Date: From June
Artists: Libia Castro y Ólafur
Ólafsson, Jessica Diamond, Paloma Gámez, Curro González, Federico Guzmán,
Rogelio López Cuenca, Cristina Lucas, Priscilla Monge, Pedro Mora, Olaf
Nicolai, Jesús Palomino, MP&MP Rosado, Juan Carlos Robles, Maura Sheehan,
N-322, Km. 37, 2008
the Road: N-322, km 37
Colour photograph printed on adhesive vinyl
720 x 640 x 110 cm.
GROUND GATE LAWN
A professional advertising billboard installed at the Centro Andaluz
de Arte Contemporáneo, opposite the headquarters of the Seville Council
City Planning Commission, displays a large-format photograph of an architectural
object found in a place that might be anywhere.
The image is part of a sequence of photographs inspired by the "pre-ruin"
concept, in which Jorge Yeregui (Santander, 1975) documents unfinished,
abandoned buildings that are moulded by the forces of time and nature.
Aside from general musings on what was or might have been, this image
forces us to meditate on the fracture that resulted in its loss of purpose,
turning the structure into a contradictory element that colonizes the
territory yet remains bleakly uninhabitable. These anonymous, unproductive
remains are minor landmarks whose denuded presence has a raw, unpolished
quality that underscores their resemblance to sculpture.
Just as billboards draw the attention of the public-cum-consumers to
the products they advertise, so the act of decontextualizing this architecture
and transferring it to the realm of the image accentuates the strangeness
and unfamiliarity of an increasingly ubiquitous landscape.
Installation. Painted marble fragments
GROUND GATE PONDS
Ever since creating her first pieces in Los Angeles in the 1970s, artist
Maura Sheehan has striven to give the spaces she works in new meanings
by examining their economic, political and social context and how this
context has influenced architectural forms.
Lagunas (2000) was part of a series of five interventions grouped
under the title Veladuras [Glazes] that the artist produced at
the CAAC in the year 2000. In this work, consisting of a geometric arrangement
of pieces of marble discarded during roofing renovations on a CAAC building,
Sheehan brings the concepts of both ruin and colour into play.
The idea of ruin is tied to the abandonment and deterioration of the
Island of La Cartuja after it hosted Expo '92 Seville. And the colour
is the same bold blue found on the ceramic ornaments that grace the
facade of the former monastery - a hue used in many Mediterranean countries
to paint terraces, balconies and walls - reminding us that this building
was once an Almohad pottery.
Thus, building and facade provide us with the clues to interpreting
Lagunas, a collaborative effort in which architecture, history and vision
Bus Stop, 2001
Installation. Polished stainless steel, neon and
glass 212 x 359.5 x 210 cm
Piece restored with the support of TUSSAM
Pedro de Mora (Seville, 1961) is able to derive sustenance from the
societies he inhabits and develop his language around them. His work
moves rapidly from one theme to the next, creating an oeuvre that defies
classification. However, on this fast-paced journey he never sacrifices
the visual component of his ideas, maintaining a clearly defined style.
In Bus Stop, the artist attempts to cross the dividing line
between art and the everyday by removing his work from the restricted
space of the museum and taking it into the public urban arena. In doing
so, he inverts Duchamp's strategy of bringing objects into the museum
that seemingly have no place there. Mora divests the museum of art,
reinserting it in a living fabric of ordinary experiences in order to
develop a 21st-century aesthetic in the sphere of the civic and the
This work alters the traditional concept of the monument; by using
premium materials typically reserved for sculptures, the artist has
created a singular prototype of street furniture that can be used as
a place of social relaxation or interaction, making users an active
part of the sculpture.
ROGELIO LÓPEZ CUENCA
Decret nº 1, 1992
Steel, paint and stone
300 x 100 x 17 cm each
GROUND GATE - RIVER GATE - GARDENS - OUR FATHER COURTYARD
The work of López Cuenca (Nerja, Málaga, 1959) reflects his social
engagement, which he expresses through word games and the ironic juxtaposition
The work was chosen by an international jury to be exhibited as part
of the Current Art in Public Spaces project at Expo '92 Seville.
