Carlos Garaicoa

19 Apr - 15 Jul 2008

© Carlos Garaicoa
"Bend city"
2008, cardboard, wood, plexiglas
¿Revolución or Rizoma?

Galleria Continua/Beijing has the great honour to present Carlos Garaicoa’s first solo exhibition in China with a group of new works inspired by China and conceived for the gallery’s premises at the 798 Da Shanzi Art District.
In his statement for this show, the artist wrote:
There are many thoughts I have been dealing with recently within my work, they mainly have to do with the idea of Accumulation, and in some way they are related to the idea of the Rhizome in French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari: Rhizome like a numerical growth and questions of infinity.
Without eagerness to conclude that A+B=C, I think that this idea of construction ad infinitum of the numerical sum, can be applied to Chinese culture, either in historical terms, in its social projections, and more recently in its economic, artistic avalanche, etc...
Beijing is a city that is getting to know Everything at an incredible high speed, so my show is a response to this and also to the idea that every human gesture can be infinite in space and time.
A column of classical instrument emitting a chaotic and unexpected sound, two popular games –Chinese Checkers and Pool- viewed from the eyes of a “competitive” foreigner, my obsession in understanding the Chinese Art Market, the similarities and differences between Cuba and China’s socialisms and cultures, are, among others, some of the themes you will be able to find in this show.
Since the early 90’s Carlos Garaicoa has developed an interactive approach to the City, from his early urban intervention and performances to big format light sculptures and imaginative models he has found a way of addressing burning issues in both contemporary art and society.
In his work he recounts a history resonant with urban and architectural past, offering a portrait of Cuba that is realistic, impassioned, almost anthropological yet also poetic and charged with forgotten memories, spaces and places. In his work architecture is also conceived of as possible space, a place that can be rethought and reinvented. The contrast between utopia and reality is the basis for a whole series of ‘project’ works in which the model of investigation widens to take in other cities apart from Havana.
His approach, no matter if a public intervention, a site-specific sculpture or a photograph, connects immediately the public with the context in which the works are placed. His works are both the result of a sharp reflection on the particular circumstances the work was created in and of an outstanding re-interpretation –and sometime protest- to the status quo.
For his first solo show in China, Carlos Garaicoa will present nine new works, seven of them installations, one video and his internationally acclaimed photographs. The works, inspired by a visit to Beijing and Shanghai last September, intend to create a link with the Cuban artist’s own and complex social reality and that of today’s China. But also, apart from the obvious political connections -and differences- the works go beyond the political issue to understanding the present of Chinese Art boom.

Carlos Garaicoa lives and works between Havana and Madrid . He studied Thermodynamics and later Visual Arts at the Instituto Superior de Arte in Cuba from 1989-1994. His work has been showed in many solo and group exhibitions, including Art in General and M.O.M.A in New York, the Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango in Bogotá, the Museo de Arte Reina Sofía Madrid, and Tate Liverpool. He has participated in the V, VI and VII Bienales de La Habana, the 1st Johanesbourg Biennale, the XXIV and XXVI Bienais de São Paulo Brazil, the Documenta XI in Germany , the 1st Yokohama Triennal in Japan and the 2005 Venice Biennale. He also leads Arts Talks and workshops.
Numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana and the Tate Modern, London hold his artworks.
He has been awarded the XXXIX International Contemporary Art Price, Montecarlo, and the Katherine S. Marmor Award, Los Angeles M.O.C.A both in 2005 and have been present in several artist residences in Rio de Janeiro, Minneapolis, Maracay, Umbertide, New York, Düsseldorf and soon in Umea (hosted by IASPIS and Bildmuseet).

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