Los Carpinteros

Centro Cultural Matadero, Madrid

By Alvaro de Benito Fernandez | July 11, 2013

That the nave of Matadero, where the program for the development of specific projects, “Abierto x obras”, takes place, is one of the most interesting points in the artistic panorama of Madrid is a fact that few people deny.

Los Carpinteros

This is largely due to the inventiveness and the quality of the interventions in this space, and for this reason, inviting Los Carpinteros could have been a culmination for this venue. This action implies a point of inflection and consolidation, and it is so for several reasons. The first of them is the relationship of the Cuban collective currently composed of Marco Antonio Castillo (Camagüey, Cuba, 1971) and Dagoberto Rodríguez (Caibarién, Cuba, 1969) with Madrid and with the large number of productions and events which have been taking place in Spain. But the most important and concrete reason is that Candela is an offering to the senses.

Fascinated by the techniques employed in the iconic Che Guevara that presides over the José Martí square in Havana, Los Carpinteros engaged in devising a project in which this technique might converge with a specific history proper to the space they would intervene in. The choice of fire as conducting thread does not seem strange, since it constitutes a perfect link between semantics – one of the duo’s fields of study for many years – and the anecdotal aspect of an exhibition space that retained its structure in spite of having been severely damaged by a fire. The meaning of light, myth and purification coalesces under the four burnt walls represented by fragments of wood mounted a few centimeters away from the wall, allowing enough space for the insertion of neon tubes that have a visual impact on the viewer. Wrapped in flames – the paradox of fire represented through the inflammable nature of wood is curious –, the viewer reflects on several lines of argument in the fields of semantics without any of them being erroneous, yet vividly recalling the impact experienced when entering the area where the action takes place and the sensory impression produced by Candela, which is an essential component for closing the circle of one of the most solid site-specific proposals by this Caribbean collective.