Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present El Pueblo Se Equivoca, the newest solo show by the Cuban artist duo Los Carpinteros, occupying its two exhibition spaces: the Galeria (in Vila Madalena) and the Galpão (in Barra Funda). The artworks dialogue directly with current issues in Brazil, drenched with the political-social criticism and irony that can be seen in all of the artists’ work.
The show at the Galpão features two artworks. The installation Galletas Dulces [Sweet Cookies] is an assembly line that makes cookies from concepts extracted from Brazilian newspapers – Corrupção [Corruption], Reforma Política [Political Reform], Ajuste Fiscal [Fiscal Adjustment], Olimpíadas [the Olympics], and others. The aroma coming from the oven fills the space and involves the spectator, who is invited to taste the cookies. Constrictora [Constrictor] is a huge 16-meter-long snake, whose skin is formed from countless metal political campaign buttons bearing the abbreviations of the main Brazilian political parties. The biting metaphor present in this work is based on local issues but poses a commentary about a universal theme: the worldwide crisis of political representativity.
For their part, the works featured at the Galeria have formalism as a common denominator, the politico-social criticism being conveyed more subtly. In the series Tijolo de tijolo [Brick of Brick] Los Carpinteros present ceramic pieces made from the union of many bricks, where the whole has the same shape as the many parts. By transiting between scales, these works point to the notion of collectivity, while also alluding to the anonymous people who work in civil construction. In Sobres [Envelopes], a series of envelopes take different shapes, approaching geometric abstraction. These works involve a poetic reinterpretation of a commonplace, bureaucratic material: due to their irregular format, these envelopes could only contain impossible documents.
In the work that lends its title to the show, the artists present a wooden scale model inspired by governmental buildings, referring to what they identify as the architecture of power. The windows on its façade are in the shape of letters, forming the phrase El Pueblo Se Equivoca [The People Are Mistaken]. This doubtful and enigmatic statement hovers thought-provokingly over the entire exhibition.
The artist duo Los Carpinteros consists of Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez, born in Cuba in 1969 and 1971, respectively. They live and work between Madrid and Havana. The venues and titles of their solo shows have most notably included MARCO (Monterrey, 2015); Parasol Unit (London, 2015); Faena Arts Center (Buenos Aires, 2012); Silence Your Eyes, Kunstmuseum Thun (Thun, Switzerland) and Kunstverein Hannover (Hannover, Germany, 2012); and Handwork – Constructing the World, Es Baluard (Palma, Spain). Group shows they have participated in include the Bienal de Havana (2012, 2000 and 1994); the 4th Bienal do Mercosul (Porto Alegre, 2013); the 51st Venice Biennale (2005); and the 25th Bienal de São Paulo (2002). Their works figure in important collections around the world, such as those of Guggenheim (New York); MoMA (New York); MOCA (Los Angeles); CIFO (Miami); Daros (Zürich); Tate Modern (London); Reina Sofía (Madrid); TBA-21 (Vienna) and others.