Decret nº 1 takes its title from "Decree No. 1 on the Democratization
of Art" (1918), published in the Moscow-based Futurist Gazette,
which proclaimed the principle of "all art for all the people" and stated
that artistic activity should be dissolved and blended into daily life.
The 24 elements of this piece, identical in shape and colour to the
information panels installed at Expo '92, were set up on the fairgrounds
and camouflaged as official signage. López Cuenca tried to sneak his
own message into the official discourse by using texts in different
languages and incomprehensible icons that confused and disoriented visitors.
The project was vetoed and taken down the day before the fair opened.
Installation. Mixed media. Polystyrene and paint
180 x 120 x 85 cm (face); 367 x 120 x 180 cm (arm)
Cristina Lucas (Jaén, 1973) started out in the field of action art
and happenings and later went on to produce installations, photographs,
videos and drawings.
Focusing on critiques related to gender issues and cultural and power
structures, she uses metaphor and satire to inspire ambiguous feelings
in her viewers, always from an apparently innocent feminist point of
Alicia is a gigantic figure whose face and right arm protrude
from the open windows of a room in which she seems to have been trapped.
The artist's inspiration for this piece was her reinterpretation of
the passage in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland where the
main character, driven by curiosity, eats a cake with the words "EAT
ME" written across it and begins to grown uncontrollably, in this case
to the point that she no longer fits in the room and is forced to stick
one arm out the window.
In this way, Cristina brings the famous book's unsettling fantasy into
the real-world setting of La Cartuja, and uses it as a metaphor for
the physical and mental imprisonment of women, trapped within the confines
of their homes, as a form of oppression.
Como un monumento al artista, 2010
As a Monument to the Artist
Polychromed bronze on a weathering steel pedestal,
audiovisual installation (sound, images recorded by a security camera,
monitor). 325 x 100 x 150 cm.
Wearing the guise of a conventional sculptural work and offering an
ironic commentary on the controversy that has surrounded the notion
of the artist since the days of Romanticism, Curro González (Seville,
1960) has devised an installation with audio and visual elements that
interact with the audience. In it he offers a paradoxical version of
the artist who, depicted as a one-man band, stands before the "Gate
of Fame", a metaphorical threshold which conveys the idea that the artist's
ultimate aim is to achieve a success that will guarantee his legacy's
However, the initial situation changes when the audience passes through
the gate and is startled by the sound of a fanfare, a role-reversal
in that game of recognition. In addition, the same audience is captured
by a camera perched among the one-man band's instruments, and they can
see themselves in an adjacent space, thus becoming part of the work
for a split second. In this way, González crosses the concepts and visions
of spectator and artist.
Ventanas iluminadas, 2005
Installation. Wood, paint and electrical wiring
HAIL MARY COURTYARD
Reflections on identity are one of the central themes around which
the work of the Rosado brothers (San Fernando, Cádiz, 1971) orbits.
We find them in installations, sculptures and, most abundantly, in photographs
and drawings, though this is actually the least-known facet of their
Inspired by the recurring question posed by Roberto Arlt in Etchings
from Buenos Aires, "Have you not seen the illuminated windows at
three in the morning?", this work delves into the contemporary urban
idiosyncrasy - into the stories lurking in the corners, the experience
of the multitude, or the daily solitude of the city's inhabitants.
This is a site-specific installation designed for the walkway at the
entrance to the Carthusian Monastery of La Cartuja. To construct these
house fragments, MP&MP Rosado used neutral materials (primarily paper
and wood) and very simple forms that allow for a greater degree of evocativeness,
imagination and fantasy.
The artists' intention was to create a fluctuating mise-en-scène
that transforms with each passing hour, representing a seemingly deserted
world that is actually teeming with invisible presences.
