Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation

Abierto x Obras

The former cold room of the Matadero is a rectangular room of 881 metres square, containing 36 concrete pillars organised in four lines which divide the space into five bays. The architectural particularities of this room result from the nine successive horse-shoe shaped arches in the central aisle. They support a brick vault. There are no windows in the facade because of its original use, and it also suffered a fire in the 1990s. The context was somewhat grim, however, in 2007, after consultation with the architects Arturo Franco and Fabrice Van Teslaar, the decision was made to leave the space entirely in its original state. The only concession would be to cover the central gutter.

From 2007 to 2019 that special space has held the exhibitions programme Abierto x Obras. Scheduled throughout the year,Sit each installation lasts two or three months. The invited artist is encouraged to design an intervention which creates a dialogue with the characteristics of the space. This immense, dark volume of space, strewn with columns is made available to different artists and their creativity. It is for them to take possession of the space using a purely artistic approach that is liberated in terms of space of all functional or technical contingencies. Each artist in turn will «enhance» the existing architectural space. Conversely, the space provides the matrix from which the work of art emerges. In the process, they are existentially inseparable.