Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

¿Bailar Ahora? (Dancing, Now?) Guillermo Santomà turns the Intermediae nave at Matadero Madrid into an experimental ‘dance floor’

Pista de baile
This site-specific artistic installation can be visited until June 2021
  • Guillermo Santomà, who works in design, architecture and set design, is one of our country’s most promising young talents. With a strong international following, he is already a benchmark for his generation.
  • The artist has proposed an architecture for the Intermediae nave that will serve as the venue for this ambitious programme of dance and dance-related activities called “Ciudad Bailar ·  Exagerar” (Dance City · Exaggerate), in which he brings together architecture, art, dance and thought.
  • The result is a self-supporting structure, a large sand ceiling suspended in the air from whose interior a huge ball of changing light dominates the entire space, transforming it into a magically active place.
  • Guillermo Santomà creates total environments through his radical research into materials, light and colour.  His interventions respond to his desire to transform spaces through elements that remind us of objects that are vaguely familiar and that introduce stories and fictions into the spaces he works on.
  • With this project, Matadero maintains its support for artists and architects - and its commitment to contemporary artistic creation - by inviting them to use its spaces and naves to establish a dialogue with the communities that use it and visit the centre.
  • The project is sponsored by the Sorigué Foundation and by Simon, in collaboration with Protopixel, who have contributed to the development of the design of the piece.
  • The installation can be visited in Matadero Madrid from Tuesdays to Sundays, following all the current  health and hygiene measures.

Managed by Madrid Destino, Matadero Madrid, Madrid City Council’s Centre for Contemporary Creation, presents “Pista de Baile” (Dance Floor), a new site-specific artistic project created by the quite unique artist Guillermo Santomà, with the sponsorship of the Sorigué Foundation and of Simon, in collaboration with Protopixel.

Having accepted the invitation to intervene in the Intermediae nave, Guillermo Santomà has transformed the space by parasitizing it with the same original industrial materials found in the nave itself, cement and iron, and he has then made it disappear only to propose another radically different space instead. The result is a self-supporting structure that emerges as a large sand ceiling, built as if it were the negative image of the architecture in which it is integrated.

In these times of estrangement, social distancing and empty dance floors, Santomà proposes a new space in which to continue to construct ourselves as a cultural community, in which to keep on dancing. 

No matter whether it is a shell or an abstract cave, the intervention is conceived as an object and as a place at one and the same time, ready to welcome its visitors, but also to be transformed by them. The piece will acquire movement, life, or even a consciousness of its own when it is inhabited. In its interior, the huge ball of light that dominates the space defines the meeting place, as if it were a fire around which people could meet like modern primitives, to invent new rituals for these difficult times we have to live in.

In this way, the dance floor is built between engineering and poetry, between the natural and the synthetic, between the history of architecture and fiction, as the artist tells us through the images of the illustrated storyboard he created to design the installation.

“It seems only logical that we should take shelter in that cement cave, to make things easy for us and to create an extension that can listen to the community from this natural way of being in a place that is really beautiful even though it’s a place you recognise and is hard, like us. A cave in which you can imagine yourself listening to really loud music or any other type of transaction that has little to do with art, except for the desire of art and artists to be there. That ceiling and that light by Guillermo Santomà say just that: I want to be here, with you. Entering and leaving a cave, seems to be a sound proposition.“

(Excerpt from the text by Chus Martínez “Sí a Todo (Yes to Everything)” (July 2020) on the intervention by Guillermo Santomà; full text at

A collaboration beyond the formal
Guillermo Santomà carried out this intervention with the collaboration of Pablo Torrent Huete. The engineering is by Eloy Domínguez Díez.

The work is sponsored by the Sorigué Foundation and by Simon, which has partnered with Protopixel for the occasion. In the words of the sponsors themselves, the aim of the Sorigué Foundation “is to promote and disseminate contemporary artistic creation”. To do so, it organises temporary exhibitions based on works from its collection of contemporary art, one of the most important in Spain, besides producing and commissioning pieces within the framework of PLANTA, a unique project in which art, corporate knowledge, architecture and landscape converge. In this line, the Sorigué Foundation has a clear desire to establish synergies through collaboration projects with different public and private cultural entities, thereby supporting the development of talent and the stimulation of culture. The Foundation’s collaboration with Intermediae’s ‘Ciudad Bailar · Exagerar’ (Dance City · Exaggerate) programme through Guillermo Santomà’s installation also reflects its interest in influencing the city and its inhabitants through different disciplines”.

