Architects: Los Carpinteros
Location: Miami, FL, USA
Collaborators: Absolut Art Bureau
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Roberto Chamorro
Absolut Art Bureau and Art Basel Conversations
For the 11th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach (6 – 9 December 2012), Absolut Art Bureau will continue Absolut’s nearly 30-year commitment to the arts as a first-year Associate Sponsor of Art Basel. Holding discourse and the sharing of ideas as central to its mission, Absolut Art Bureau is the Presenting Partner of Art Basel Conversations as one of its many involvements in Miami during Art Basel’s prestigious show. Art Basel Conversations is a lively forum with programming ranging from artists sharing insight into their creative practices, to global art world opinion leaders including museum directors, curators, collectors, gallery directors and critics gathering to discuss some of today’s most important issues in the global art market and wider art community. In addition to championing a physical platform for debate during Art Basel Miami Beach, Absolut Art Bureau will make these world-class discussions accessible through an enhanced digital platform. High quality videos of Art Basel Conversations will be available for viewing at www.absolutartbureau.com and www.artbasel.com
“Absolut Art Bureau is a great partner for Art Basel. Their support for Art Basel Conversations helps us share artworld ideas to a wider global audience. And we’re really looking forward to seeing their Güiro by Los Carpinteros on the Oceanfront.” Marc Spiegler, Director, Art Basel
Güiro: An Art Bar Installation by Los Carpinteros
Continuing the conversation outdoors, Absolut Art Bureau will present Güiro. Following the success of Jeremy Shaw’s bar The Kirlian at Art Basel in Basel last June, Absolut Art Bureau will collaborate this year with the Cuban-born, Madrid-based Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodriguez, the artist collective known as Los Carpinteros, to present an art bar installation conceived as Gesamtkunstwerk. Güiro will be located on the Oceanfront, home to art-related activities programmed by Art Basel for the past 10 years, and flanked by Art Basel Miami Beach’s Art Public featuring outdoor works and performances in Collins Park.
Los Carpinteros’ large-scale construction draws on the concept of an open-air art bar inspired by the güiro, the ubiquitous Cuban percussion instrument made from a dried hard- shell, tropical fruit, invented by the pre-Colombian Taíno inhabitants of Cuba. It is also the word used in Cuban slang to connote a party. Oval in shape, the slatted structure will be lit from within to emphasize its gridded design. Its rectangular openings will function as seating for visitors, while the center will be occupied by a round bar complete with Absolut cocktails. The shelves will store a selection of books, bottles, and random objects selected by the artists. Güiro will be accompanied by a curated program of live music, performances and activities for an immersive experience of all senses. Distinguished Mallorcan composer Joan Valent has conceived a special program of music highlighting the sounds of the güiro instrument to give visitors a sense of the inspiration behind the visual artists’ creation on all fronts.
In addition to its utilitarian function and musical references, Güiro expands on a body of recent work by Los Carpinteros which fashion civic spaces from the architectural language of panopticon prisons. The distinct circular configuration of the panopticon prison was developed in the 18th century by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham and allowed a centrally placed guard to watch numerous prisoners placed along the perimeter. The most recent example of this series by Los Carpinteros was Sala de Lectura Ovalada (2011) – a ten-foot high reading room devoid of books – on view at Sean Kelly Gallery in New York in the spring of 2011.
“We’re delighted to work with Art Basel to reach new audiences and create opportunities to exchange ideas about art. We’re no less excited to continue our series of art bars, working this time with Los Carpinteros. The artists have produced some of the most memorable and critically acclaimed work to emerge from Cuba recently. Güiro on the Oceanfront will be a magnet for conviviality during the show, where people can come together to relax and share their art experiences – in an environment that is itself a work of art.” Vadim Grigorian, Global Project Leader, Absolut Art Bureau