In Construction

En construcción

José Luis Guerin, Spain, 2001


In this extract children create an imaginary house in a real building site. Using their powerful imaginations, they create a parallel world, running alongside the very real world of a working construction site. They create their imaginary house with scraps of material taken from the site, pieces of bricks and blocks. The rooms and their uses, dining room, bedroom, are created by simply naming them and indicating where they are. The reality of the building site also allows them to bring other games to life, a support board becomes a toboggan, the bare walls still being built become a surface on which to draw a rocket, allowing characters to be created. One of the children, who seems not to be too keen to join in with the others’ games goes off and plays on his own, throwing the stones he’s picked up away in front of him. A builder arrives on site only to find a second ‘competing’ house that has seemingly grown overnight, with its roof, walls and doors. The adult’s world of work then returns to the site, taking much more time to build a house than the children did, with the grown-up tools of cranes and bitterness. 


adult world turned into a play.