For its part, Simon and all the team at the company are directly involved in the project through a joint research with Guillermo Santomà into the possibilities of continuously transforming spaces through the use of light. As they themselves say, “at Simon, we have known for quite some time that light is much more than just the solutions we design, manufacture and market. Our contribution to the culture of light is based on creating or collaborating in projects that help us see it, feel it and understand it, combining art and technology to make it more human and to bring it closer to people. Our involvement in different artistic initiatives and cultural events, such as the Llum BCN Festival, the Tulou Festival in China, or the Alameda Art Laboratory in Mexico, allows us to learn and collaborate with creators who inspire us with new approaches and concepts”.

Medialab-Prado has also collaborated in this project.

About Guillermo Santomà
Guillermo Santomà  (Barcelona, 1984). From construction, he works in different formats that encompass design, architecture, sculpture and scenography or performance art.  His installations and design works have been exhibited in the Side Gallery (Barcelona), Etage Projects (Copenhagen and New York), and at the Palais de Tokyo (Paris). In his recent exhibition at the Cerralbo Museum in Madrid, he presented 18 artifacts that blended with the space and the House of Cerralbo collection, creating new scenographies that invited visitors to fantasise about new uses and scenes and conversations.

Santomà uses simple mechanisms to alter familiar objects in a constant process of deformation, creating total environments through his radical research into materials, light and colour.  His installations respond to his desire to transform spaces through elements that remind us of objects, furniture, vaguely recognisable structures, elusive reminiscences that avoid being defined but nevertheless introduce into the intervened spaces, fictions that play with the very history of architecture and design.

About Ciudad Bailar - Exagerar (Dance City - Exaggerate)
On 6 November, Intermediae Matadero kicked off ‘Ciudad Bailar · Exagerar’ (Dance City · Exaggerate), a programme of activities comprising laboratories, performance art pieces and radio and online encounters, which will culminate with the celebration of a festival in June 2021. Promoted by Side Thinkers and curated by Massimiliano Casu and Carlos López Carrasco, the project unfolds within the Intermediae space, and has as its framework the experimental dance floor designed by Guillermo Santomà.

The aim of Ciudad Bailar · Exagerar (Dance City · Exaggerate) is to reflect on dancing and movement as an activity that is inherent to human beings, just like yawning or shivering, unconscious actions that express physical and emotional states. It takes as its reference this time of confinement, social distancing and empty dance floors, in which dancing has retreated to people’s homes, video conferences, social networks and all manner of virtual and digital spaces, throwing online parties and generating new forms of interaction.

Other interventions in the Intermediae nave
Intermediae  is a public programme of Matadero Madrid dedicated to the production of transdisciplinary artistic projects based on experimentation and shared learning. As a space dedicated to productions, exhibitions and encounters with the public, Intermediae seeks ways of breaking certain pre-established ideas about how artists and communities use cultural institutions.

On the basis of these premises, Intermediae began a stable line of collaboration with guest artists who intervene in the Intermediae nave. Between November 2018 and July 2020, the aim of the interventions by the London-based studio Aberrant Architecture, founded by David Chambers and Kevin Haley, and by artists Leonor Serrano Rivas and Iza Rutkowska, was to create proposals for children that would encourage free play.

‘Pista de Baile’ (Dance Floor)’
An intervention in the space of the Intermediae nave:
Guillermo Santomà               
With the collaboration of Pablo Torrent Huete
Eloy Domínguez Díez (Engineering)

Ciudad Bailar · Exagerar (Dance City · Exaggerate)
Organised by: Intermediae
Promoted by: Side Thinkers

Public programme of activities:
Content Manager: Massimiliano Casu
Curatorial Team: Massimiliano Casu and Carlos López Carrasco
Coordination: Vanesa Viloria Álvarez

Acknowledgments: Medialab Prado




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