throughout the exhibition.

Domenech gleans these texts from visitors to the Park who can submit their words, phrases, and stories, which are selected through a digital algorithm. In its totality, experimental digital graphic technique and chance composition aggregates into an amalgamation of voices throughout the 16-week exhibition. Submit a message online at

The work takes its title from a line of the poem Flamenco in Big Bang, a book of concrete poetry by Cuban artist, poet, and critic Severo Sarduy. ‘Las Palabras son Muros’ embodies some of the neo-baroque visual and textual metaphors that Sarduy identified and articulated in his writing. The ellipse, as a shape rendered in relation to two focii, represents the conditions of dislocation, decentralization, and eccentricity. These elements appear both formally and conceptually in the work. Duality reverberates in the pairing of the towers, the outer borough geography, and the experience of migration. These dualities, the dissolution of authorship, and the embrace of artifice and exuberance evince Sarduy’s aesthetics.

After the completion of the exhibition, Domenech will produce a book that combines the texts and includes reused elements of the weekly mesh installments. The result will be a collection of fragmented perspectives conjoined into a new whole.


Saturday Sculpture Workshop: Book as Architecture
Saturday, July 6 • 12-3PM

‘Las Palabras son Muros [Pavilion for Astoria]’ Opening Celebration
Friday, July 12 • 6-8PM

Poetry Reading: Cruel Optimism (after Lauren Berlant)
Sunday, July 21 • 5-6PM

Walk 1: Politics of Sharing Space
Monday, August 12 • 6PM

Puppet Show: Rupture/Ruptura
Saturday, August 24 • 2-6 PM

Fly: Kite Making Workshop
Saturday, September 7 • 3PM

Walk 2: Politics of Sharing Space
Friday, September 13 • Time TBD

Wear: T-Shirt Printing Workshop
Sunday • October 20, 3PM

Halloween Harvest: Lantern Workshop
Saturday, October 26, 12-4 PM

Please RSVP to for each program.


‘Palabras son Muros [Pavilion for Astoria]’ is made possible with generous support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.


Follow project updates on our website and social media, and join the conversation by tagging @SocratesPark and using the hashtags #SocratesSculpturePark, #RafaelDomenech#LasPalabrasSonMuros, #PavilionForAstoria when posting.

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