Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation
Every once in a while , artistic practice puts the emphasis on what it seems that society needs most, not in the sense of a fashion, it’s more about how artists interiorise their desire to create a communication between what they do and the rest of us. So we are now in a phase in which nature and sustainability prevail over everything else. Artists are proposing that we give shape to the eloquence of all sorts of creatures, or they are involved in research into organic materials that reject non-degradable plastic and waste.
In this sense, Guillermo Santomà’s proposal for the Intermediae building and the Ciudad Bailar (Dance City) programme turns out to be somewhat paradoxical. A large wire mesh contains a mantle of concrete acting as a cover, and a powerful big ball of light provides us with a little warmth, as if it were a new sun. At first sight, there is not much nature in this idea, but perhaps there is. Rather than resorting to playful architecture or, for example, a forest... Guillermo Santomà’s cave brings us a material that seems more real, the crude oil that is destroying our coasts and helping to build our hotels. That same material with which we have built millions of houses, roads and motorways. That cement that reveals a society on the hunt for any kind of possible bargain.
It seems logical that we should take shelter in that cement cave, to make things easy for us and to create an extension able to care for the community from this natural way of being in a place of great beauty but which you recognise, and is tough, like us. A cave in which you can imagine yourself listening to music turned up really loud, or any other type of transaction that has little to do with art, other than the desire of art and artists to be there. That ceiling and that light by Guillermo Santomà say just that: I want to be there, with you. Entering and leaving a cave, seems to be a sound proposition.
Santomà’s entire body of work testifies to his interest in the systematic transformation of our ways of objectifying, organising, analysing and, therefore, transmitting. To achieve this, he uses relatively simple mechanisms, altering familiar objects or, as is the case here, creating a redundancy between the pre-existing industrial building and his own industrial cave. Altering a space or an object, while preserving its defining characteristics that still allow us to recognise it can have a much greater ergonomic effect on our habits than embarking on something quite new. This abstract industrial cave, so to speak, is designed to originate new ritual processes between the individuals who meet there.
How? Without major strategies, understanding the space step by step. Firstly, as a space in which one can stay, a place in which one can meet others, a place in which to seek shelter, a place in which to watch a film or enjoy a conversation, a place in which to get together to dance.
Excerpt from the text Sí a Todo (Yes to Everything) by Chus Martínez
Guillermo Santomà. From construction, he works on different formats that move between design, architecture, sculpture and scenography or performance art. He uses simple mechanisms to alter familiar objects in a constant process of deformation, creating total environments. His interventions respond to an interest in modifying spaces by using elements that remind us of certain objects, furniture, vaguely recognisable structures, elusive reminiscences that avoid being defined but nevertheless introduce a narrative or a fiction into the intervened spaces.
This intervention is a joint research between Guillermo Santomà and Simon into the possibilities of continuously transforming spaces through light.
Guillermo Santomà with Pablo Torrent Huete
Engineering: Eloy Domínguez Díez
Assembly: FELTRERO DIVISIÓN ARTE S.L.
With the collaboration of:
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