Being Necessitates Faith In Paper (#2), 1989 – 2011
Is That All
There Is?, 1984 – 2010
Acrylic on wall
PRIORY COURTYARD - OUR FATHER COURTYARD
Internationally known for her ironic and incisive texts painted directly
on the wall, this artist's sensibilities were forged in the 1980s, at
a time when painting was being questioned.
Since then, Jessica Diamond (New York, 1957) maintains a surprising
and sincere sense of identity and uses language as the basis for her
work, characterized by her critical and satirical attitude towards the
pop culture symbols of late capitalism.
Her angry, rapidly scrawled memos use highly personal codes in which
abandonment and self-protection are asserted without indulging in nostalgia.
Her message, rooted in the tactics of corporate America, is always forceful
and direct. However, her work is far removed from the intentions of
advertising slogans, and in reading it we must not overlook its complex,
subtle, contemplative aspects.
Intervention. Vinyl on glass
This intervention in the skylight of the library at the Centro Andaluz
de Arte Contemporáneo was created for the artist's solo exhibition Violet
(2012). It directly referenced two other series, Verde [Green]
and Rojo [Red], which Paloma Gámez (Bailén, Jaén, 1964) had developed
over the course of several years, using an abstract language and drawing
on the results of her meticulous research into colour and space.
The ideas of repetition and seriation are constants in her works, which
are self-referential in the sense that they build on previous pieces,
generating systems in which all the works are interrelated. Another
hallmark of Gámez's style is the use of architectural space to envelop
visitors in a sensory experience of light and colour.
The artist's interest in the processes of abstraction is implicit in
her entire body of work: in her procedures, in how her pieces materialize,
and in her use of colour, which is stripped of symbolic significance
to heighten its sensory capacity. The end result is not a narrative,
but rather a means of meditating on, experimenting with and understanding
something - in this case, a place for the accumulation of knowledge.
What is Real?, 2004
Installation. Ceramic bricks
30 x 800 cm (3.2 x 2 cm each brick)
Priscilla Monge (San José, Costa Rica, 1968) created this piece for
the 1st Contemporary Art Biennial of Seville and designed it specifically
for the place where it stands today, one of the orchards tended by the
monks who once lived in the Carthusian Monastery.
What Is Real? is a small wall made of miniature ceramic bricks,
assembled with painstaking care and running straight across the orchard.
The author deliberately placed the wall opposite a mulberry tree standing
in the middle of the courtyard in order to create a disconcerting contrast
This contrast, as the title clearly suggests, is the artist's attempt
to challenge our perception of reality. The wall is only as high as
a book and one could easily hop over it, but it is a barrier nonetheless.
At times these diminutive bricks suddenly strike us as huge, gargantuan
even, and at others they look so tiny that we almost feel we should
get down on all fours like a child playing in the dirt in order to have
the right perspective. Yet however large or small it may appear, the
wall is only as disproportionate as our sensitive-corporeal relationship
LIBIA CASTRO & ÓLAFUR ÓLAFSSON
¿Quién tiene miedo del rojo, del amarillo y de ti?, 2011
Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and You?
Installation. Light bulbs and wire
Gift of the artists
The multidisciplinary artists Libia Castro (Madrid, 1970) and Ólafur
Ólafsson (Reykjavik, 1973) have been working together since 1997 addressing
issues that concern us as citizens: identity, work, the economy, illegal
immigration, or the way our cities are built up and torn down.
Through the power of images and the suggestive possibilities of sound,
they prod viewers to develop new interests and preoccupations, to venture
into the realm of thoughtful reflection and question certain truths
which have been universally accepted as absolute and never once challenged.
¿Quién tiene miedo del rojo, del amarillo y de ti? is a site-specific
work that was created for the exhibition Your Country Doesn't Exist
(2011), held at the CAAC that same year. The piece's modified title
is an ironic twist on the name of Barnett Newman's famous series produced
between 1966 and 1970, Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue,
in which the American painter experimented with large colour fields
and the impact that his oversized canvases had on viewers as they tried
and failed to fit it into their field of vision.
