September 18, 2010 - Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC) - The Interpreted City: Ruben Santiago
September 18, 2010

The Interpreted City: Ruben Santiago

Rubén Santiago

The Interpreted City
1 October – 28 November 2010

Rubén Santiago
Cálculo (Calculus)

Rua Ramón del Valle-Inclán
15704 Santiago de Compostela
Spain
www.cgac.org

Curator: Pablo Fanego

The Interpreted City is a public art initiative organised by the Concello de Santiago, Xacobeo and the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, designed to offer a set of unprecedented approaches to the city of Santiago de Compostela and create situations that enable us to superimpose an intersubjective map on her ordinary codification.

The Interpreted City hopes to establish connections between history and our immediate reality through the specific proposals of a number of artists of international renown: Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan, Mircea Cantor, Andreas Fogarasi, Latifa Echakhch, Daniel Knorr, Goshka Macuga, Rubén Santiago, Florian Slotawa and Michael Stevenson.

Rubén Santiago (Spain, 1974) works on the mechanisms of the social construction of memory and the consensual production of symbolic value.

From a process approach and through multiple means, Rubén conceives each of his art works as an opportunity to create dissent around a range of themes or collective concerns.

His proposal for The Interpreted City consists of a series of interventions in two separate yet interconnected areas: the city’s canal network and the basement of the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea.

On the one hand, the hydraulic engineering elements in the subsoil that branch out in the verticality of our homes have been used to support an innocuous action of great symbolic consequence: the artist altered the proportion of chemical substances needed for the purification of water for common use. By means of this ‘infiltration in the ordinary’ his intention was to arouse a little concern over a basic public service and prompt reflection on those socialisation structures that remain hidden.

The starting point of his intervention at CGAC is the outward appearance of the building designed by Álvaro Siza and the history of its surroundings: the museum’s location on land rich in springs, a feature that to a great extent defined the architectural conception. Rubén devised an alternative system for evacuating the water that stems from the ground floor of the museum by means of a path that runs through the different galleries, perforating the walls, and leads us to a square that lies in its surrounding area.

The poetics defining the other pieces that complement Rubén’s project unfolds around this condition of the ‘stone’ museum as a structure exposed to the erosion and continuous changes produced by the passage of time: the presentation of a kidney stone belonging to a resident of Santiago de Compostela and a series of readings of the humidity recorded in the same exhibition space of the basement over a certain period of time.

In short, the artist is interested in exploring the museum as a medium for the articulation of subjectivities and immaterial capital that reflects the community of users that define it. His intervention affects the museum space both on a physical plane—determined by geography, architecture and town planning—and on the conceptual plane, understanding the museum as an institution central to the task of recognising the present and shaping the future through experience and memory.

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