Indepth Arts News: |
"Los Carpinteros: Ciudad Transportable (Transportable City)"
2001-05-20 until 2001-09-03
PS1 Contemporary Art Center
Long Island City, NY,
USA United States of America
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center is pleased to present Ciudad Transportable
(Transportable City), an exhibition of portable tents made by Cuban artists’
collaborative Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters). Los Carpinteros are among the
most innovative and internationally acclaimed Cuban contemporary artists.
Working under a name suggestive of a craftsmans’ guild, Alexandre Arrechea (b.
1970), Dagoberto Rodriguez (b. 1969) and Marco Castillo (b. 1971) have been
making art together since 1991 and coined their name in 1994.
Ciudad Transportable is comprised of intriguing abstractions of
well-known Cuban buildings (such as the state capital) and was
first shown at the 7th Annual Havana Biennial in winter
2000-2001. Set against the spectacular Havana waterfront and
skyline, the work drew considerable popular and critical attention,
and Los Carpinteros were awarded the UNESCO Prize for
Artistic Excellence, an honor they shared with four other artists.
The jury included art critic Pierre Restany and P.S.1 Director
Alanna Heiss, who also organized this exhibition. The work will
tour to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Sao
Paolo Biennial later in the year.
Installed throughout three floors of galleries and in the outdoor courtyard,
Ciudad Transportable, made up of ten tents of aluminum tubing and nylon
canvas, explores the experience of living in urban space. Each element recalls
the shape of a building: a lighthouse, a cathedral, a factory. Los Carpinteros use
various materials and techniques that refer to human labor and traditional
vocations, while these tents serve as metaphors for transience in contemporary
urban life. In mid-June, works in the lobby and courtyard will be removed to
accommodate upcoming exhibitions, while the installation on second floor will
remain on view, further underscoring the nature of the movable city. Outside,
the courtyard will be transformed for the summer months by Lindy Roy, a
Manhattan-based architect and winner of the Second Annual Museum of
Modern Art/P.S.1 Young Architects Program, a competition that invites
emerging architects to build projects at P.S.1’s Long Island City facility.
Los Carpinteros’ work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of
Modern Art, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museo Nacional
Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Ludwig Forum in Aachen, the Centro
Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City, the Museo Meiac in Badajoz,
Spain, and the Museo de Bellas Artes in Havana. They have exhibited in the
1994 Havana Biennial, the 1997 Johannesburg Biennial, at The New Museum
of Contemporary Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in 1998, and in New
Art from Cuba at Whitechapel, London, in 1999.