Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation


Guernica Syndrome
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Opening: Friday, 20 January at 8pm.
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A look at the past that makes us think about the present. 

Síndrome de Guernica (Guernica Syndrome) is the title of this sculpture created from the Azor, the leisure boat used by the former Spanish Head of State, Francisco Franco, and the setting for various historic events such as the “Azor conversations” held between Don Juan de Borbón and Franco himself. After the transition to democracy, Felipe González used the yacht during a controversial summer holiday, and in 1990 the Spanish government auctioned it, specifying that it be destined for scrapping. However, the buyer tried in vain to turn it into an entertainment venue.

At the end of 2011, Fernando Sánchez Castillo bought the Azor to transform it into a prism-shaped artwork. The prism is exalted in minimalism for its constructive impersonality and for its lack of sentimental or emotive references. 

This intervention was designed especially for Matadero Madrid’s old cold storage as part of the Abierto x Obras (Open for Works) programme, curated by Manuela Villa and through which have passed artists like Daniel Canogar, Roman Signer, Iñigo Manglano Ovalle, Carlos Garaicoa and Jannis Kounellis.

Fernando Sánchez Castillo, who has developed a good part of his career in the Netherlands, usually addresses established symbols in his work with a touch of irony, questioning the relations between art, power and history. His work deals with historiography, journalism and the ambiguous relations between power and its propaganda.  The Madrid-based artist has participated in collective exhibitions in some of the most important museums and galleries on the international scene, such as the Tate Modern in London, the MoMA in New York and the 50th Biennale di Venezia.