JUAN CARLOS ROBLES
The Confidential Connection, 1997
Installation. Iron, wood, ceramic and Plexiglas
325 x 380 x 525 cm
Gift of the artist and Galería Oliva Arauna
The Confidential Connection is an old railway booth that was
taken from its original location on the Alexanderplatz underground platform
to the Rosa-Luxemburgplatz stop, where it became a "foreign body".
In the place for which it was designed, the booth represented a glance
that had grown indifferent, a fragment of the daily grind, another cog
in the wheel of a society famed for its orderliness and efficiency.
For the booth's new location, Juan Carlos Robles (Seville, 1962) installed
a powerful strobe light inside that flashed incessantly and set up recorded
announcements of inbound and outbound trains and the sound of cars clattering
along the rails.
He did this for two reasons: to underscore the functional and aesthetic
aspect of architecture, and to point out the fracture, rebuilding and
rezoning that Berlin was undergoing.
His work is not a preservation initiative, nor does it hold out any
possibility of conversation. The Confidential Connection is annoying
and transitory, a testament to the reconstruction of the city in places
Altavoces reproduciendo el sonido del lugar, 2009
Speakers Playing Back the Sound of the Place
Trained at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cuenca, the Ohio State University
Fine Arts School in Columbus, and the Rijksakademie van beeldendekunsten
in Amsterdam, Jesús Palomino (Seville, 1969) is primarily known for
his installations combining light, video and photography. However, when
he was asked to do this project, he chose sound to articulate the artistic
Palomino had made occasional forays into this field before, such as
20 altavoces reproduciendo el sonido del lugar, his first sound
installation. In that work he offered us what is known as an "acoustic
mirror", setting the precedent for his current intervention at the CAAC.
His dual intent is to make visitors aware of their own connection with
sound and to express the perceptive and conceptual tension between experience
and reproduction. To achieve this Palomino uses a double layer of sound,
playing an earlier recording of this same deserted space which overlaps
with the sounds being made at that very instant. In this way, the artist
places the listeners and observers at the centre of his proposal, and
he also invites them to engage in reflection.
Black Pearl Curtain, 2004
Installation. Black plastic pearls, cotton string
PAVILION OF SAINTS JUSTA AND RUFINA
Since 1997, the artist Olaf Nicolai (Halle/Saale, Germany, 1962) has
developed a wide variety of interdisciplinary projects. The boundaries
between art and science, public and private space, or individual and
society are the connective thread of his oeuvre, present in one way
or another in every phase of his already impressive career.
Black Pearl Curtain was produced for the 1st Contemporary Art
Biennial of Seville, and the artist himself chose to install it in the
Pavilion of Saints Justa and Rufina, also known as the Pickman Pavilion.
This building has an open-sided ground floor, large windows on the second
storey and a lookout tower at the top.
Nicolai's work covered all of those openings with curtains of black
plastic beads, creating a prop that divides the space and subtly conditions
both physical and visual access. These curtains situate us on the borderline
between public and private, between inclusion and exclusion, which is
characteristic not only of Seville's architectural situation but also
of its geopolitical context.
Reloj estacional, 2004
Shade mesh, plants and polyester
Federico Guzmán (Seville, 1964) has always shown himself to be an engaged
artist. This personal commitment to society and nature became more pronounced
following his sojourns in Colombia and the Sahara, where he refined
his conception of the intimate bond between nature and art.
His work overflows with optimism, vitality, tenderness and colour,
always looking to the benchmark of contemporary society. The extraordinarily
diverse objects featured in his artwork take on a novel plastic identity
that distances them from the constrained customary systems, thus leading
to an immersion in a much more vibrant, dynamic system which inspires
a brighter existential hope that is somehow more alive.
The outdoor work Reloj estacional is conceived as a living plant
clock that measures the passage of time by a dozen different plant species
chosen for their suitability to the geographic location of the CAAC
orchard, climate and seasons, whose blossoms open and close each day
throughout their growing season. However, Guzmán's intention was not
for nature to operate as a clock, but to build a clock whose operation
depends on the annual cycle of nature's seasons.