Los Carpinteros

Los Carpinteros

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art

Los Carpinteros, Candela, 2013. Painted MDF, LED lights, dimensions variable. Photo: Paco Gómez. Courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York,and Matadero de Madrid© Los Carpinteros. 

March 24, 2015

Los Carpinteros
25 March–24 May 2015

Preview: Tuesday 24 March, 6:30–9pm

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
14 Wharf Road
London, N1 7RW
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–6pm,
Sunday noon–5pm
Free admission

T + 44 (0) 20 7490 7373
info [​at​] parasol-unit.org


Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is delighted to present an exhibition of works by Cuban art collective Los Carpinteros (Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez). This exhibition, the duo’s first major show in a public London institution, includes extensive installations, sculptures, watercolour drawings and a film screening, which aim to explore and interrogate the functionality of architecture, design and the everyday object.

The deftly crafted—and often humorous—installations and sculptures made by Los Carpinteros may appear whimsical at first, yet every piece has an element of political commentary, mostly related to their personal experience and context. This dichotomy provides a vast resource with which they can be both playful and critical. Often described as “interrogative art,” their work examines the relationship between art and society, form and function, practicality and frivolousness.

For the Los Carpinteros exhibition at Parasol unit, the ground floor galleries are dedicated to large-scale installations and sculptures, such as Tomates, 2013. This extensive wall installation consists of more than 200 real tomatoes splattered against the gallery wall on which beautifully crafted porcelain tomatoes are installed, evoking with a poignant sensitivity the interplay of a political uprising. Also exhibited is 17m, an installation comprised of a 17-metre-long clothing rail on which hang more than 200 black suits punctured throughout by a gaping star. Altoparlante Solimar (Solimar Loudspeaker),2008, is an enormous ebony wood structure emulating Havana’s Solimar apartment building, designed by Manuel Copado in 1944 and well known for its modernist design, imposing height and its large-scale sinusoidal balconies. The Los Carpinteros structure is a large acoustic box, in which each apartment has become a loudspeaker to reproduce the voices of the families living inside it. The towering Lego® bricks construction, Robotica, 2013, is based on the State Scientific Center for Robotics and Technical Cybernetics in St. Petersburg, referencing former Soviet commemorative monuments.

Installed in the upper-floor gallery are various prototype models based on prison structures, some of which Los Carpinteros have built on a larger scale for other commissioned projects. Also on the upper floor is a series of large-scale watercolour drawings, which often function as architectural blueprints for constructions that are built to scale and adapted for particular exhibition spaces. Screening in an adjacent gallery is the film Conga Irreversible, 2012, a performance originally conceived and produced by Los Carpinteros for the 2012 Havana Biennial.

This exhibition, curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder/Director of Parasol unit, is accompanied by a limited edition and a programme of related events.

Parasol unit is grateful for the kind and generous support of Arts Council England Grants for the Arts, Benjamín Nieto Segura, MARCO | Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey and Ivorypress.

Related events:

Gallery talk: “Viva! Collectives and Collaboration with Alex Schady and David Burrows
Thursday 30 April, 7pm

Artists Alex Schady and David Burrows will take us on a tour of selected works in the Los Carpinteros exhibition as they engage in a dialogue that focuses on art, politics and humour. Both artists have worked extensively with art collectives and collaboration, in ways that address the political and the satirical. Alex Schady is Fine Art Programme leader at Central St. Martins and David Burrows is Head of Undergraduate Fine Art Media at Slade School of Fine Art.

Youth project: Waterway Robotica with The Floating Cinema, in partnership with UP Projects
Tuesday 31 March–Thursday 2 April, 2–3:30pm, free for ages 12–16 years

The Floating Cinema will be moored on the canal by Parasol unit to provide a series of workshops with artist Laura X Carle. Over the course of three days, young people will take trips along the canal to explore the ecology and environment before designing and creating floating sculptures. The project will end with a finale event where the newly designed sculptures will set sail on the canal.

For more information please contact Kirsteen Cairns:
kirsteen [​at​] parasol-unit.org / T +44 (0) 20 7490 7373 ext. 26

Los Carpinteros at Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art
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March 24, 2015

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