© Álvaro Urbano, Sin título
The light is on, but it can't be seen. The corridors are walked in darkness, but the distant sound of breathing indicates that the building, though dilapidated and exhausted after several years of disuse, is still alive.
The Awakening is artist Alvaro Urbano’s first solo show in Spain. Curated by José Esparza Chong Cuy, executive director and chief curator of New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture, the exhibition is presented as a setting for reactivating a space whose life seems to have expired, revolving round different imageries of abandoned or obsolete architecture.
The artist uses as a case study the Hexagon Pavilion designed by architects Ramón Vázquez Molezún and Jose Antonio Corrales Gutiérrez for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, where it won first prize in the Architecture competition and was later transferred to the Casa de Campo in Madrid. It is now about to be remodelled after standing abandoned for years.
The theatrical, the playful and the dreamlike acquire substance in the show. Light, sound and architecture, always powerfully present in Urbano’s artistic practice, plunge us into this installation devised specifically for La Casa Encendida.
Alvaro Urbano (Madrid, 1983) lives and works in Berlin. He attended the Madrid School of Architecture and finished his studies at the Universität der Künste, Berlin. His practice encompasses a wide range of disciplines, from video and performance to art installations with a strong emphasis on fiction, architecture and narrativity. Urbano’s work creates a variety of fictional synergies between space and time that unfold in the course of an experimental process.
José Esparza Chong Cuy (California, 1984) is the executive director and chief curator of New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture, an organisation committed to the advancement of design and architecture, whose exhibitions and projects provide alternative platforms for dialogue across disciplinary, geographic and ideological boundaries.