National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens
EMST

CARLOS GARAICOA – PHOTO-TOPOGRAPHY EMST COMMISSIONS 2011

09/11/2011 - 18/01/2012

ATHENS CONSERVATOIRE

Carlos Garaicoa

Photo-topography

Project Room

09/11/2011 – 18/01/2012

Curated By: Anna Kafetsi

The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens presents from November 9th 2011 until January 18th 2012 the new work by internationally acclaimed Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa titled Photo-topography. The work is presented in the framework of the series ΕΜSΤ Commissions 2011, with commissions by the Museum for its Project Room that are realized with the kind support of Bombay Sapphire gin.

The installation consists of nine three dimensional photographs made of polyspan material and equal black and white photographs taken by the artist in Havana and Caracas, which were used as basis for their creation.

As a wandering artist, like most artists of our time, Carlos Garaicoa brings to Athens in his luggage stories and images of other cities which, hovering as they are between the real and the imaginary, they could in the particular topographic and cultural environment be read as ancient fragments and ruins, but also give birth to correlations with the particular urban planning experience. The translation from one artistic medium to the other gives this work, which will enrich EMST’s permanent collection, an ambiguity of special poetic power and breath.

Αnna Kafetsi

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The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens presents from November 9th 2011 until January 8th 2012 the new work by internationally acclaimed Cuban artist Carlos Garaicoa titled Photo-topography. The work is presented in the framework of the series ΕΜSΤ Commissions 2011, with commissions by the Museum for its Project Room that are realized with the kind support of Bombay Sapphire gin.

The installation consists of nine three dimensional photographs made of polyspan material and equal black and white photographs taken by the artist in Havana and Caracas, which were used as basis for their creation. Describing in his artistic proposal the process of transferring the photographic document to a new material, like polyspan, the artist mentions:

My new project for the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens consists of photographs printed with a new technique. The photographs are plotted in a 3D machine that converts the actual picture in a 3D polyspan object. The result, extremely fragile but beautiful, is a sort of topography of urban landscapes, with indents and blasts of polyspan that grow according to a scale of gradations of gray, black and white within the negatives, which we predetermine with the plotting machine. For me this project consists in a research on forcing the limits of photography.

Through this technique which he uses for the first time in the new hybrid photographic installation, Carlos Garaicoa returns to the central thematic nucleus of his work, the city and the ruins. Already since 1991 through his works which opened the door to large scale international exhibitions and Biennales in various cities of the world, fragments of ruined buildings, especially of Havana, views of decay and decline of the urban tissue in particularly complex socio-political environments, allow the artist new interpretations of the city and utopian designs, a reconstruction of places and things through fiction.

As a wandering artist, like most artists of our time, Carlos Garaicoa brings to Athens in his luggage stories and images of other cities which, hovering as they are between the real and the imaginary, they could in the particular topographic and cultural environment be read as ancient fragments and ruins, but also give birth to correlations with the particular urban planning experience. The translation from one artistic medium to the other gives this work, which will enrich EMST’s permanent collection, an ambiguity of special poetic power and breath.

Αnna Kafetsi

Short biography of the artist

Carlos Garaicoa was born in Cuba in 1967. He studied thermodynamics and later painting at the Instituto Superior de Arte, Havana (1989-1994). He employs a multidisciplinary approach to address issues of culture and politics, particularly Cuban, through the study of architecture, urbanism and history. His chief subject has been the city of Havana. The different media/techniques include installation, video, photography, sculpture, pop-up book and drawings.
Among his most important solo shows we can highlight those at  Matadero de Madrid; IMMA, Dublin; Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona; Museum of Contemporary Art (M.O.C.A) Los Angeles; Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango,  Bogota; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Museo Alejandro Otero, Caracas and Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena. He has participated in the VIII Bienal de Shanghai (2010); São Paulo Biennial (1998 and 2004); Havana Biennial(1991,1994, 1997, 2000 and 2009); Venice Biennial (2005 and 2009); Moscow Biennial (2005); Yokohama (2001) and Echigo-Tsumari (2006) Triennials in Japan; Johannesburg Biennial (1998 and 2004); Liverpool Biennial (2006); Documenta 11, Kassel (2002) and the Auckland Triennial (2007). He lives and works between Havana and Madrid.

Photo: Carlos Garaicoa

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