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Architecture and Spaces


Photo by Elena Trujillo_Carlos Motta, “Ideological Graffiti”

Architectures and spaces in the Rac Foundation is the title of the exhibition hosted by the CentroCentro Cibeles of Madrid on view up to November 8th. Fifty pieces of the Spanish architect Carlos Rosón ’s collection that represent 37 artists from distant countries whose efforts ran parallel in terms of strategies: to make us thinking about the artistic relationship between architecture and space.

A walk around the 4th floor of CentroCentro Cibeles is the best way to discover the different ways that a plastic artist and an architect use when they confront to the space. Pia Ogea, the curator of the exhibition, has erected three pillars which defines the exposition: architecture, urban space and domestic space. A selection of pieces (paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, installations, videos, etc) that show us how is the contemporary man and his connection with the world around him.

The exhibit is a wink of the Art History. The interest on the representation of space exists since Antiquity. Architects translate the space in drawings, in plans and technical specifications that define a new structure. The result is a building or other kind of framework that is going to be or had been constructed.

A plastic artist converts an architectural fact (a building, an urban space…) in a public icon, trying to show the inner soul of the sitter place. The current creative approaches to the study of space and architectures from very different motivations and supports. Often the artist uses these issues to talk about the man of his time, about himself or his contemporaries, and the problems that occur in their urban environment. At the end, the urban area is the habitat in which a significant portion of the population develops his life and, as such, is the best way to analyze the contemporary human behavior.

At other times, it is “just” an invitation by the artist to experiment with new spatial sensations through art. The simple contemplation of each of the pieces that are present in this exhibition awakens countless emotions: empathy, sadness, curiosity, rejection… and the most important: not leave you indifferent.

Why it is interesting to visit Architectures and spaces in the Rac Foundation?

In my opinion, it is particularly interesting how the CentroCentro physical space is integrated in the exhibition, making it an inseparable part of it. Recall that the CentroCentro is located in the iconic historicism building of the Palace of Communications by Antonio Palacios, opened in 1919. The visitor can see how the pillars of stone and steel that mark the path around the central atrium of this heavy building are the home of these groundbreaking artworks.

Among the selected pieces, I should mention the magnificent installation of lamps “Widumi”, by Tobias Rehberger, that received us at the entrance of the exhibit, trying to insert us into a placid home. Light fills a space that invites us to experiment with our emotions, as if we were in the gentle privacy of our own home.


Photo by Elena Trujillo_“Widumi”, by Tobias Rehberger

I also liked the photographs of Thomas Ruff (“Jpeg ny08/ Jpeg ny09”) and Candida Höfer (“Palazzo Zenobio Venize II”): if the first pixelated image expands the attack on the Twin Towers of 11-S until it becomes frozen icon, the second presents the exquisite Baroque interior of an empty Palazzo Zenobio as a spooky space. They are two new examples of how artists make us discover the soul of an architectural public symbol through his work. It is the contrast between the hostility of the attack and the melancholy of the past times.


Photo by Elena Trujillo_The CentroCentro physical space is integrated in the exhibition, making it an inseparable part of it. On the left, “Think we are in Northern Beijing”, by Nathan Carter. On the right, “Jpeg ny08/ Jpeg ny09”, by Thomas Ruff.

The superb sculptures by Txomin Badiola (“Twins”) reflect on the concepts of the identical and the different in a mocking tone. These pieces make me thing about how different a master artwork can be perceived according to the eyes that looks at the moment and their circumstances.


Photo by Elena Trujillo_Txomin Badiola, “Twins”.

The Antoni Muntadas and Nathan Carter’s works represent the chaos of urban travel in the contemporary world from very different perspectives and techniques. Rochelle Costi show us how the changes experienced by domestic spaces as a result of the evolution in the living conditions of their owners, while Roman Signer does literally blow up a house in a video, inviting us to experience the horror.

Photo by Elena Trujillo_Rochelle Costi, ”Nascimiento”.

Photo by Elena Trujillo_Rochelle Costi, ”Nascimiento”


Photo by Elena Trujillo

I love the installation “Prayer Mill I, II y III”, by Stephen Dean. He uses colour and light as fundamental elements in his work, whether picture, video or sculpture formal. In this installation uses postcard holders with dichroic glass and focused light to construct the skyline of an imaginary city. It is amazing, isn’t it?


Photo by Elena Trujillo_The amazing installation of Stephen Dean “Prayer Mill I, II y III”.

The suspended platform as a pergola of Liam Gillick (“Reversal platform”) closes the exhibition. It defines a space for rest and interpersonal communication where to talk about the exhibiton.


Photo by Elena Trujillo_“Reversal platform”, the pergola by Liam Gillick.

In short, different ways of making us feel the architecture and space. An appointment not to be missed.

On the trail of…

CentroCentro should be congratulated for his new line of work that tries to show the public some of the most important private collections of art of our country. It is the case of the Galician architect Carlos Rosón’ s Collection.

In 2007, Carlos Rosón (Santiago de Compostela, 1959) set up The Rosón Contemporary Art Foundation in Pontevedra. The Foundation runs an active exhibition program intended to be a way of sharing items from the collection with the general public and of helping to publicise the work of young creative artists.

Since it was set up, the Foundation has also been running an artists-in-residence program, inviting a different international artist each year to produce a site specific project based on their experience here.

It also holds a series of educational activities aimed at encouraging dialogue between institutions and the wilder community.

Elena Trujillo Hervás

Architectures and spaces in the Rac Foundation

CentroCentro Cibeles. Pl. Cibeles 1. Madrid.

Till November 8th. Free


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